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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

44

That's how many House Democrats voted against President Obama's climate change bill late Friday night.

The initial reporting and analysis cast the nearly four dozen Democratic defectors as evidence of the first stirrings of intraparty revolt against the administration's agenda.

Wrote the Wall Street Journal: "As Congress tackles President Barack Obama's top two domestic priorities -- climate change and health care -- he faces some of his most serious challenges from fellow Democrats."

And, that's all true -- to a point. There is considerable trepidation among some elements of the Democratic Party -- particularly those members who sit in ultra competitive districts -- that Obama's ambitious (and progressive) agenda could jeopardize their chances at reelection in 2010.

Nearly three-quarters of the 44 who opposed the bill either are on House Republicans' target list or are running for statewide office in a conservative leaning state in 2010 -- a classic bifurcation between those who are on the ballot in a midterm election and a president who doesn't stand in front of voters for another three plus years.

But, a deeper look at the list also suggests that the White House could well have driven their vote total on the bill higher if they absolutely needed to as a number (10-ish) of those who voted against the legislation could have been cajoled -- or coerced -- into casting a "yea" rather than a "nay" if it was absolutely necessary.

The real test of whether a revolt is happening in the House will come when -- and if -- the Senate passes a bill and a conference committee puts out a final version of the bill to be voted on later this summer or in the fall.

The White House will be looking for as big a victory as they can get on that final passage vote and will lean on any and all on-the-fence members to vote for the measure. If 44 Democrats vote against that legislation, then talk of the diminution of Obama's political power will begin in earnest.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 29, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

suesher:

I am not "wasting space", so I can hardly answer "why". Next question.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

You said it well, Chris:
think anyone who dropped in and read the comments here and was asked "who are the loonies?" would unhesitatingly answer:

"that guy who keeps saying Obama wasn't born here, and that other guy who keeps making fun of his name"

Posted by: chrisfox8

Jake D - WHY ARE YOU WASTING SPACE???

Posted by: suesher | June 30, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk:

Are you SURE that Obama was born in Hawaii?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

In the law, silence is not consent. The only people necessary for any "conspiracy" are already dead. If his mother had decided to register his out-of-State birth in Hawaii, that explains the newspaper announcement too. I doubt that the Republican Governor has seen the LONG FORM birth certificate.

Anyone else besides Hawaiiexpat or margaretmeyers?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

malis:

If you care to point out what you think is "irrational" about my questions in this regard, I would love to clear up any misunderstanding.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Hawaiiexpat:

I have read FactCheck.org, including the part at the very end where they request the LONG FORM but have not heard any response -- Obama could very easily request that released -- instead he is fighting to prevent any lawsuit from proceeding forward to the discovery stage. I have provided you with a link to an actual LONG FORM -- there are more posted on the Internets -- but you don't want to answer that question. So, this will be the last question I answer of yours: I have no idea why Republicans are not waiving their LONG FORMS around -- I am registered Independent -- my best guess is they don't want to be called "racists" for simply asking the question. Maybe they've bought into the MSM spin. I'm an intelligent man, but I cannot speculate on that.

Anyone else who wants to discuss (meaning answering my questions too) in a civil manner, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

-----------------

Let me try again, for the mentally impaired.

1. Per State of Hawaii Department of Health policy, when you are born in Hawaii and subsequently request a birth certificate, you get the normal form. The form produced by the Obama campaign. The form I have, that my parents both have, that Democrats and Republicans who are born in Hawaii have. That's the STATE policy, not Obama policy. The state that is currently under a REPUBLICAN Governor. Heck, you can't even get Obama haters on these comment threads (Zouk?) to back you.

2. Where is the State of Hawaii Republican Party chairman's long form all over Fox News? Why hasn't the REPUBLICAN Governor embraced the ignorant protestations of you out-of-state dumb haole birthers.

3. Why - unanswered by you - is there a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser printed (and on microfiche) FROM 1961?

