What's the deal, Kay?

We heard about this last week, but now more details are leaking out.

A bloc of Senate Democratic moderates is quietly maneuvering to keep open the option of vetoing two of President Barack Obama's most ambitious agenda items this year - climate change and health care reform.

Eight Democrats who want to water down new climate change legislation have already joined with Republicans and signed a letter opposing any attempt to use fast-track budget rules to prevent filibusters. Many of the same Democrats also oppose using those budget rules to prevent filibusters of health care legislation.

MSNBC says you're one of the obstructionists, Senator Hagan. So let's hear it straight. Are you going to oppose President Obama on climate change and health care?

You were more than willing to use BlueNC to help get yourself elected. At least show us the respect of giving a straight answer.


Blue dog sh*t

Just to make my own position crystal clear, I do not recall seeing "Blue Dog" next to your name on my ballot last November.

We elected you to be the Democratic US Senator representing North Carolina, working for the people of our state. We did not elect you to be another Liddy Dole, who managed to put her own political maneuvering in the GOP ahead of her commitments to North Carolina at every turn.

Please steer clear of Bayh's misguided obstructionist faction. No good will come of it ... either for you or for North Carolina.

Sorry James,

I didn't see that you had already posted this.

Kay Hagan has voted with Obama every single vote so far

Maybe you can wait until she does something wrong?

We all knew she wasn't a hard left liberal, so she can't go back on a promise she quite frankly never made.

My understanding is that they aren't trying to block the legislation, just how it is being pushed through the Senate. By attaching it to the budget Dems only need 50 votes instead needing the 60 required for non-budgetary legislation. I believe they want climate change and health care reform legislation to be presented as stand alone legislation and to be subject to the 60 vote passage rule. They want a say in how the legislation is crafted.

They want to filibuster? Sure, let them filibuster, but somebody needs to force Harry Reid to grow a pair and actually make them filibuster. Make them stand up and talk - no bathroom breaks, no stopping, no passing off to another Senator. Make them go to the mattresses. Make them do it.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Waiting for Godot

It has been my experience that waiting for someone to do something wrong has been a core miscalculation in almost every social, judicial, medical, economic, and political problem we have.

Prevention is the most effective tool for the avoidance of disaster. And preventing Senator Hagan from obstructing the President's agenda seems well worth the effort.


PS You're take on this particular issue is correct, but that doesn't make her actions any more tolerable, in my view.

Sorry I didn't get back to this last night

A friend broke her hand and I had to run out and get her 9 year old off the bus and help her study for a big social studies test. :D

I agree completely that prevention is usually the most effective tool to avoid disaster. I think if this group starts to vote as a block then we can rant, rave and prod Kay all we want.

I think this group is more like Ellen Tausher's New Democrats group instead of the Blue Dogs. If that's the case, the changes the New Dems made to the mortgage/foreclosure/bankruptcy legislation was acceptable to Brad Miller, so maybe this isn't as bad as it initially sounds.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Kay's response

“North Carolinians elected me in November to stand up for their interests, not solely for my party’s interests. Working with the Moderate Dems, I look forward to finding common-sense solutions to the greatest challenges we face and breaking the political gridlock that, for too long, has characterized politics-as-usual in Washington. ”

Bob Etheridge is a moderate Dem and he just came out in support of President Obama's budget.

Also, this group meets every other Tuesday and they met today. Mark your calendars. You know what our action plans will be every other Monday, right?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

As much as I like Senator Hagan

...this communication leaves a lot to be desired.

Colleen F., rewrite your press release. If you want to break partisan gridlock, filibusters are a good place to start.

That said, once Al Franken is seated, we can take a look at this 60 vote stuff again and try to flip a Republican like former Sen. Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell did to the Dems back in the 90s.


I can't say that I "like" this,

but I definitely don't like an Executive with too much influence over Congress, either.

As Betsy said, I think we should wait and see how this shapes the legislation that makes it out of Congress for the President to sign (or veto). President Obama has a lot of good ideas, but he's also made a few (I believe) poor choices for leadership positions in his administration.

We've seen what an all-powerful President with unwise and myopic advisers can do, and it ain't pretty.

That's a good point, Steve

That said, the two issues that this coalition has organized itself around initially - climate change and health care - have ZERO chance of making it through a Senate drunk on the whine of filibustering.


There are a lot of risks associated with C&T for sure, and it could turn out all wrong. Then again there are a lot of risks associated with every possible course of action. I've made my peace with the idea that there is less risk in moving forward with something than in sitting back (as Larry Kissell has been doing lately) and holding out for the perfect solution to problems that have been decades in the making.

One way or another Cap & Trade will raise the price of carbon-based everything. All by itself, it will make solar nearly price competitive (assuming we're smart enough to jump start big time solar manufacturing in the US) - and that has to be a good thing. I don't care if the giant German companies swoop in to the US and start manufacturing here ... just as long as someone does it.

The more I read about this the more I learn

Kay as with most of the Conservative Dems in this group are from purple states and imo are trying to walk that yellow line down the middle of the road.

Here in our state, we really need to watch our Dems and instead of acting like a kicked ant hill actually look at ways to be more influential.

One lesson I've learned is that I tend to have knee-jerk reactions to this kind of news when I should just stfu! So that's what I'll do along with a lot more reading and watching.

Maybe one way to be influential

is to call BS when we smell it.

