The Campaign Spot

Leverage? What Leverage?

The House Democrats reject the tax deal in a non-binding caucus vote.

This is another sign of Obama’s diminished influence, leverage, and power after the midterms. Several dozen of these House Democrats are out of work in January (and presumably have no interest in being Obama appointees or ambassadors). The White House could threaten that the president won’t campaign for them come 2012, but let’s face it, that didn’t turn out to be so helpful for Creigh Deeds, Jon Corzine, Martha Coakley, or a slew of congressional Democrats this year. And many members of the Democratic caucus are in such safe seats, they’ll never need Obama to come campaign for them. They probably figure he’ll need their help by 2012.

I understand the White House line is that today’s rejection is part of the “normal process.” Really? Is it normal for a majority of the president’s own party to vote against deals he makes?

UPDATE: In light of this . . .

President Obama warned his fellow Democrats on Wednesday that they risk plunging the country into a double-dip recession if they reject his tax-cut deal with Republicans.

. . . we can only conclude one of two things:

A) A majority of congressional Democrats don’t believe the president when he says a particular act is necessary to prevent a double-dip recession. In short, most members of Obama’s own party no longer trust his judgment on economic issues.

B) A majority of congressional Democrats agree, but don’t care, because they’re willing to endure a double-dip recession if that’s what it takes to ensure the rich pay higher taxes.

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