Friday, August 07, 2009

White House tries to restrain pro-reform groups from pressuring Blue Dog Dems

Republican mobs are preventing Democratic Members of Congress from holding town hall meetings with their constituents over the issue of health care. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has addressed the mob issue directly, which is good to see.

But the White House seems to be bringing concentrated pressure to bear against ... health care reform supporters who are trying to get Blue Dog Democrats to vote like Democrats on this critical policy issue (Rahm Emanuel warns liberal groups to stop ads Politico 08/06/09):

Moderate Democrats who are elected and re-elected in GOP-leaning districts and states earned their spurs in part by running away from liberal orthodoxy and are unlikely to be moved by outside progressive groups, goes the White House thinking.

It’s a delicate issue for Obama, who wants his own supporters to aggressively lobby their representatives during the August recess but also doesn’t want to create a backlash among centrist Democrats who relish their independence and the power that comes with being a swing vote.
Referring to the Politico article, Glenn Greenwald on Twitter writes, "WH was VERY serious about telling liberals not to criticize Blue Dogs - Rahm's rant was more extreme than article suggests."

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