Credit Where Credit Will Help

It’s time to thank Democrats in tough districts who stood up early for Health Care Reform. These guys did not ask for a special deal from their caucus. They risked their career to deliver health care reform for Americans who need it. The RNC will undoubtedly target Reps on this list the hardest.

These are the kind of Democrat that I am proud to have in my Party. Please help make sure that we keep them around this November.

As of right now, here is the list:

*Nancy Pelosi (to re-distribute cash to needy campaigns at her own discretion)
*Tom Perriello
*Betsy Markey
*Jerrold Nadler (for being the first Rep to propose a realistic path out of the Brown miasma)
*John Boccieri
*Melissa Bean
*Henry Cuellar
*Chris Carney
*Brad Ellsworth
*Gabrielle Giffords
*Ann Kirkpatrick
*Debbie Halvorson
*Russ Carnahan
*Alan Grayson

Goal Thermometer


Also, if you have not heard about about the role Steve Benen played in keeping HCR momentum alive after the Brown panic, take a minute to read Andrew Sabl’s write-up here at SameFacts. In fact if anything Sabl’s piece, which does not mention the influential strategy memo that Benen wrote, understates the contribution that Benen made. Staffers have told me that Benen’s memo crossed the desk of a number of influential Representatives, so it is perhaps not a coincidence that the memo eerily predicted the pass-and-amend strategy that Pelosi successfully adopted. Major kudos to Steve.

115 replies
  1. 1
    Andy Sabl says:

    Thanks for linking to my post! In fact, it does mention Benen’s strategy memo–though the way I link to it may look graphically odd and easy to miss. I agree that the memo’s importance was profound.

  2. 2
    Lev says:

    I’m in–I believe in rewarding good behavior.

  3. 3
    Chuck says:

    Nancy Pelosi certainly gets the credit for the leadership, but San Francisco certainly isn’t a tough district :)

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    Do I have to support Brad Ellsworth? Because all signs point to his becoming Senator and then fucking us over a la stupak/evan bayh/Nelson etc… for a long and unillustrious career.


  5. 5
    Tim F. says:

    @aimai: ActBlue lets you choose to whom you donate.

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    Harry Mitchell deserves props too

  7. 7

    OT, but ppl have discussed all sorts of tags (Nancy Smash!) and songs (“Waterloo”) related to yesterday’s events. Last night, I though of one that would be neat to pull off “Nancy’s big ol’ gavel” to the tune of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.” Think of it:

    Bang, bang Nancy’s big ol’ gavel
    came down on his head
    Bang, bang Nancy’s big ol’ gavel
    made sure the bill was read

    or words to that effect. I’m not creative enough to come up with the rest of the lyrics, but it would be funny.

  8. 8
    ronathan richardson says:

    In the same way that firedoglake (yikes!) was blogosphere MVP in 2006, fivethirtyeight was in 2008, now Benen is definitely 2010’s top guy. He’s somehow been the most reasonable, the first to strike down faulty right wing talking points, and the guy who took initiative and really got his hands into this thing.

  9. 9
    cincyanon says:

    You didn’t list Steve Driehaus in OH 02. He was elected in 2008 and will probably lose in 2010 due to his YES vote.
    I called his office today to thank him.

  10. 10
    Bailey says:

    Question about health care reform and mainly because I am not as versed in the particulars of the bill as I should be. But I’m sure everyone has seen it projected that without pre-conditions and with a penalty that’s rather paltry (versus the ongoing cost of premiums) why wouldn’t someone just pay the penalty and wait until they had a major disease until they got health insurance? (Granted, not the way I’d choose to live my life, but there you have it.)

  11. 11
    FlipYrWhig says:


    I was glad to see Ellsworth get into line. Speaking of which, I’d like to see Charlie Melancon get his fool arm twisted: IMHO you shouldn’t be able to run for a promotion from House to Senate without being in favor of a signature item on the Democratic agenda.

