I knew it would have to happen soon. Red state democrats are in big trouble if they can't portray themselves as fiscal conservatives who are concerned about job creation and lowering the deficit. I figured they'd wait until after health care legislation was voted on to start their campaigning. Apparently, they don't feel they have that luxury, which could be indicative of a few positive signs.
First, independent and moderate voters are concerned about the economy and jobs and the deficit, and that is finally beginning to take hold in Washington.
Secondly, sending a letter to Reid might have worked in the past to show that Senators support voters concerns, but with an electorate that has taken notice of beltway tactics, letters alone will not be enough to get reelected. Voters want to see actions backing up rhetoric, and letters are simply rhetoric in written form.
Here's what I think they're up to with this letter. Second stimulus talk keeps going in economic circles and I'm guessing this letter is showing Reid that these Senators have no intention of passing a second stimulus. Reid understands these Senators need more than letters to show they're constituents they're fiscally responsible, they need the voting record to back it up.
Now that I've seen the game played, I'm guessing that is exactly what the democrats and moderates are hoping for. The chance to vote NO on legislation that would give them concrete arguments to show their fiscally conservative viewpoint. It's leverage. They're saying, look, we can go for Health care, but we need legislation on the floor to vote NO on in order for us to have action to point to in our campaigns. I'll be watching closely to see how that plays out. I won't be one bit surprised if second stimulus legislation or cap and trade is brought to the floor and fails...however, Reid understands Pelosi will take the heat by first bringing the stimulus legislation in the House, and if it doesn't pass the house, he's off the hook anyway.