Back in late 2006, Kevin McCullough of Townhall.com had a great metaphor to describe Rahm Emanuel’s strategy for the Democrats winning back the House by electing lots of faux-conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats — who, as demonstrated by their voting in lock-step for ObamaCare this year were anything but conservatives. These were Nancy Pelosi’s Crash Test Dummies:
They invoked Jesus, God, the Bible, marriage, and faith in decibel and volume that would have earned Soros-sized scorn, and Kos-site mockery – were the party to actually let them demonstrate any of it.
But in doing so, they tricked the masses into believing that their positions on such matters would stand as strong as the true-believers that some of them displaced.
So what of it…
In January Speaker-Elect Pelosi will remind Heath Shuler that while he could throw a somewhat average NFL pass back in the day, that on her team – she’s the coordinator of offense and he’ll only be throwing on her direction.
One of my listeners described this situation perfectly this week calling the freshman class — the Crash Dummies.
They will have no clout, no position, and will be in immediate and desperate need of support and organization. They will not be in position to openly defy Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, and Durbin. Some have gone so far to already admit on the campaign trail that though they hold the position the voter felt was important – they will not “lecture others about morality, like Rick Santorum.”
They will need the advice and networking of senior members to get their legislative efforts underway. They will want to try to deliver earmarks for their districts. And in needing to accomplish these things they will be beholding to the horse that “brung ’em” – Pelosi.
A few will attempt independence from the liberal elite that rule the chambers, but none will survive it. Liberals have been out of power for so long now that the only thing pressed upon their minds is to regain the third branch of government in 2008.
I doubt I need to go into detail about what happened next; we’ve all spent nearly two years watching the slow grinding horror. But as Rich Lowry writes today, the Crash Test Dummies are about to become Pelosi’s Cannon Fodder:
After ordering Pickett’s charge, Robert E. Lee reputedly mingled on the Gettysburg battlefield with his soldiers fortunate enough to have survived the debacle. “It’s all my fault,” he said.
Will Nancy Pelosi have a similar moment of regret after next Tuesday, when — whether Republicans take the House or not — many of her troops won’t be coming back?
For now, she maintains that “we haven’t really gotten credit for what we have done,” which is axiomatic as far as it goes. “Credit” is not typically what a party gets for passing signature legislation consistently opposed by the public, as Pelosi did with malice aforethought on health care. She considered a few of her members expendable in the glorious cause, but appears to have gone overboard with the expending.
Pelosi needed to flip key moderate Democrats who initially voted “no” on the health bill to “yes.” She might as well have asked them to quit on the spot. The Washington Post finds that in the eight districts where a Democrat switched from “no” to “yes,” a Democrat is favored to win in only one. In the five districts where a Democrat switched the other way, the Democrats look stronger.If Pelosi had the political interest of her embattled members at heart, she should have brought health care up only as a vehicle for as many as possible to vote “no.” Since Labor Day, the Democrats who have included health care in their advertisements have tended to be the “nay” votes touting their opposition.
As Lowry adds, “Pickett’s charge reached the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge before falling back. It’s called the high-water mark of the Confederacy. Pelosi’s charge established the high-water mark of progressivism, and she’ll have the bodies to prove it.”
Or to borrow one of my favorite quotes from Mark Steyn:
When the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan dumped some of his closest cabinet colleagues to extricate himself from a political crisis, the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe responded: “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his friends for his life.”
How big will the wave be? Steve Green has his final numbers, right here.
And will Pelosi return if those numbers prove out — or are worse for the Democrats? Click over to Hot Air for Ed Morrissey’s take.