  12. 12
    Warren Terra says:

    That’s a long list, and if I donate to all of them either my bill will be huge or the amounts will be laughably small. Any favorites (other than Piriello, because he obviously is one, and Pelosi, because although I love her I’m sure she’d doesn’t need the help and would rather the money go where it’s useful)?

    (Edited: how much power does Nancy have to redistribute cash from her campaign account? Can she give unlimited amounts, or is she constrained?)

  13. 13
    Dreggas says:

    After reading the reactions to the bill passing coming from some of the people on my facebook I am so glad I am no longer living in Upstate NY.

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    @Warren Terra: Markey showed some real balls coming out for HCR so soon and unapologetically. After that I would go with whoever has a nearby district or just follow your conscience.

  15. 15
    Batocchio says:

    Benen is one of the absolute best out there. He’s ridiculously prolific, but I’m especially impressed by his ability to debunk and fact-check statements so rapidly.

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    I personally delivered Steve’s memo to all of my reps, and Sen. Warner’s staffer even seemed rather interested in it (not that you’d know it from his lack of public statements about HCR.) So I hope that’s another area where us DFH’s may have made a difference.

  17. 17
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    Sweet! I will donate when I get home!

  18. 18
    ChrisZ says:

    @Warren Terra:

    I too would like to know who redistribution of funds works.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    I called Mollohan, Rahall, Kaptur, Charlie Wilson, and Brian Baird.

    Rahall, Mollohan, and Laptur were all Stupak people, but they voted the right way and allowed some people in dangerous districts to take a pass.

  20. 20
    JGabriel says:

    I don’t know if you want to be rewarding Chris Carney – he’s screwed the left before, after promising support on specific issues and taking their money, and his vote on HCR was up in the air until Saturday or Sunday, not exactly an early supporter.

    On the other, I grew up in/near that district and can confirm that it’s not exactly winger territory but it is batshit reactionary and ignorant, so maybe we really couldn’t do much better there either.

    Your call. If it’s just a small amount to thank him, fine, but don’t expect any future support or influence for your donation dollars.


  21. 21
    Guster says:

    Grayson is in a tough district? Huh.

  22. 22
    slag says:

    Done. Thanks again, guys!

    Also, am I the only one who hasn’t been able to access WaMo all day?

  23. 23
    Pam C./femlaw says:

    A great memo – I must have linked to it dozens of times writing about HCR.

    My favorite line, and one I used relentlessly to argue we needed to keep moving forward, was “this is why Democrats exist”

    So thank you Steve (and Tim, and so many other folks sung and unsung) for helping rally the Dems to get this done.

  24. 24
    slag says:


    Benen is one of the absolute best out there. He’s ridiculously prolific, but I’m especially impressed by his ability to debunk and fact-check statements so rapidly.

    Bonus: He’s a big Joss Whedon fan.

  25. 25
    chowkster says:

    Nadler was my rep when I used to live in Borough Park, Brooklyn. I see your point regarding showing him appreciation, but his seat is as safe as they come. I don’t think NY-8 will elect a Republican anytime soon. Is it possible to show him our appreciation in some other way, and spend the money on the representatives who are truly endangered?

  26. 26

    Via TPM, Ben Nelson intends to be a WATB because he’s gonna lose his bribe money.

  27. 27
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    The weirdest reaction I’ve seen from my Republican friends is the “I feel bad because we didn’t even lose fairly” meme.

    Somehow passing a bill with Democratic control of the congress, senate, and presidency is this nefarious antidemocratic scheme? The only thing I can imagine is that all these people watch Fox News exclusively and have been convinced that there were riots in the streets all over the country over healthcare.

  28. 28
    GregB says:

    I would also like to point out that New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter is going to be in for a good fight in order to get re-elected and she supported the bill too.

  29. 29
    Ravi Joshi says:

    Please know that Gabbi Giffords is not in an unsafe district. I am surprised she took so long to declare her support for HCR.

  30. 30
    Violet says:

    Tim F. – can you update the post to indicate that once you click on the Act Blue link you can choose to which Reps you want to give your money.

    You can choose from as few as one one to as many as all, and any amount of money to any of them. You are not obligated to donate to anyone on this list that you don’t want to.

