Tags: Election 2010 | 2012 President Race | David | Keen | marco | rubio | American Conservative

Dave Keene: Democrats in Free Fall, Fighting Each Other

By Ronald Kessler   |   Friday, 01 Oct 2010 09:52 AM

Democrats are in for ugly blowback once they realize how soundly they are defeated in November, Dave Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, tells Newsmax.

Already, because of a belief they will lose, the Democratic leadership has gone into “triage mode” by deciding to cut off support for 30 members of Congress seeking re-election, Keene says.

“Once that happens to those members, it’s no longer the Republicans’ fault, it's no longer the tsunami that is approaching, it’s their leaders who have sold them out, and you can see the results already,” Keene says. “On the Hill, they are fighting with each other. It’s like they have been told by the guys on the Titanic that they should stand there and listen to the orchestra and go down like men.”

Members are saying, “Wait a minute,” Keene says. “You guys who control the life boat are the guys who sunk the ship, and so we want off. So you got this big fight going on, and it means that as the session draws to an end, chaos is the main feature of what's going on on the Hill.”

When the lame duck session starts, “They’re going to have 40 or 50 resentful Democrats in the House who have lost their seats,” Keene says. “The administration will say now what you guys need to do, even though you have lost, is pass our measures. But these are guys who are coming back will be saying, wait a minute — you lost us our seats. The party discipline is gone.”

The American Conservative Union, with 1 million members, runs the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington through its foundation and publishes an annual “Rating of Congress,” the gold standard for assessing the ideology of members of Congress.

Keene is one of the country’s most astute political observers, As outlined in the Newsmax story Keene: Obama Will Overreach,” just after Obama won the presidency, Keene said that Obama “did not win for the reasons he thinks he did, and he can be counted on to overreach, helping to return Republicans to power.”

Keene predicts that as many as 1,500 Democratic professional staffers could be out of work when control of the House reverts to Republicans.

“So those 1,500 staffers are no longer interested in party loyalty,” Keene says. “They are interested in going someplace and finding a job. So at that point the only tool the administration has is promises of a job, and there are not enough jobs. When they start to go down, and there is no way out, things get ugly.”

As it is, a growing number of Democrats are breaking with the Obama administration and their own leadership by favoring an extension of the Bush tax cuts at all income levels.

“First of all, there are a lot of Democrats who down deep don’t buy into this class warfare stuff,” Keene says. “While they favor a bigger government than Republicans do, they aren’t for the Europeanization of America.

"They went along with it to follow their party leadership and their president, but once the party leadership and the president lose both their credibility and the ability to help them and have decided to jettison and put them out there on their own, they are going to do what they think is either best for them or best for the country. That is what’s happening on the tax cut issue.”

While Keene predicts a Republican takeover of the House, he expects Republicans will pick up six or seven seats in the Senate as well. That will give Republicans enough votes to control the agenda. In addition, the Republican caucus will be more conservative than previously.

“You will no longer be bargaining with a Bob Bennett,” Keene says. “You will be bargaining with Marco Rubio.”

Once Republicans regain power, they must avoid overreaching, as happened when Newt Gingrich was speaker and when Obama entered the White House, Keene says.

“They have to avoid getting ahead of their supply line, or they are going to get cut off, and it is going to be a short-lived majority,” Keene says. Referring to Bill Clinton’s decision to move to the center in his second term, Keene adds, “The other thing that they have to do is hope that Obama isn’t Clinton.”

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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