Caucus Raucus (or, House Democrats’ Sound and Fury)

December 9th, 2010

It is a tale told by an idiot,

Full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.” — Macbeth, act 5 scene 5

Dear House Democrats:

Nobody is happy about the President’s compromise,

But that doesn’t mean that opposing it is wise.

Maybe Obama should have consulted with House Dems,

But that doesn’t mean it should be Obama that the caucus condemns.

I don’t like the deal either, but I think it’s probably the best we can get

(You’re the ones that didn’t want to fight before the election, don’t forget).

Yes, I know you think you could have done better,

And I don’t have a problem with trying to make the deal better.

But the extreme anger at Obama in today’s caucus meeting

Is unproductive, unhelpful, and ultimately self-defeating.

Yes, extending Bush tax cuts for the rich is a bitter pill,

But if House Dems block the deal, Repubs won’t be blamed, you will.

That is not only the worst possible outcome,

It’s politically and electorally really dumb.

No, I don’t need reminding

That the resolution’s nonbinding.

The bill which the Senate will introduce

Will provide House Dems with an excuse.

You’ll vote for a slightly modified deal

After further Presidential appeal.

And all this sound and fury

Will end in a hurry.

Will it have the impact House Dems seek,

Or will it signify nothing but an expression of pique?

In the meantime it only serves to make Dems less united.

And Republicans even more delighted.

So next time, make your input, but try to be more constructive

If you don’t want it to be counterproductive.


Here’s The Last Word’s 12/09/10 evening panel discussion (kudos for providing our titular inspiration), including a statement of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada), the only Dem who voted against rejecting the package. Ralph Nader – you may be right that Obama and the Dems should have started the process earlier, but that’s not where we are now.

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