  31. 31
    Butch says:

    Markey ‘specially, because otherwise we could get Marilyn Musgrave back.

  32. 32
    Alex S. says:

    Slightly off-topic, but I retract my former kind-of-endorsement of Ben Nelson after reading this:


    So Nelson will vote against the reconciliation bill even though he voted FOR the original Senate bill, and then changed his mind and came out against his own Nebraska special deal, which he now doesn’t want to see ejected from the bill…. Helloooo???

    Edit: It seems I was late, Polish the Guillotines already cut off his head, figuratively.

    And 2nd edit: My own belated congratulations and applause for Tim’s activism, insistence and energy. Hopefully, this will be a start of a renewed activity of the democratic base. The top-down organisation of the Republicans is very effective at directing masses of people with a unified message to a common direction. Hopefully, the Democrats will be able to gai a similar strength with their grassroots organizations.

  33. 33
    Robin G says:

    I think you guys with ugly Facebook front pages need better friends. Mine looks like the end of Return of the Jedi — nothing but dancing Ewoks as far as the eye can see.

  34. 34
    JohnCMH says:

    Please add Mary Jo Kilroy from Ohio to your list. I was at the OFA rally to help persuade her to vote HCR where some AFP guys threw money at a fellow supporter with Parkinson’s disease. She’s in a tough race this year.

  35. 35
    gbear says:

    Should Jim Oberstar be added to that list? He waffled a bit but wound up voting yes for the bill. I’ve called his staff to say thank you but I get the feeling that his staff wasn’t very happy with the choice. Their response is notably lukewarm. He’s been a good congressman for MN and this may have been a very difficult choice for him.

    I’ll sing the praises of Steve Benen too. BJ and his blog are the only two sites that I sneak off to visit at work. Occasionally The Plum Line too. I love Wonkette but it’s too often NSFW.

  36. 36
    MikeTheZ says:

    @Robin G: I like that image. Mine has only had one positive comment and one negative. I think the rest of us are all young college kids scared shitless of some recruiter from the opposing party looking at our FB and not hiring us because of our affiliation

  37. 37

    More OT, but does anyone else have a problem with and some other tracking site (some random set of letters) keeping their browser “loading” even though the rest of the page has loaded fully?

    And the “massa massage” tagline, I think I’ll pass on that. Ewww.

  38. 38
    Frank says:

    Yeah. And tomorrow I’m writing my Democratic Congressman who weaseled out of voting for the bill by saying it didn’t cut costs enough to say that that’s like a doctor refusing to operate because he can only restore the vision to 20/50, not to 20/20. I’ve been composing the letter in my head all day.

    In extenuation, his district does have a high wingnut quotient. Some of the bumper stickers I’ve seen since I’ve moved there are downright scary.

  39. 39
    gbear says:


    At first, I couldn’t remember who Massa was. Once I remembered, I was pleased with myself for having forgotten.

    Question: Where the heck do I click to donate to BJ?

  40. 40
    JasonF says:

    I would add Bill Foster to the list, voting yes from Denny Hastert’s old seat.

    I gave money to Bill and to Melissa Bean — as a Chicagoan, they are my neighbors — as well as to Tom Periello, who is both a friend of a friend and the representative for one of my favorite places in the world, Charlottesville, VA (Wahoowa!)

  41. 41
    MikeTheZ says:

    @JasonF: I should send some to Periello. He’s better then my “representative”, Eric Cantor. Also: HOKIE HOKIE HOKIE HI!

  42. 42
    DFH no. 6 says:

    Living pretty close as I do to one of Angry Old Man McCain’s many mansions here in sunny AZ, I agree wholeheartedly with the inclusion of Gabrielle Giffords (AZ district 8) on this list.

    However, I also have to put in a plug for my very own rep Harry Mitchell (AZ district 5) to also be included. This district was represented for 12 long years by one of the absolutely goofiest Congressional blowhards of all time — J.D. Hayworth — till Harry beat him in ’06. And the demographics haven’t really changed here all that much since Hayworth’s time (mostly people just finally got fed up being represented by a certifiable clown). Gramps won handily over Obama in district 5.

