Wednesday :: Apr 6, 2005

House Democrats Still Haven't Gotten Their Act Together On the Bankruptcy Bill

by rayman

I hate to be the wet blanket (I know, I know, watch the cliches), but while we're all savoring DeLay's foibles, the still-festering bankruptcy bill is splitting apart the House Dems at the precise moment when caucus unity is needed. John Byrne has the dispiriting details:

Some Democratic offices privately admit that the contributions of financial services firms are a factor, among many, that are considered when deciding whether or not to support the bill. One office said they had weighed the prospect of the industry backing a primary challenger from within their own party in response to opposing the measure.

“A member only has two reasons for voting for this bill,” a more cynical aide asserted. “The first is that they’re in the pocket of the financial services industry, and the second is if they believe the financial services industry will so heavily line up behind an opponent” that is dangerous to their reelection.

“I’ve heard members articulate that the financial services industry will heavily fund a primary opponent or a general election candidate” if they oppose the bill, the aide added.

A longtime Democratic Senate aide disagreed. The staffer said the issue wasn’t about money, but rather party inertia.

“It’s party lethargy, not big money,” the aide stated. “Once Democrats get to Washington, they’re rewired to leap at compromise. This has been a year in, year out example of the party’s lack of effective leadership.

“Democrats are only now relearning what it takes to be the outside Washington party,” the aide continued. “Tom Daschle supported the bankruptcy bill, for God’s sake, giving a cue to Democratic senators to do their own thing and triangulate.”

Only now, the aide added, is “the Party slowly but surely becoming an insurgent party, and at last you see Joe Lieberman getting his act together and voting against this bill."

So there are two not-so-tantalizing possibilities as to why House Dems are supporting this hideous legislation: a) corporate whoredom, or b) residual Breaux-ism (i.e. an instinctive need to make deals at all costs). Needless to say, these two categories are not mutually exclusive.

Oh, and based on Byrne's article, Richard Boucher (D-VA) is officially on my "hitlist" (just add another consonant and stir), and he should be on your list as well. What an embarrassment to our party.

rayman :: 5:58 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!