The Increasingly Rare Pro-Life Congressional Democrat
Four members of Congress are scheduled to speak at today’s March for Life: Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, New Jersey Republican Chris Smith, Missouri Republican Vicky Hartzler, and Dan Lipinski, Democrat of Illinois.
As our Jonathan Strong noted back in November:
The morning of March 21, 2010, Representative Daniel Lipinski of Illinois was one of 34 House Democrats to vote against the final iteration of Obamacare.
Many who joined him that day are no longer serving in Congress, but unlike them, Lipinski did not, and does not, represent a district that continually places him in mortal political peril. He won reelection in 2012, for example, with about 70 percent of the vote.
Today Lipinski is leading the charge among House Democrats to delay Obamacare. He introduced a bill this week that would indefinitely extend the exchange market’s enrollment period and suspend the individual mandate until a neutral third party certified Healthcare.gov is up and running.
Lipinski was the only pro-life Democrat to address Congress in the run-up to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, according to Life News.
Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Representative James Langevin of Rhode Island, Representative Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Representative Nick Rahall of West Virginia are on the federal advisory board of Democrats for Life of America. McIntyre announced his retirement at the end of this term; former members Jerry Costello of Illinois and Health Shuler of North Carolina are also members of that board, but they did not seek reelection in 2012.
The NRCC Unveils ‘Texts From Two Years Ago’
The NRCC debuts “Texts From Two Years Ago” [update: now called "Texts From Last Congress"], showcasing regrettable comments from incumbent House Democrats who weren’t washed away by the red tide of the 2010 midterms, coupled with fictional (although believable) constituent responses.
“This bill is not perfect, and I am very concerned about its cost as a strong advocate of fiscal responsibility.”1
Wow. I’m guessing you voted no then?
Oh no, I voted yes, just saying fiscal responsibility is hip these days.
Gee, thanks for nothing.
Or in Wisconsin . . .
(202) Ron Kind:
“What we’re trying to do is pass a recovery package that will create jobs, act quickly and then end . . .”1
Well, you were right about one thing . . . Those jobs ended pretty quickly.
A Rematch in North Carolina
In North Carolina, a potential rematch:
Republican Wilmington resident Ilario Pantano said Tuesday morning he will run again for Southeastern North Carolina’s seat in the U.S. House in 2012, setting up a potential rematch with U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-Lumberton. Pantano, 39, planned to make the announcement on Curtis Wright’s conservative radio show on WAAV 980 AM Tuesday morning.
Pantano gave McIntyre his toughest reelection contest in seven tries, winning 46 percent to McIntyre’s 53.6 percent. This district is currently scored R+5; McCain carried it, 52 percent to 47 percent.
Three Democrats Vote to Protect Themselves in 2012
The Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt looks at the Panda Pander, Steve Cohen’s words that heal, and the repeal vote:
Oh, sure, it’s only step one. But it’s a step that Obama and his allies did everything possible to prevent in 2010, and they fell short. The Hill reports, “The House voted on Wednesday to repeal the sweeping healthcare law enacted last year, as Republicans made good on a central campaign pledge and laid down the first major policy marker of their new majority. The party-line vote was 245-189, as three Democrats joined all 242 Republicans in supporting repeal.” Hey, Hill, if three Democrats joined the Republicans, it’s not really a party-line vote, is it?
B. Daniel Blatt is mildly disappointed that only a trio of Democrats backed repeal: “Well, fewer Democrats voted for repeal than I had anticipated. Gotta give theunpopular Minority Leader credit for holding her caucus together. Still, the Republican leadership did a lot better holding their caucus together for the repeal vote than their Democratic counterparts did with their caucus in the previous Congress: all 242 Republicans backed repeal.”
At the American Spectator, Phil Klein observes, “The House of Representatives voted 245 to 189 to repeal the national health care law. The legislation attracted more votes in the House than the initial passage of the law itself, which received 219. Just three Democrats, however, joined Republicans in voting for repeal — Dan Boren, Mike Ross and Mike McIntyre.”