    Blue Dog Harry voted ‘yes” (both times) on HCR, and did so without all the public handwringing exhibited by Gabrielle. He is at least as vulnerable this fall as she is, what with my Snotsdale neighbors mostly being teabaggers of the first water (old, white, affluent, entitled, and asshole-conservative in that time-honored “fuck you, I got mine” way so beloved of their kind).

    I volunteered for Harry’s campaign in ’06 and ’08 — I expect the campaign this year will be much harder.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    does Pelosi really need the cash ?

    seems like it’d make her life easier if she had more and better Dems to whip than just a bigger warchest of her own.

  44. 44
    liberty60 says:

    O/T, but credit where credit is due- Mark Halperin may be a Village tool, but I thought this was a nicely turned phrase:

    The illusory belief that a majority can be built from a finite core of animated and agitated souls is what kept Democrats out of the White House for most of the 1970s and ’80s, and Republicans are in danger of duplicating that error.
    Read more:

  45. 45
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    Just gave $50 to Perriello! Your wallet speaks louder than your mouth!

  46. 46
    Dreggas says:

    @Robin G:

    I got on FB since a lot of my friends from High School are there (and are still friends). Some are moderately optimistic others, well, not so much.

  47. 47
    Warren Terra says:


    Question: Where the heck do I click to donate to BJ?

    There is a paypal link below the search box, in the left sidebar (I put in the url for the page clicking it took me to, but I can’t guarantee the link will work for you).

  48. 48
    Jim C. says:

    I gave $50 to Betsy and Nanci, and $25 apiece to everyone else on the list.

    We want folks like this answering to us, and money talks. Good idea BJ.

  49. 49
    gbear says:

    @Warren Terra: I found it. It worked. Thanks.

  50. 50
    jackmac says:

    Add Bill Foster (IL-14) to the list. He holds Denny Hastert’s old seat and is in a tough reelection fight. He took his sweet time, but ultimately did the right thing and voted for HCR.

  51. 51
    MikeTheZ says:

    Guy from Club for Growth is on Hardball right now saying, essentially, the republicans didn’t say no loud enough. Also blaming bailouts on Obama. David Frum looks depressed.

  52. 52
    Cain says:


    After reading the reactions to the bill passing coming from some of the people on my facebook I am so glad I am no longer living in Upstate NY.

    I’m avoiding facebook altogether. I do not want to know what my facebook buddie think of the bill. It would only upset me.


  53. 53
    gbear says:


    David Frum looks depressed.

    So has Frum punched Growth-guy in the neck yet?

  54. 54
    minachica says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: WTF! Nelson is afraid of “a government takeover of student lending”? What’s next – a government takeover of Social Security? a government takeover of Medicare? a government takeover of the WHITE HOUSE? Where will it end????

  55. 55
    MikeTheZ says:

    @gbear: If the guy wasn’t appearing via satellite, he may have. He kept pointing out the repeal strategy, especially in 2010, is utterly wishful thinking with no base in reality. Needless to say, Club for Growth-boy kept right on saying “REPEAL!” I actually feel bad for Frum.

  56. 56
    slag says:


    David Frum looks depressed.

    David Frum always looks depressed.

  57. 57
    MikeTheZ says:

    @minachica: But Medicare isn’t a govt. program dontchya know!

  58. 58
    Dreggas says:


    It makes me thankful that I moved out of where I was and moved up to bigger and better things.

  59. 59
    J. says:

    Even better, passage of the Health Care Reform bill means we’re finally getting rid of Rush Limbaugh!

  60. 60
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Carnahan’s district ain’t tough either.

    OTOH, DINO Ike Skelton voted no the fucking, shithead bastard. While his district would go Rethug if he stepped down, he’s an institution and could have gotten past this vote.

    Fucking DINO, worst kind. Good ole Misery.