Honestly, that you feel no sense of self-awareness over your ignorant position tells us all everything we all need to know about your credibility.

Buy some Alcoa stock, then make yourself a tin foil hat if you believe way-out wingnut conspiracy theories like the birthers.

Conspirators (if what you say is true).

1. The sitting Governor of the State of Hawaii.

2. Literally hundreds of State Department of Health employees with access to "real" records.

3. The Honolulu Advertiser (but the conspirators were working at the paper back in 1961 and have probably retired or died by now, but they were someone in on it).

4. (By their silence) All of the Republicans in Hawaii who aren't on Fox "News" parading their "long form".

5. The various sites such as Factcheck.org.

versus

You and your band of nut-job conspiracy theorists.

That's just swell.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

For the record, there are over 6,200 hits on images.google under the following search: Hawaii "long form" birth certificate

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Hawaiiexpat:

I have read FactCheck.org, including the part at the very end where they request the LONG FORM but have not heard any response -- Obama could very easily request that released -- instead he is fighting to prevent any lawsuit from proceeding forward to the discovery stage. I have provided you with a link to an actual LONG FORM -- there are more posted on the Internets -- but you don't want to answer that question. So, this will be the last question I answer of yours: I have no idea why Republicans are not waiving their LONG FORMS around -- I am registered Independent -- my best guess is they don't want to be called "racists" for simply asking the question. Maybe they've bought into the MSM spin. I'm an intelligent man, but I cannot speculate on that.

Anyone else who wants to discuss (meaning answering my questions too) in a civil manner, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse


I couldn't care less if you are from the State, and unless you have the phone number of the doctor who delivered Barack Obama, that's irrelevant to the question. Obviously, LONG FORM birth certificates are available (see link I provided). It doesn't matter if Republicans in the State haven't brought it up. The truth is the truth regardless of who was asking about it. I am not claiming that he wasn't born in Hawaii. I am just saying that he hasn't proven it, and he could easily request the LONG FORM released. What are you not understanding about my position?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse


---------------------------

Did you even read the link I provided which actually details State of Hawaii Department of Health (run by a REPUBLICAN Governor) rules. Residents like myself, Barack Obama, or even any REPUBLICAN born in Hawaii ONLY get the "short form". THAT'S what you get when you request a birth certificate.

AGAIN - If the "long form" were just a request away, where are all the REPUBLICANS FROM HAWAII parading their "long forms" all over Fox News. There are none. Why? When you ask for a birth certificate, you get the normal form - what you wingnuts have deemed the "short form".

The "short form" is very much like - in terms of information - the birth certificate of my kid brother, born in Ephrata, Washington. I suspect, it's like the birth certificate of every other state in the union. So, the "short form" is best described as the "normal, regular, and publicly-accepted" form of birth certificate.

Why hasn't the REPUBLICAN Governor of Hawaii joined your wingnut campaign? Why aren't there hundreds or thousands of Republicans born in Hawaii parading their "long form" all over Fox News? Because State of Hawaii Department of Health policy is to give you the "normal, regular, and publicly-accepted" form of birth certificate when you request it. This is the form produced by the Obama campaign and which individuals born in get for any and all purposes.

Wake the heck up.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 30, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Would someone please lift the arm on Jacked? His record is skipping again and I'm tired of hearing it over and over.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | June 30, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I also "get it" that short forms are adequate for every other purpose. You haven't answered my questions to you.

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less if you are from the State, and unless you have the phone number of the doctor who delivered Barack Obama, that's irrelevant to the question. Obviously, LONG FORM birth certificates are available (see link I provided). It doesn't matter if Republicans in the State haven't brought it up. The truth is the truth regardless of who was asking about it. I am not claiming that he wasn't born in Hawaii. I am just saying that he hasn't proven it, and he could easily request the LONG FORM released. What are you not understanding about my position?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Hawaiiexpat:

As I understand the law at the time, infants born outside the State could be registered in State after the fact. Did you see the link I provided to a LONG FORM birth certificate?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

--------------

I was born in 1958. In the state. The "short form" is the form you get when you get a birth certificate. Get it? The Honolulu Advertiser had an announcement of the birth which KITV ran a story on - with copy of the microfiche (unless you believe that in 1961, someone *knew* that Obama would be President and planted the announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser )

I am telling you as a resident of the state, who still owns a townhome in Waipahu.

