Did Nancy Pelosi single-handedly doom the Democrat’s majority in the House come election day 2010? If this scenario plays out in enough districts, she very well may have.
New Mexico Democrat Harry Teague’s decision to vote in favor of cap-and-trade energy legislation has guaranteed that he’ll be facing a frontline Republican opponent in 2010.
Former New Mexico congressman Steve Pearce told POLITICO today that he is running for his old House seat – primarily because of Teague’s vote on the energy bill. Pearce had been preparing to run for governor, but said Teague’s vote forced him to rethink his priorities.
“The cap-and-trade vote [from Teague] is the thing that put my decision over the hump,” Pearce said in an interview with POLITICO. “I was absolutely stunned over his vote. When he made the cap-and-trade vote, the hostility in the district was reflected in the way we feel out here. There are 23,000 statewide jobs in the oil and gas industry – and if this bill is passed, this will kill many of those jobs.”
It isn’t just the announcement of a first-rate challenger – it is the reception Teague got over the 4th of July holiday from constituents back in the district. This is the stuff that makes dream political advertisements (or nightmares if you are Teague):
When pressed about whether [Teague] had read and understood all 1,300 pages of the bill and all the provisions it contained, he said, “I have staff people to do that for me.” When asked why he would vote for a bill that would tax every American an additional $3,000-plus a year, he answered, “It is really only about the amount of a postage stamp.”
The citizens present seemed to have difficulty getting their arms around that answer.
Well, sure. If your postage stamp costs $3,000 and you’ve just lost your energy sector job.
If enough Democrats faced this kind of reception back home, there will be a massive backlash against this bill in the Senate. We can but hope.
I remember reading something one worried Democrat said right after Pelosi forced the vote on the Crap and Tax bill. He was worried that a lot of Democrats had walked the plank for something that would die in the Senate, anyway. This story makes that even more likely.
This could well have been a suicide pact for House Democrats. How’s that for hope and change?