  61. 61
    cincyanon says:

    I’m serious about showing Steve Driehaus in OH 01 some recognition and love. Elected in 2008, he’s the first Dem representing that district in over thirty years and most likely will not win re-election in 2010. Steve Chabot, the comb-over guy from the Clinton impeachment hearings, was already leading him in polls before Driehaus’ YES vote.
    You want smart progressives in office who can win in conservative districts? Show him some love. He essentially just sacrificed a second term in Congress for his YES vote.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    @MikeTheZ: I watched it

    Basically, the entire Republican party has been taken over by Red State commenters.

  63. 63
    MikeTheZ says:

    @John Cole: It really is a fascinating display of groupthink.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Robin G: Only my left of center FB people are posting anything on HCR. The righties, the ones I know about, are rather quiet. My wife’s page had a few winger posts.

  65. 65
    Camchuck says:


    Meh, he’ll lose cause the district went R 8 of the last 10 cycles. Driehaus was wavering all the up until the Stupak conference. I’d feel sorry for him if he had gotten out in front defending the bill. Instead he was a chicken shit dem.

  66. 66
    CT says:

    Holy hell. This is off topic, but I think my wingnut neighbors are displaying the flag in the distress signal position. They have it hanging vertically on their door with the stars at the bottom right corner. Mind = blown.

  67. 67


    It really is a fascinating display of group^non^think.


  68. 68
    cincyanon says:

    Other than being a pro-life Catholic, Driehaus has been very good on any number of issues. I’m neither catholic or pro-life but I’ve spoken with Driehaus and listened to him on the podium and he’s a hell of lot better than Steve Chabot.
    He made that vote knowing he was doing the right thing and writing his re-election death knell.

  69. 69
    IndyLib says:

    I called Foster’s office today and left a thank you message. My daughter, son-in-law, and my daughter’s stepson all live in his district and all of them have pre-existing conditions.
    It was nice having someone to thank, since I sure wasn’t thanking the idjit (Paul Ryan) that represents my district.

    I donated to Betsy Markey. I grew up in Colorado, and her district covers the “ugly” part of the state. Not just in scenery. The part of the state her district covers is chock full of cranky ignoramusus. I spent a lot of time in the Lamar area while I was growing up because my Aunt and Grandmother lived there. FSM, what a hellhole.
    I admire the hell out of her for coming out for HCR as early as she did and as strongly.

  70. 70
    minachica says:

    @MikeTheZ: Seriously, I want “government takeover of XXXX” to DIAF — stat. I am SICK of hearing it! (I’m allowed to rant in our moment of celebration, right?)

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    @CT: My teaparty neighbors did that when Obama won the election. I chewed out the mom, whose son is in the Air Force right now, over it and she grudgingly fixed it. Probably got an earful from her husband, though.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CT: When I lived in Ohio, I would sometimes see the distress flag flown over the farm owned by the Brandenburgs of Brandenburg v. Ohio fame. It is just off I-71 about 1/3 of the way between Columbus and Cinci.

  73. 73
    gbear says:


    Go egg their house. That’s what would have happened to someone doing that in the 70’s.

  74. 74
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:


    Dispatch from the Megan Moon orbiting Planet Wingnut.

    I think we ought to be able to work this into a little prediction test. My predictions:

    Her prediction is none of this will happen and shut up !! that’s why.

    1) Ezra Klein is confidently predicting that it will save hundreds of thousands of lives.
    2) Nick Kristoff expects miraculous improvement in our national life expectancy.
    3) Michael Moore thinks this will stop people from getting thrown out of their homes in a Medical bankruptcy.
    4) At least one of you must be willing to claim massive improvements in infant mortality, after you’ve cited those statistics to me over and over.

    Why? same reason she always gives. It’s her opinion. And shit happens.

    But all in all she is in a better mood today.

    Obviously, yes, I was upset yesterday. I’m glad that this could bring so much joy to peoples’ hearts, and of course to know that for many people, the happiest part of passing health care reform seems to have been knowing that it made people like me unhappy.

    Alright, she got me there. I confess.

    But with a caveat

    The people wondering why I was so upset should contemplate that first, I think you people just screwed up both our health care system, and our fiscal system (even further), and that if I’m right, that’s not really funny.