Robert Stacy McCain looks closer at the final vote: “We’re waiting for Steve Cohen to denounce these Democrats as Nazi stooges. Maybe DailyKos can target them in next year’s primaries. Strangely enough, 10 Democrats who voted “no” on passage in 2009 also voted against repeal, which gives the GOP ammunition against them in the next election cycle: If you wouldn’t vote to pass it, why won’t you vote to repeal it?”
The dare tactic mentioned in yesterday’s Jolt is repeated: “’The American people deserve to see a vote in the Senate, and it ought not to be a place where legislation goes into a dead end,’ House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. Cantor noted that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had said the debate over repeal of healthcare would be a ‘political win’ for Democrats. ‘If so, let’s see the votes,’ Cantor said.” It will be amusing to see Senate Democrats insisting that public opinion is overwhelmingly on their side and insist that the legislation must not ever come to the Senate floor.
NRO’s Andrew Stiles offers late word of a pledge from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I hope the Senate will soon follow suit with a vote of its own. The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to vote on this bill. But I assure you, we will. We should repeal this law and focus on common sense steps that actually lower costs and encourage private sector job creation. That’s what Americans want. It’s the right thing to do.”
N.C. Democrat Mike McIntrye Should Expect Some Post-Lunch Indigestion
I am told that the Civitas Institute, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, will release a poll from the state’s 7th Congressional District today that will have incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre and GOP challenger Ilario Pantano ”very, very close.”
I expect it to hit right after lunch.
UPDATE: McIntyre 45, Pantano 46*.
One of my readers observes, “Internals are interesting – the respondent split is 28 percent Republican, 44 percent Democrat, 27 percent independent. It says 84 percent of Pantano voters are “certain” to vote, whereas only 57 percent of McIntyre voters are “certain” to vote. Pantano is also getting 11 percent of Democrats, while McIntyre is only getting 3 percent of Republicans. This is all in a district that has been Dem for a century. McIntyre won 69 percent to 31 percent in 2008.”
* I had these numbers reversed; it’s only a point, but I’ll bet its a psychological big deal to each campaign.
Looking Hard at Those North Carolina Democrats . . .
The three North Carolinians on my list of 99 – Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre, and Heath Shuler — are among the tougher calls; they’re all Democrats who have proven they can win in GOP-leaning districts in good Democratic years. Among their GOP challengers, only Ilario Pantano (running against McIntyre) stands out so far.
But there’s the possibility of a left-leaning third-party bid. Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen looks at Tuesday’s primary results and concludes:
Kissell received 63% and Shuler only 62% against candidates who did not have the resources to mount really serious campaigns.
The poor performances by Kissell and Shuler and where they did poorly – the most liberal parts of their districts – are a clear indication that there is significant unhappiness with them on the left. The question now is how that unhappiness will manifest itself this fall.
There are three things I can see happening with that group of voters in November:
1) They could just leave the House race part of their ballot blank when they go to vote.
2) They could support candidates of the SEIU backed ‘North Carolina First’ party, which will presumably provide voters a choice to the left of Kissell and Shuler.
3) They may have gotten the protest vote out of their systems in the primary and could still vote for Kissell and Shuler in the general election when the consequences of not doing so could result in the election of a conservative Republican to Congress.
It’s way too early to know how any of this will play itself out.
While I think Sen. Richard Burr, North Carolina Republican, is likely to win his reelection bid, he doesn’t seem like the type to have serious coattails for GOP candidates down-ticket.
Independents Prove to Be North Carolina Democrats’ Achilles’ Tarheel
I wonder if North Carolina House Democrats like Larry Kissell, Heath Shuler, and Mike McIntyre have seen this bit from Public Policy Polling:
This month we found [independents] planning to vote GOP by a 47-18 margin for the legislature and by a 46-19 margin in their Congressional races. You don’t have to go too far to find an explanation for why they’re leaning so heavily toward the Republicans. 63% of them disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing to just 33% approving and Bev Perdue’s numbers with are even worse as 56% give her poor marks to just 23% who think she’s doing a good job. When you have the two most important Democratic officials getting those kinds of reviews from independents, it doesn’t do much to help the cause of their party’s other candidates.
PPP notes that these Democrats have to change the subject from health care. But wait, I thought the American people would learn to love the health care bill after it passed…