I don't think Kay's doing this as a political ploy. I take it on face value that she means what she says in her press releases. I just think she's terribly misguided. Aligning with a coalition like this is dumb, especially on critical issues like climate change and health care. The loss of freedom and independence it costs is nowhere near worth whatever small negotiating strength is gained.

Blue Dogs in the House. Blue Cats in the Senate. It's all a bunch of crap. Why can't they just vote their consciences without selling their souls to faction? Especially a faction headed by Senator Bayh. Betsy and I don't agree on much, but with both agree he's nowhere near the smartest knife in the drawer.


Here's another way of thinking about this

Obama is wily. Maybe these conserv-a-dems are just pawns to set up and make the center seem like the new right, completely outflanking the party of "no".

Oh I love this!

I am going to use this. I don't know when, but I'm sure this weekend I will find a chance to use this.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I know this sounded harsh

and it is, because I'm irrationally mad. I'm mad at the choice I am anticipating her making on two important issues. I want to know if she's going to support Obama's plans for climate change and health care.

Some of those plans can be put into place procedurally, without requiring a "filibuster-able" vote on the floor (I think I have this right). I'm not sure where Kay stands on that either yet.


PS Betsy has a good point about the need to have real filibusters. It would be like laying siege these days.

Not too worried

The "Head Organizer" behind this effort is Senator Bayh. Evan Bayh has declared the creation of this new caucus 4 times since December. So far it has resulted in zero policy changes. If it was being organized by someone capable and not full of hot air it would be a lot more of a concern.

Kay is her own woman, and isn't going to be pulled around by a lightweight fool like Evan Bayh.

"Keep the Faith"

I hope you're right

those are the first encouraging words I've heard. So why even let your name be associated with this?

Bayh is acting like a sore looser

after all he was a two time looser this round, loosing both the bid for President and passed up as Veep. What else could he do....bless his heart, he announced this on Morning Joe.

I dont' see the point in getting upset

until something actually happens. There are enough things actually happening that we can be pissed off about. Save this one for when it actually happens.

Did I say Blue Dawg in relation to Kay -- day or so ago?

Guess I did call it about right. Why Hagan would affiliate with Bayh instead of holding her own counsel, I cannot fathom, unless she is just a joiner. Agree we got to see what she does, but as others said, it dont bode well. And she already has a letter from me on this subject - might want to send one yourselves.



Support the President's Budget

There has been an impressive amount accomplished. I am suspicious of attempts to slow things down for several reasons:

1- there are a lot of scary economic consequences of stagnating as the folks in Congress like to hesitate.

2- the economy affects everyone, even the little people. this budget is going to happen, and will help us faster, if it passes faster.

3- the opponents are afraid of government being accused of being tax and spend. Well listen, that is over. not an effective accusation- the republican party did their share of spending and not enough taxing, and not enough oversight. So lets give a few years of tax and spend and see what happens.

I say we write to Senator Hagan and let her know she should not be afraid of the folks who elected her. And we are the same ones who support the Budget.


Who is Senator Hagan keeping company

Comments on MSNBC


Evan Bayh's 'common sense solutions':

Supporting the Iraq War
Supporting war with Iran (Lieberman-Kyl)
Supporting Tax Cuts for the Rich
Supporting 'Free Trade' (sic)
Supporting 'De-Regulation'

Supporting the 'Democratic Leadership conference',
America's OWN 'AXIS OF EVIL'

Great Job, Evan
Thaink that'll get you on TV a little more ?
If not, it'll increase your corporate campaign contributions



Hagan's drift to the right

Many great points here, thanks. When I heard about the Bayh chumminess I was very disappointed, especially after such a short stint. Evan Bayh is poison. Thank God he wasn't chosen as VP and as someone mentioned above, maybe he's just jealous. I do give him a little pity though. He just doesn't seem very bright.
Aligning oneself with people less smart than you is not a sensible way to start your career in the Senate.

On the other hand, I'm willing to keep my powder dry other than a few polite but concerned letters of discontent to the new Senator from North Carolina. But if she goes all Republican lite on me, I'm going to be pissed.

Hanging around with dumb people

in some circumstances can make one look smarter by comparison. Maybe that's the angle.

But you're right, Bayh has proven to be mostly ineffective in creating public policy. Lining up with him seems not very smart. (Maybe he's contagious.)

No wonder people think I'm so stupid

I'm hanging around the smartest people in the state. :)

Maybe I need to start posting at Cabarrus Cheap Seats or Redsurgence. (or however they spell it.)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I feel just about the same way

I do not expect her to vote the way I want her to every single time, but if she starts talking about slippery slopes with tax code like Larry...well...I don't know what I'll do. Rationale has to make sense - all of it - not just part of it. If a candidate sounds too much like a Republican too much of the time, then I'm not wasting time on him/her anymore.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Dumb people

ha! Good point about looking smarter when hanging with idiots. That way, no one can say, "well, she's not the sharpest tool in the box."

Support the President's Budget

So can everyone call, fax or email Senator Hagan and express these points?That is our call for this weekend.

She is everyone's senator. And lots of email might just cause her to pause.

"That our newly elected Sen. Hagan, has joined forces with Sen.Evan Bayh and "centrist" democrats, to divide the Democratic Party at this critical time, is unacceptable to all of us who worked hard to bring change to North Carolina. Contact her office immediately and let her know that you want her to support the President’s agenda in the critical areas of energy, health care and education. Contact-Raleigh: 919.856.4630; DC: 202.224-6342;Hagan@hagan.senate.gov."

This is just the beginning.