Dead Dog Walking vs the Beaten Blue Dog Syndrome (learned fecklessness)
I am amazed that the House Democratic Caucus seems to be shying away from a showdown vote on extending tax cuts on income over 250,000. Not extending is good policy. A solid majority of respondents in polls oppose extending those cuts. The Democrats are heading for a beating and need to gamble. It seems like a football team whcih is 10 points behind with one minute left deciding to punt ... on third down.
Ah "team" that's the key word. They aren't senators, but representatives aren't offensive linemen either. I hit my forehead and felt like a fool when I read Atrios's explanation -- there are blue dogs in the caucus who know that they won't be re-elected. They aren't trying to keep their current job. They are trying to line up a new job as a lobbyist. Suddenly it all makes sense.
I guess that isn't the whole story.
Now there is also the matter of the beaten blue dog syndrome (learned fecklessness) the elite's inability to remember how untypically rich their social set is, the fact that the squeeky wheel gets the greece and rich people squeek (and hire hacks to squeek for them) and the idea that ideology is one dimensional so that districts which are conservative on social issues are assumed to be full of people who love tax cuts for the rich.