I just wanted to, again, say “I told you so.” Yeah, it annoys even me, but I can’t help it. It’s like throwing seeds at a vampire.
Remember when I urged my pal, Lee Stranahan, to relax (while continuing his excellent work) about the President’s urging to stop attacking Blue Dogs on healthcare? Refresher:
My friend Lee Stranahan’s apoplexy notwithstanding, I have a slightly different read on this, and on the President’s plea to Leave Britney..uh, Blue Dogs Alone! (That’s not to say that Lee should ease up one bit. He shouldn’t.)
On the “stop attacking Blue Dogs” thing, I believe the President was more concerned with the nature of some of the ads, and the possibility that liberal groups are arming Republicans to retake those seats. It’s one thing to say “Senator Wusspants is not listening to the people.” It’s quite another to say “Senator Wusspants has been bought off!”
Well, as usual, I was right. The President has begun to train the Blue Dogs to keep their mess off the carpet by targeting their districts with healthcare ads:
Ignoring criticism – namely from Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid – that intra-party targeting was ineffective, Barack Obama’s campaign arm is expanding its health care ad buy into the districts of key conservative House Democrats.
The initial purchase was on national cable and in eight states with critical Democratic and moderate Republican Senators. Now the scope of the campaign is expanding… The ad will appear in the media markets that overlap with the congressional districts of 15 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Eleven of those districts belong to Democrats…
I don’t think Sam stressed this enough, so I will: this is a clear warning to obstructionist Democrats that they will be disciplined, and not just on policy matters. The fact that there are ad buys in their districts means that there can be ad buys during Democratic primaries.
Hopefully, the Gang of Six is paying attention. With public support for healthcare reform at a fever pitch, and Republicans throwing a sinkful of kitchen sinks at the effort, these six wallflowers had better get moving, or they won’t be invited back to the big dance.
Who will prevail in this battle of wills? My money is on the President. You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but watch him STFU when you take away his bone.