Nancy Pelosi does not care if the passage of ObamaCare costs her seats in the House come 2010. She has already done a head count. And she knows exactly how many Blue Dogs and other vulnerable Democrats in that chamber she can spare in 2010 to fully enact her and Barack Obama's radical agenda to quickly implement a government takeover the health care system.
Call them the Blue Dog "Forlorn Hope Brigade." The real Forlorn Hope Brigade was nicknamed after the French army pawns that would always be the first to charge into battle, with little to no hope of survival. They were in essence cannon fodder. But they were told to think of the glory. To know that their sacrifices were for a good cause.
And that's the position Pelosi and Obama have put the Blue Dogs into. They are now the sacrificial lambs by which to enact an agenda that is almost alien to the American people. They gave the radicals in the Democrat Party the numbers they needed to achieve a majority in 2006.
And if 30 or so of them must now be sacrificed to achieve that end, then that's just what Pelosi is going to do. They're expendable.
Only they have a choice. Which was undoubtedly why 40 Blue Dogs in June signed a letter stating they would not support a plan that was not "deficit-neutral." Barack Obama said that, too, only one hopes that the "Forlorn Hope" actually means it.
Testifying in July the director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Douglas Elmendorf, told the nation that the plan now proposed would not include "the fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount."
"On the contrary," he said, "the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care." Mr. Elmendorf said the cost curve was being raised instead of cut. Previously, Barack Obama and Democrat leaders had promised to cut the growth in spending of health care programs with their proposal.
In July, Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson explained the dynamics involved, "The Blue Dog Democrats realize that there is blood in the water. They are hearing from constituents angry over the $1.8 trillion deficit, the $13 trillion in committed bailouts, the failed, wasteful $787 billion 'stimulus', and the costly cap-and-tax. So, the Dogs know that their political necks are on the line."
Wilson added, "The American people do not want government-run socialized medicine. Right now, the Blue Dogs have enough signatories to kill the legislation or, at the very least, slow it down. And if they value their political survival, that's exactly what they will do."
They did slow it down, but now they know that will not save them in the end.
Recently, meeting with El Dorado Tea Party leader John Wilson, Congressman Mike Ross (AR-CD4), a Blue Dog leader, on Wednesday told his constituent that he did not think the final version of the bill would include the contentious public "option"—the mandatory government-run health care currently contained in the bill.
Which is funny. Because he already voted for the so-called public "option," in a compromise deal with lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Is he now saying he will not vote for the bill when it comes up again on the floor?
John Wilson does not know, because Ross did not say. "I certainly hope he's right, but what I still want to know is, will he support or oppose having a government-funded 'public option?'" Good question.
The fact is, Ross' silence on the matter is telling. He is, after all, the captain of the Blue Dog "Forlorn Hope Brigade." And now he is simply hoping that he is not going to be sacrificed when in his heart he knows the fateful decision has already been made.
By Robert Romano