As President Obama’s approval ratings sag and the mood of voters sours, some Democratic congressional candidates are distancing themselves from the White House, with the back-channel blessing of party officials.
The candidates are positioning themselves as independent voices no less frustrated with the Obama administration than people back home.
Let’s take a look at these ‘independents’ that the article mentions specifically: Rep. Dennis Cardoza & Rep. Jim Costa of California, and Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Plus, of course, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland (and DCCC chair, for his sins); after all, he’s arguing for distancing, right? So let’s see how they actually distance themselves. Never mind what they say; how do they vote?
|Blanche Lincoln||Yes||No Vote Yet||Yes|
|Chris Van Hollen||Yes||Yes||Yes|
It seems that Cardoza’s opinion that the Obama administration has ‘failed miserably’ in job creation doesn’t seem to have translated into any sort of opposition to either the job-killing bill that was cap-and-trade, or the health care rationing sideshow. Jim Costa’s declaration that the President isn’t ‘listening carefully’ to his constituents seems odd, seeing as he doesn’t seem to care that 69% of Californians don’t like the way his party handled the health care rationing bill debacle. Blanche Lincoln’s campaign claim that “Lincoln challenges Obama on liberal ‘extremes.’ ” is backed by… nothing. And Chris Van Hollen’s slightly nervous bravado about the need to sometimes oppose the President isn’t even a case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do:’ it’s ‘Say as I say, while you do as I do.’
This is entirely unsolicited advice, but I’ll give it anyway. Independent voters aren’t the netroots: they will not respond well to the mushroom treatment. And there really is a limit to how long a party can get away with saying one thing, and doing another. In fact, we actually passed that limit last spring…
Crossposted to Moe Lane.