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View Diary: Coburn Amendment, on the floor (435 comments)

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  •  maybe a stupid question (none)
    but jumping onto a Republican sponsored amendment gives Dems the upper hand...how?

    I still think they should vote for the Amendment, because I think it's the right thing to do. But the idea that it's gonna help them win when they aren't even the ones who put it on the floor doesn't make sense to me.

    you WISH I was female

    by AnnArborBlue on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:57:38 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  We're talking about a much bigger battle here... (none)
      When I say win, I mean it the way Newt Gingrich would mean it when debating a democrat on political philosophy....a victory of ideology.  It's just so unfortunate that our dems on capitol hill don't see the political landscape this way.  If they did, THEY would have been offering this amendment and not Coburn.  This is the kind of issue that we could use to separate ourselves from them but our people up there just aren't up to the task.  I really think we need to clean OUR OWN HOUSE before we do anything else.  Sorry to say it but maybe some democrats need to have a primary challenger next year!
      •  and I repeat the question (none)
        how does voting for the Coburn Amendment seperate them from Republicans?

        You can't claim the mantle as the party of fiscal responsibility when you're voting on someone else's amendment.

        you WISH I was female

        by AnnArborBlue on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:06:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point.... (none)
          As I said, it should have been a democrat who put this amendment forward.....but I guess we get what we can.  It's about good government...no pork....saving money.....spending money where it's REALLY needed....
        •  Because we woulda been the MAJORITY (none)
          If more than half the Repubs voted against(and that was a given) and we got most Dems to vote for it, the DEMOCRATS would've passed this amendment.  (With the help of a few Repubs.)  It would've further weakened an already teetering Republican alliance, and helped extinguish the myth that Democrats are fiscally irresponible, and half no backbones.  

          Instead, by voting AGAINST it, they remain a minority, NON-players, and the same old weak ass group they've been.

          •  extinguish myth or start myth around Coburn? (none)
            I'm not sure that voting for it would have done much for the Democrats image--that's not a story that fits any of the standard media narratives.  I think it's more likely that the story would be about "the courage and leadership of Tom Coburn, the new 'maverick Republican' in town."

            If the Dems didn't vote one way, en masse and with a solid statement then this would be the story of Coburn as a McCain figure who can bring Democrats to his position.  it's easier to tell the story about the maverick who bucks his leadership and then brings along others than to go against years of media stereotyping.

            note--i'm not arguing about the merits of the amendment here--just about how it's passing would be played in the media.

            •  Exactly, we SHOULD'VE voted "en masse" (none)
              It's the ONLY way this minority (which Dems happen to be at the moment) can become a player in the Senate.  And it could very well have opened up the current fissure in the Republican ranks even further.  Stevens, as he sputtered and ranted, would take it out on Republicans, NOT Democrats.  And THAT would've been the story on the nightly news.  The further implosion of Republicans.  The media loves conflict.  

              The disarray among Republicans, and the unity and principle of Democrats, would've been the "story."  Coburn is an imbecile (unlike McCain) who would have little ability to get any long term traction for himself out of this.  

              But Democrats were more worried about their own safety and personal political power than in a tactical win for the Democratic Party.  And that is precisely why they continue to remain a minority.

              You're right to worry that there may not have been a single Democratic Senator shrewd or articulate enough to craft a coherent "story" around this, and deliver it successfully, but that has nothing to do with THE IDEA, the tactical value, or the merits, in this case.

              It was another Democratic "opportunity lost."

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