06/21/2007 05:52 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Why The Base Will Stay Unhappy With The Dems


In the scariest news for the Democratic candidates seeking their party's nomination in 2008, even rank-and-file Democrats are unhappy with Congress, which is narrowly controlled by their party. Only 27 percent of Democrats approve of the job Congress is doing, a statistically insignificant difference from the 25 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents who approve of Congress.

Overall, 63 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing, including 60 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Independents. Apparently, voters aren't happy with anyone in Washington these days.

I don't know if ordinary Democrats expect "results" in the sense of good bills passing.

But what they do expect is that bad bills aren't passed.

And things like passing the supplemental, the secret trade deal and so on, don't cut it.

If Pelosi insists on not doing a majority of a majority rule, and I understand that she had principled objections, then what will happen is only bills that the Blue Dogs can get behind, will pass. And since the blue dogs are pretty damn conservative, that means a pile of bills that are going to piss off the base.

Pander to conservatives, which is what the current "majority of the House" rule means, and liberals and progressives won't be happy.

And liberals and progressives are the majority of the base.

Pelosi and Reid can play their "bipartisanship" games all they want, they can be as "responsible" as they want, but they are pissing off the majority of their own party's supporters.

I guess the bet is that progressives and liberals can be as unhappy as they want, but even after they've seen that Dems don't pass meaningful lobbying reform, do go for secret free trade deals and do pass the supplemental -- well, it's not like they can vote Republican, can they?

May backfire, hard, if an independent like Bloomberg runs, though.

Real hard.