As many as want to be assured of Tea Party support in 2012.
The House leadership has endangered many of the freshmen by overselling a bad deal, turning what could have been just a loss into a test of every member’s commitments to their base. In the first major vote of the new Congress, not only is there nothing of significance to point to as a “win,” there was a significant amount of disinformation, bad enough in itself, but worse when one considers what it says about the sophistication of the messaging efforts of the leadership’s consultants.
“Trust leaves on horseback and returns on foot” is one of the many quotes in Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir, and apparently no one in the leadership media team read it. Did they really think no one would notice? Or remember?
The Whip count is interesting, but like the vote on TARP, this one is going to be remembered. If many more Republicans begin to break and speak bluntly, Thursday could be a very bad day for the Speaker and, much worse, for the country as the “adult party” separates from the political movement that elected it. The Speaker has been very badly served by his communications team which from the start of the Congress has seemed almost intent on digging a deep trench between the Speaker and the conservative base and Tea Party volunteers.
What were they thinking?
Now the Speaker is attempting to persuade the public that he is really serious on the debt limit. He may have an easier time persuading the MSM than he will his party’s core supporters.