    And here I thought she was upset at being dumb as a rock. My bad.

    And you haters leave Megan alone, she means well.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gbear: Alternatively, you could report an emergency at that address and see what happens when the cops show up.

  76. 76
    WereBear says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: Jiminiy.

    the happiest part of passing health care reform seems to have been knowing that it made people like me unhappy

    Does she narcissist much?

  77. 77

    @minachica: Nelson is one seriously dim bulb, but he’s also clearly running the long con. My prediction? It ends with him getting some kind of grease in an energy or Ag bill down the road in exchange for dropping the earmarks and voting yes now.

  78. 78
    Robin G says:

    Somewhat OT, but seriously… I love Sadly, No! a lot, but can they please set aside the trod-upon hippies thing for one day? Everyone knows this wasn’t an ideal bill, and it’s possible that if we hadn’t spent a few months negotiating with President Snowe, then we could have maybe gotten something better through Congress before the teabaggers succeeded in sinking public opinion on HCR from enthusiastic to mixed. But I’m really getting tired of this fantasy that Obama could literally rammed through something better. No matter how much political capital he had, at the end of the day, we still had to get through Joe Fuckin’ Lieberman — and no amount of forceful rhetoric from the White House was going to change that. As much as we might hate it (and God knows we all do), we were never going to get anything better than what the Nelsons and Liebermans and Landrieus allowed us. And I don’t believe there is any political jujitsu that could have made those people vote for a bill that is one iota more progressive than the one we just got. Which, by the way, is going to keep a lot of people alive.

    Bah. I’m just annoyed that they’re harshing my buzz, I guess.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Does she narcissist much?

    Only insofar as she believes everything revolves around her.

  80. 80

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:
    Thanks for reading that worthless glibertarian silver-spoon-fed waste of electrons so we don’t have to.

    Shorter McMegan: I’m just looking out for you poor, misinformed moochers.

  81. 81


    Does she narcissist much?

    That seems to be a common trait among the Galtists.

  82. 82

    I called Betsy Markey’s office when I got home from work. Thank her for her vote and let them know I was aware she put her job on the line for it. They seemed really grateful for kind words. The woman I talked to said they’d gotten pretty beat up today. I told her that I would support Markey in anyway I could. I’m no longer in her district, but I’ll contribute what I can and volunteer if needed. My new district is pretty safe, so they don’t need me as much.

  83. 83
    HRA says:

    I made my 1st contribution to the guy who really got my attention these past days with his words -John Boccieri.

    I do not know anything about the rest of the Reps. on the list besides Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler. May I suggest focusing one thread per week on each Rep. with some history or information on them and having the ActBlue to accompany it.

  84. 84
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Robin G: “HTML Mencken” is an enormous tool and purity-monger. Worst thing about the place by far. I was happy when he stopped showing up and disappointed when he returned.

  85. 85
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:


    She’s really sensitive for someone who likes to beat up straw men so much. She occasionally launches into a tirade whenever someone brings up her “I wish I could beat the antiwar protesters with 2x4s” post from her Jane Galt militant Randian days (on her old blog, can’t find the post right now).

  86. 86

    Jeez. I just got spam from the “Courage” Campaign: “CA Republicans repealing health care?”

    Seriously, guys…. Pants-pissing Cavuto-mark appeals for $$ like this are a major turn-off. I mean, this is beyond stupid.

    Looks like it’s still going to take awhile for yesterday’s infusion of spinal fluid to reach the extremities.

  87. 87
    minachica says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: I was just gobsmacked to see him 1) use the student loan reform deal as his first reason to oppose reconciliation and 2) call it a “government takeover of student lending”. LOLWUT? I didn’t expect him to vote for reconciliation, since it seems that Reid has enough votes without the outliers like him, but geez, what a stupid reason!

    I also worry that this stupid meme will pick up steam and kill the whole sidecar bill. And from a (supposed) Dem?? Arrrghh!!

  88. 88
    r€nato says:


    David Frum is finding out first-hand how badly it sucks to be Cassandra.

