Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I have a theory

And it's even a conspiracy theory, sort of, even though I try to stay away from those. Here it is:

The White House and the Democratic National Committee want to lose at least one house of Congress this November.

They know that gaining enough seats for a 67-Democrat Senate and 290-Democrat House is a fantasy, and that in fact they're going to lose at least a few seats.

That being the case, they'd rather see a 51-Republican Senate or a 218-Republican House than continue with just enough of a majority in each house to make it look like they can do anything they want. They can't do anything they want. There's always a handful of conservative Blue Dogs or a couple of ornery liberals or a few greedy porksters who make it a pain in the ass to just introduce a bill, vote it through and get it to the Oval Office for the President's signature.

But every time a bill gets bogged down or amended beyond recognition, the Democratic base wants to know why nothing's getting done when their party controls both houses of Congress and the White House.

Being in the minority in one house or the other means never having to explain yourself, never having say you're sorry, never having to admit that it's your party that can't get the job done. It's them Republicans over there -- they're to blame.

Losing the Senate, the House, or both means it's the 90s all over again. Bill Clinto ... er, Barack Obama ... can throw all kinds of rhetorical red meat to his party's base without the slightest chance that anyone will actually expect that red meat to get cooked, plated and served. Sorry, sir, the Republicans in the kitchen messed up your order.

Instead of meat, the Democratic base will get bread -- half a loaf, just like they're getting now, but this way they won't blame their party when the waiter tells them sorry, the restaurant is all out of prime rib. Please accept this complimentary classic wine by way of apology ... 1996 was a very good year, wasn't it?

US Senators Christopher Dodd [D-CT] and Byron Dorgan [D-ND] are retiring -- not seeking re-election this coming November. They're not the first Democrats to bail out of 2010 races or switch parties, and they won't be the last.

The "conspiracy theory" part of my theory is that I suspect the White House and DNC are encouraging the departures. "Sorry, Chris, Byron, but we just can't commit much money to your re-election campaigns, and the President's schedule is full for every date you have a fundraiser scheduled ... yes, I know you haven't scheduled them yet, but trust me on this, he'll be busy those days. Have you considered the idea that maybe 2010 is an opportune time to retire from public life and seek new opportunities? I hear Fred over at YoYoDyne Industries is looking for a lobbyist, I'd be glad to give you a reference."

That's my theory, anyway. But I could be wrong.

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