The National Republican Senatorial Committee is crowing this morning over a pair of instances in which California’s Democratic U.S. Senators seem to have parted ways on the best path forward in Congress.
First the NRSC cites a San Francisco Chronicle article in which Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says it’s time to “go slow on health care. People do not understand it. I t is so big it’s beyond their comprehension. She also tells the Chron that climate-change legislation is basically dead: “A large cap-and-trade bill isn’t going to go ahead at this time.”
Of course, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is a leader in shepherding that climate-change legislation, and has been an outspoken advocate of even stronger health-care reform than the Senate has proposed.
Then the NRSC turns to Politico, where Feinstein repeats her claim that the climate-change bill is dead and digs deeper into health-care reform: “In my view, when people are earning, when their home is secure, when their children are going to school and they’re relatively satisfied with their life, then [when] there’s a problem like health care, they want it solved. It doesn’t threaten them. The size of this bill threatens them, and that’s one of the problems that has to be straightened out.”
All to Republicans’ liking.
“Evidently Dianne Feinstein understands that Massachusetts was a wake-up call for the Democrats, and Feinstein realizes that Californians don’t want a burdensome cap-and-tax bill or massive health care plan that has been crafted behind closed doors,” NRSC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson Marchand said. “So why has Feinstein’s California colleague, Barbara Boxer, failed to come to this same conclusion?”
“The contrast between Feinstein and Boxer’s positions on these critical issues simply underscores why Barbara Boxer is facing the toughest re-election battle of her life. Californians want Senators who will listen to them – not another partisan rubber stamp for Harry Reid and President Obama’s unpopular agenda in Washington,” Marchand said.
Lots of Democrats seem to believe Massachusetts was a wake-up call, but one that means Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration must stop striving for a veneer of bipartisanship, take off the gloves and start accomplishing their agenda despite GOP obstructionism, so that they don’t go into November’s midterms looking like milquetoast hand-wringers who trade away core principles or just give up entirely at the drop of a Republican hat. Not too many of those Democrats seem to be in Congress, however.
As for what Massachusetts’ election does or doesn’t mean for Boxer, see my article today.