Again, it's telling - and you refuse to address this - that you wingnut "birthers" are getting zero support from Republicans IN HAWAII - including the sitting Governor. Their silence is screaming about the ignorance of your position...yet you uninformed haole conservatives keep wanting to make yourself look stupid.

I've given you the phone number of my hospital of birth and things that are not really google-able to prove that I'm from there. I'm telling you that the short form is how it is as a resident of Hawaii. You have no support from the Governor of Hawaii, who's a Republican.

At what point do you look at the mirror and ask yourself: "Hey, am I (JakeD) as much of an ignorant wingnut as my positions make me out to be."

Factcheck.org: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 30, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Hawaiiexpat:

As I understand the law at the time, infants born outside the State could be registered in State after the fact. Did you see the link I provided to a LONG FORM birth certificate?

Posted by: JakeD | June 30, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse


For the record, I've never said "Obama wasn't born here [in the United States]" but rather questioned that proposition -- what I have said is that he hasn't proven that he was born here -- that may sound like a distinction without a difference to Obamaniacs, but it's not. Here's a copy of a LONG FORM birth certificate from Hawaii (circa. 1963) to see how simple it would be to get the information requested:

http://snarkybytes.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hawaii-birth-certificate-1963.jpg

Wouldn't it be funny if Obama really wasn't born in the U.S.?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

---------------------------------

I can't freaking stand it any more. You "birthers" are m*orons.

I'm probably the only guy here who's actually from Hawaii. I was born at Wahiawa General Hospital and can describe it in ways you can't look up on-line. In fact, call the switchboard at (808) 621-8411 and find an old-timer (as I'm old) and confirm that the first Hawaiian Bank is (was?) across the street, that back in the 60s, the Coronet store was 2 blocks down California Avenue and the sale dept was in the downstairs level (only two levels of that old store, street and basement).

OK, now that I have your attention, Jake D. Let's clear this once and for all. The "short form" birth certificate that you'all decry is the form you get when you request one from the state. I know. I've gotten that exact form. You can't get the long form - which in and of itself - isn't the official state birth certificate.

Do you hear of any Republicans FROM HAWAII on your side? The freaking GOVERNOR of Hawaii is a Republican. You'd think all of the Republicans of Hawaii would be on TV parading their "long forms" all over Fox news, right? Well where are they?

The only guys moaning about the "long forms" are idio*tic haole conservatives who wouldn't know their @ss from a hole in the ground.

Grow the heck up and try living a fact-based life for a change.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | June 30, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

You weren't away from here long enough to play any golf.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

No, it's not as I went sailing yesterday and golfing this morning.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Of course you won't go away, Jake, bothering people on blogs is your whole "life."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jake, take this birth certificate crap and shove it back up where you got it. Nobody cares, nobody believes it. Just shut up and go the hell away, gadfly.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

CF8, well, they guy how keeps telling us we're all being attacked by invisible energy weapons might also make the list.

But per your main point, I'll jsut repeat what I said on another thread earlier today:

What JakeD, Kouk, and the rest Wacky Acolytes are doing—through fleeing the field of rational discourse and continuing to press forward their fictional stories—is simply demonstrating the utter incoherence, fearful fanatical craziness, and absolute irrelevance of that tiny intense class of fantasists who find what meaning in life they can, only in attacking what they oppose.

