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On Second Thought, Maybe Anonymity Would Be Better

So Yglesias is now shilling his "You might lose your House seat but make history" line over at the Daily Beast.  But how will those Democrats who waited until the last moment to collect the final payoff or who broke under pressure from their party (or both), before they voted yes on Obamacare be remembered even by sympathetic historians?  How do we remember Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky?  She was the House Democrat who buckled to the House Democratic leadership at the last moment and voted for Clinton's tax increase in return for a promise that Clinton would go to her district for a pr show.  She lost her House seat, but I don't think that historians who stoop to notice her will see real heroism. 

My impression is that she is remembered as a case study of how congressional leadership can intimidate and bribe weak-willed caucus members into politically suicidal acts.  So perhaps the wavering House Democrats face a more complicated choice than they might assume.  If they switch at the last moment, putting aside their principles (if they have any) and the will of their constituencies, they might well get a place in history.  But it might not be the place in history that Yglesias is offering.  They might instead, get the place in history that they deserve.

Categories > Politics

Discussions - 2 Comments

Is there precedent for such rhetoric? It is Progressivism at its most extreme, is it not? Aren't they suggesting that History/a stage of history can trump natural rights-consent of the governed? It is different from the debates over slavery, westward expansion, the acquisition of the Philippines, the Depression, and so on. Men knew they might lose their seats over a principle, but that just meant they had to outsmart their opponents and persuade their constituents. This crew seems to fear the people. If they don't, they would be glad to carry the fight into the November elections.

This is a fine post, Pete. And good addendum from Ken, too. Yup. That's the point to be made . . . but they don't so much "fear" the people as they hold them in contempt.

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