  89. 89
    r€nato says:


    sssssh! “More cowbell” is what the GOP Qaeda will chant – who are we to disillusion them?

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Robin G:

    it’s possible that if we hadn’t spent a few months negotiating with President Snowe, then we could have maybe gotten something better through Congress before the teabaggers succeeded in sinking public opinion on HCR from enthusiastic to mixed

    Nah, i don’t think even that would have worked. The path to 60 in the Senate always meant working on the center-right Dems; if they were recalcitrant, you’d have to get Snowe and/or Collins. You can do 50 and get a better bill, but you can’t get the Dems to sign off on chasing only 50 _until_ 60 is clearly impossible, because they still don’t like having to stray from regular order as they’re about to do.

    So my thinking is this:

    As long as you need 60, it’s going to be a slow and ugly slog, but the process is totally standard fare (you’ve shut down the filibuster, worked past the poisoned amendments, etc.).

    Once you need 50, things can move faster, but the process becomes inelegant (reconciliation, letters of intent, deeming, parliamentarians, etc.).

    So you can’t get the Democratic Senate caucus to agree on 50 _until_ you’ve exhausted every possible option for getting 60. Once Brown beat Coakley, 60 went out the window, 50 became the target, and things accelerated dramatically.

    (Funny thing: IMHO if Coakley beats Brown, we’re probably looking at a very similar timeline anyway, because the House then flexes its muscles more and demands more input into the conference committee bill, bounces it back to the Senate, etc.)

    That’s why IMHO it couldn’t have happened faster. Because Senators have a very high threshold for exhaustion. They’d dick around forever if they could.

  91. 91
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    @Polish the Guillotines:

    I used to like Courage Campaign, but I’m starting to feel like they’re the teabaggers of the left. Robert Cruikshank likes to go on and on about “30 years of republican rule” in CA when talking about the state institutional problems, which is true in some sense, but basically a crazy exaggeration that is dangerously simplistic.

  92. 92
    The Main Gauche of Mild Reason says:

    Also, WTF?! The NYTimes NEVER posted anything resembling a correction on Kristol’s articles, but for Krugman…

    “This column quotes Newt Gingrich as saying that “Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation, a quotation that originally appeared in The Washington Post. After this column was published, The Post reported that Mr. Gingrich said his comment referred to Johnson’s Great Society policies, not to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

  93. 93
    AnthroBabe says:

    Just sent an email to Ann Kirkpatrick thanking her! She may be in for a tough fight here in Arizona, but Flagstaff usually goes blue.

  94. 94
    JenJen says:


    You didn’t list Steve Driehaus in OH 02. He was elected in 2008 and will probably lose in 2010 due to his YES vote. I called his office today to thank him.

    I called his office today, too, and the staffers sounded so relieved and patient, compared to, say, a week ago. I still insist that Driehaus stood a far better chance at reelection by voting YES instead of NO. He knows who pushed him over the Combover Top in 2008, and it sure as hell wasn’t West Side “Pro Life is Everything” Catholics and Teabaggers.

    Congratulations are in order all around! Maybe we should start up a fund to send some delicious carry-out to a Congressional Office of our choice. :-)

  95. 95

    @The Main Gauche of Mild Reason: Yup. I’d agree. It’s just a really stupid tactic.

  96. 96
    snarkout says:

    In for $150, with Perriello and my home-stater Boccieri getting the largest chunk.

  97. 97

    @minachica: I’m not too concerned (yet) about Nelson having the clout to derail anything. He’s now the national poster-boy for shady dealing. I suspect he’ll find himself friendless and out of the money on future earmarks if he pulls this shit again.

  98. 98
    john@MM says:

    Should add Gary Peters (D-MI 9th) to that list. He’s in a slightly red district and voted Yes despite all of the pressure he got from the Right. I called his office a couple of times and his vote was never in doubt, unlike some of the prima donnas in the Dem caucus.

  99. 99
    minachica says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: From your mouth to God’s ear! :)

  100. 100

    @minachica: You know, there’s an iPhone app for that.