Posted by: malis | June 29, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I've never said "Obama wasn't born here [in the United States]" but rather questioned that proposition -- what I have said is that he hasn't proven that he was born here -- that may sound like a distinction without a difference to Obamaniacs, but it's not. Here's a copy of a LONG FORM birth certificate from Hawaii (circa. 1963) to see how simple it would be to get the information requested:

http://snarkybytes.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hawaii-birth-certificate-1963.jpg

Wouldn't it be funny if Obama really wasn't born in the U.S.?

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I think anyone who dropped in and read the comments here and was asked "who are the loonies?" would unhesitatingly answer:

"that guy who keeps saying Obama wasn't born here, and that other guy who keeps making fun of his name"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I heard something very interesting this weekend. It is believed that if President Obama was caught walking on the Potomac river the news headlines the next day would be, "Obama walking across the Potomac because he can't swim."

Posted by: mcgeenate | June 29, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

And so it begins. the long slide down for the messiah. no longer walking on water, supported by sycophant press and loony leftist moonbats. all the spending, the weakness, the indecision, the apologies, the obvious ineptitude and abrasive left turn have alienated the middle.

Yeah, Obambis OK but his policies are wacked. the long slide toward Carterism is beginning now and will only result in malaise - the typical outcome of Lib policies.

Stimulus that doesn't stimulate, jobs soaring over the 9% threshold promised, Gitmo now to stay open under a new name, spending at a world record mountain, taxes heading up for all, big government grabbing up everything in sight, corruption running rampant in the Lib leadership, all that hope and change turned right into business as usual.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The thing about this is that Senators are much less vulnerable to a one issue attack like Congressmen and women. The 44 aren't that significant except that it will make the Senate writers step back a bit and pass a moderate version of the cap and trade bill.

On a larger point I think this shows the growing irrelevance of the GOP as an opposition to the Democrats in Washington. The president has basically had a free ticket for his legislative agenda and it took a significant amount of DEMOCRATS to oppose him to throw a roadblock in his agenda (and it still passed).
If the democrats can work out a settlement on this and the healthcare reform bill then they will be primed for the mid-term election because they can make the argument that they can police themselves and that the GOP minority basically only acts as obstructionists.

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 29, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What probonogeek said.

Also note that some of the Democrats voted against it because they wanted an even stronger bill.

Posted by: nodebris | June 29, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Nearly three-quarters of the 44 who opposed the bill either are on House Republicans' target list or are running for statewide office in a conservative leaning state in 2010 -- a classic bifurcation between those who are on the ballot in a midterm election and a president who doesn't stand in front of voters for another three plus years.

Translation - no one who is responsible for anything wants this garbage.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

ditto drindl re: picture.

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 29, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This cannot be? We voted for change! 20% of the Dems in Congress are acting like Republicans?! Dems are imbued all virtues good and holy! It cannot be!

Posted by: gbooksdc | June 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

full moon tonight?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 29, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is Nature's Way of saying we should just go extinct and let the natural world re-evolve.

Without immediate action the world will be a staggering nine degrees hotter by the end of the century; New Hampshire will have the climate of North Carolina. rising sea levels will claim hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, much of the south will be close to uninhabitable.

We won't have to worry about future generations hating us for our cowardice in the face of the deniers of science .. they'll be too busy trying to survive in a world no longer hospitable to human life.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 29, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This is the meme you will keep hearing, the crazy conspiracy of the right --

"maybe smart, maybe just another knife in the back of the representative government established by the founders."

This is what these eliminationist loonies actually beleive -- that Obama is destroying Constitutional government, and they are going to have to use their guns to stop him. I am hearing it on all kinds of media now. It's really creepy and insane.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

CC, you fail to mention a significant point:

"Despite promises that Republicans would rally against the bill, several members defected to support it, including Reps. Dave Reichart (R-WA), Mike Castle (R-DE), Mary Bono Mack, Mark Kirk (R-IL), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and John McHugh (R-NY). 44 Democrats voted against the legislation. Reps. John Lewis (D-GA) and Pat Kennedy (D-RI) both returned to the floor for the first time after tending to significant health issues to support the legislation.'


Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"the Democrats are smart enough to organize their votes such that vulnerable seats get to vote against legislation that might expose them to attack"

maybe smart, maybe just another knife in the back of the representative government established by the founders.

Posted by: leapin | June 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

BTw, Chris Cilizza -- much better picture of you. Much.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Another reason Obama's base is rapidly becoming disillusioned and bitterly disappointed:


POTUS CO-OPTED INTO BECOMING ENABLER-IN-CHIEF FOR SECRETIVE MULTI-AGENCY VIGILANTE 'GESTAPO'

• Bush-legacy extrajudicial targeting/punishment network makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots -- violating civil and human rights.

• Is Team Obama unaware, naive -- or purposely misled by Bush holdovers?


President Obama is being co-opted into becoming the enabler of a federally-funded and overseen "multi-agency coordination action" program of nationwide extrajudicial targeting and punishment...

...a vigilante Gestapo that is misusing federally-funded volunteer programs to subvert the rule of law -- deploying a civilian vigilante army that covertly implants GPS tracking devices to stalk, persecute, vandalize and harass unjustly targeted citizens and their families.

This secretive multi-agency "program" also misuses government surveillance operations to censor, and maliciously tamper with, the telecommunications of many thousands of the unjustly targeted.

An array of "programs of personal financial destruction" decimates the finances of "target" families -- contributing to economic distress. And microwave "directed energy weapons" are being used to degrade their very lives -- a gross violation of human rights, government-enabled crimes against humanity.

And no authorities will investigate -- invoking the "Gulag" tactic of dismissing those who seek justice as "delusional."

Please, Team Obama: Wake up and smell the police state that is co-opting your administration and making POTUS a pitchman and enabler for an American Gestapo.


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 29, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Come now Chris.. you can give more context than that. Most of the Democratic "no" votes came in after passage was assured, which suggests not that some Democrats are turning against the WH, but that the Democrats are smart enough to organize their votes such that vulnerable seats get to vote against legislation that might expose them to attack. It will be no different come final passage.

This is a tough issue in which compromise is key... if the WH could pull huge margins then it would have been resolved years ago. It's a testament to the political will of the WH that it's even got this far. But for something as contentious as climate change, a win is a win.

Posted by: probonogeek | June 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I see the usual wh*res and lackeys for the extraction industry are here. What a surprise.

Posted by: drindl | June 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

This was just the initial skirmish--it's winning the war that counts. A couple of months ago, 'those in the know' were saying that Cap & Trade was dead. So, let's hold off a while on premature obituaries of prognostications, shall we?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | June 29, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The bill that the US house passed on Friday should have failed. At least there were 44 smart democrats. The others were just acting like sheep.

Cap or Trade or not, it was a bad bill and I hope the Senate replaces it with what Utah passed last year.

In Utah, we can pass a bill that works with less than 1300 lines, not pages and doesn't cost $800 Billion.

http://www.le.utah.gov/UtahCode/getCodeSection?code=54-17-602

The bill that was passed:
Energy Resource and Carbon Emission Reduction Initiative
http://le.utah.gov/~2008/bills/sbillenr/sb0202.htm

"To the extent that it is cost effective to do so, beginning in 2025 the annual retail electric sales in this nation of each electrical corporation shall consist of qualifying electricity or renewable energy certificates in an amount equal to at least 20% of adjusted retail electric sales."

The bill passed with no negative votes - democrats or republicans.
Does it work? See:
http://geology.utah.gov/emp/energydata/statistics/renewables6.0/T6.7.xls
_________________________________________

Posted by: Utah1 | June 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

If 44 Democrats (out of 59-60 in the Senate) vote against Trade & Cap, it will be a virtual coup d'état. I'd be happy with 12.

Posted by: JakeD | June 29, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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