Congressional Democrats have a habit of talking tough about what they're going to do to help the nation, only to back down and do exactly what they've said is the wrong thing for America.
Remember in 2006 when Democrats declared they wouldn't keep passing money for the Iraq War? I remember when "no blank check" was the rally cry. Then President Bush stared them down.
Democrats this time around clearly stated that the Obama McConnell deal wouldn't be brought to the floor, but there are signs the same back down strategy is afoot.
Are the leaders reliving a time when you could talk tough and just by doing so things changed?
When was that time?
Are the Democratic leaders actually trying to lead a caucus that won't follow?
or Are they leading a willing caucus but can't follow through with their threats because they're not committed enough? Meaning they need to be willing to figuratively "blow something up"?
Republicans are willing to blow up anything politically for their principles. Tax Cuts. War in Iraq. You name it. They might not win the next election. They might bankrupt the country. They might get exposed as hypocrites with the growing debt, and plain wrong with the slow job creation through the last decade of Republican policies.
But Democrats weren't willing to cut off funding for the troops and force an end to the War in Iraq. The Republicans were willing to risk chaos, public opinion, the 2006 and 2008 elections, whatever for their War policy.
Likewise in 2010, Republicans will accept a tax increase on everyone. And a political statelmate where potentially the economy is ruined, as long as Democrats get blamed.
Democrats doing the logical thing, blink everytime and say "this is crazy".
When you add focus groups, poll tested phrases, and other social science techniques, it is frightening to think how far the Republicans can get with this approach.
That's why on a really important issue, Democrats need to go 100% for the proper policy and be willing to do whatever it takes to win. Otherwise, the (political) terrorists win.