  101. 101
    HRA says:


    “Congratulations are in order all around! Maybe we should start up a fund to send some delicious carry-out to a Congressional Office of our choice. :-)”

    Good idea!
    Let’s do it!

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    It”s not that the world revolves around her, it’s that she thinks the world revolves around the stick up her butt.

  103. 103
    Thomas says:

    In for $140, evenly spread.

  104. 104
    Fitzwili says:

    Done and Done- I sort of spread it around but I couldn’t get everyone. However – afterwards I noticed a button at the top where I could have just said a sum of money, and ActBlue would have divided it evenly among the reps. Perhaps I should have done it that way. Also I need to remember to click on to Amazon from here – it’s the least I can do for this site!!

  105. 105
    Don K says:


    And I’m gonna mention Mark Schauer in MI-7 again. The 7th is a few points less Dem than the 9th, and Schauer had a tougher first election in ’08 than did Peters. CQ shows the 7th as “toss-up”, compared with the 9th as “likely Dem”. As I say, either Schauer or Peters can use the love, but Schauer maybe needs it a little more.

  106. 106
    baldheadeddork says:

    I mentioned him in the earlier thread, but you guys are fools if you’re not putting Baron Hill on the list. Yes on EFCA, yes on Cap and Trade, yes on health care and he didn’t have to be dragged across the finish line like Ellsworth and the rest of Stupak’s clowns. He’s is a very tough district and he’s going to need all the help and luck he can get.

  107. 107
    tofubo says:

    john, don’t know where you are getting your assistant bloggers these days, but your losing me with this shit

    some on that list yes, but “keep them around” ?? i would have hoped that they ‘acted blue’

    pelosi, perriello, bean, cuellar, carney, ellsworth, giffords ??

    no fucking way

  108. 108
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @tofubo: I’m sure your concern for John Cole’s blogging well-being has been duly noted.

  109. 109
    mai naem says:

    Hey no fair – you missed my rep. Harry Mitchell(AZ-5). He’s in for a tough fight. There are some strong people in the Republican primary. He’s from a red district. He votes pretty good. His district is way redder than Giffords’ And he acted like an adult and didn’t pull a Stupak or Kucinich. Please reconsider.

  110. 110
    db says:

    I, too, live in Mitchell’s district. I took advice from a previous post and swung by this afternoon with some cookies. Staffers were VERY busy fielding calls. The staffer I spoke with seemed in good spirits and said the calls were pretty split between crazy and gratitude.

  111. 111
    Mark says:

    This is what I just sent to my congressman.

    To Congressman Clifford Stearns: (R-FL 6th District)
    I am very disappointed that you refused to support meaningful healthcare reform. The status quo regarding healthcare in this country has become totally unsustainable and the ranks of the uninsured and the rejected have been growing due to insurance companies that only care about the bottom line.

    I have no choice but to assume that you had only the interests of the insurance companies at heart when you voted against health care reform.
    You may also have been listening far right wing commentators on cable and radio who only have their best interests in mind when they spouted ridiculous assertions about the health care bill.(Death panels, etc)
    The conservative leadership in congress and in this country is completely defunct and out of touch with the needs of the broad electorate and you have chosen to follow them to the edge of the cliff.

    For this reason I will no longer support you in any manner until you change your tune. And I will extort my friends to do the same.
    You can also count on me to vigorously support your main opponent in any primary or general election unless you can convince me that you have changed your ways.

    Signed – Independent Voter
    Mark R.

  112. 112
    David in NY says:

    Hey, Scott Murphy, NY-20, too! He’s out on that limb in a marginal district.

  113. 113

    […] a comment » Wise observers agree that health care reform might not have happened without the tireless work of my friend Steve Benen. But I’d like to single out one person who […]

  114. 114
    tofubo says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    i have no beef w/john’s blogging, that’s why i come here

    it’s the additional personnel he’s put on w/keys to the store, that’s why i might not come back

  115. 115

    […] deserves credit for passage of the H/C bill? Some say it wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of one Steve Benen. Others give much-deserved credit to Hugh of […]

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