Angry Democrats on Parade

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 1 2011 2:59 PM

Angry Democrats on Parade


The meeting was supposed to last one hour. It lasted more than two hours and twenty-five minutes. Vice President Joe Biden worked and talked to bring as many Democrats as possible over to the administration's side, and to back the debt deal.

"I didn't go to convince," he said on the way out. "I went to explain."

The most talkative people in situations like these are the Antis. Media-friendly Democrats like Eliot Engel, D-NY, and Sheila Jackson-Lee, R-Tex., chatted with reporters at length, decrying what they were supposed to vote for. "I didn't come here to cut Medicare," Engel groaned. Rep. Dennis Kucinich left the meeting with an armful of printed-out copies of the debt deal's CBO report, with the section about war funding highlighted. Would he vote aye? "You'll hear about it later."

But there were yesses, and they included members who have not voted for previous debt deals. Rep. Chakka Fattah, D-Penn., a liberal from Philadelphia, told reporters he'd reluctantly back the deal. After her spiel, Jackson-Lee said she was undecided. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., who voted for Cut, Cap, Balance, admitted that he was trying to dodge reporters with a fake phone call; he was undecided, but you could see him voting yes. It was just clear that more than half of the party would not back the deal.

"It's between our consciences and the president," said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn. "This is a Trojan Horse with Scylla and Charabis inside of it."

Nancy Pelosi entered the meeting telling the press that she would talk up how Democrats had kept entitlement cuts out of the bill. But she left without saying she, or Democrats, would back it. She wouldn't say if it had the votes to pass."

"You'll have to ask the speaker," she said. "He has the majority."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?