The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Energy bill - exculpating those dirty Dems
The point I made yesterday bears repeating:
without the support of Democratic members, the energy bill would not have passed the House.
(Normally, House Dems can let themselves off the hook when they vote for GOP bills with a mind to whoring votes or contributions: the bill would have passed anyway. Not so with HR 6 .)
Interesting to see how this example of Democratic cooperation with Tom DeLay is being spun by some Dem bloggers: Josh Marshall's only reference to the votes on HR 6 link a couple of sites interested only (apparently) in the MTBE issue, which consider the vote on the Capps motion (RC 129), rather than that on passage: one considers only Reps with MTBE problems in their district - only two such Dems voted with the bad guys on Capps; and the League of Conservation Voters, which identifies its Tom's Tainted Team in a way that automatically excludes Democrats: by only counting recipients of contributions from DeLay's ARMPAC.
Now that's what I call Enron accounting!
Atrios ignores HR 6's passage altogether (to be fair, his cat photos are rather cute); also nada from Drum or Yglesias.
As far as the base is concerned - they aren't. To judge from Democratic Underground - if it's not top of the forum lists, it can't be the burning topic of the day.
I can only assume that, with so many House Dems going off the reservation, it's not a good topic to generate the pure passion of liberal righteous indignation!
The alternative explanation for the GOP defections would be catch and release: DeLay's whip count told him the Dem votes for the bill were in the bag, so the defectors were allowed their day off the reservation.
I've no evidence either way. The number of GOP defectors seems pretty high  - and, what with his ethical problems mounting, this doesn't seem a good time for DeLay to be showing weakness.
On the other hand, letting the boys blow off steam is also part of the bag of tricks of legislative management.
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