Picture the scenario: The Democrats get their collective clocks cleaned in November, losing control of the House and seeing their Senate control down to perhaps one seat, if even that. With the knowledge that their "progressive" agenda is dead, for perhaps a generation, what do they do? Bow to the will of the American people and go out gracefully?
Mickey Kaus, blogger and renegade primary challenger to Senate Boxer, expounds on a different tactic the lame-ducks Dems might take:
Fred Barnes raises the possibility of a "mad duck" Congress, in which Democrats lose their majorities and their soon-to-be-ex Congressmen reconvene in December to pass all the most controversial parts of the Democratic agenda, including an immigration bill and a VAT, before they lose power. ... It seems implausible and paranoid, but how, exactly, could it be stopped?
The new laws would be hard to repeal while Obama is in office--if they could ever be repealed. (Once you legalize illegal immigrants, can you re-illegalize them again? I doubt it. The change seems irreversible.) ... The only sure solution to Mad Duckism that I can see is for the Republicans to not win too big, leaving at least a substantial number of Dems with something left to lose.
**Alert reader J. suggests "an all-out filibuster" would stop a mad-duck legislating binge. Not if the legislation can be put in the form of "reconciliation" bills--and I would think a VAT would qualify because of its obvious budgetary impact. ...
From the aforementioned Barnes article:
Should Democrats suffer a landslide defeat, their large majorities would still be in place for the lame-duck session. What would Democrats who'd been defeated for re-election have to lose by voting for a VAT? Not much.
If the Democrats voted for health-care reform, knowing it sealed their fate, do you think they really care who they take down with them as their careers go down in flames? Specifically, would they really be concerned about bringing the entire totality of the American people down with them, being that these very same people - rednecks, clingers, dumb-asses, and racists, all - cost them their cushy, powerful job?
Is it really unthinkable that they would glorify in a Hitler-esque bunker death, ordering the nation to be destroyed rather than be captured by the dreaded conservatives? Not based on their recent behavior...
Let's use the word "generation" again. Should they embark upon a "burn the village" lame-duck strategy, that's about how long it would take for the Democrats to regain the trust of the American people (or realistically, how long it would take them to forget their misdeeds while in power). Leave with dignity, perhaps it might take a mere few election cycles.
But how much grace and dignity have Obama, Pelosi, and Reid show since they were handed the reins of power? That's what worries me, and that's what makes the lame-duck mad-duck hypothesis so eerily plausible...