It seems that the so-called "purple Democrats" have decided to start voting with the party a whole lot more these days. It's about damn time.
On three big votes recently - the energy bill, the FY 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education spending bill, and a budget reconciliation bill aimed at $49.5 billion in spending cuts - not a single Democrat voted with Republicans.Democrats have little power in a Congress where they are in the minority, unless they stick together and force the Republicans to eek out whatever victories they can, or fail altogether.
This forces Republicans to rely on votes from the moderates in their own party -- and forces them to move bills to less extreme positions in order to secure their votes (at least to some extent, anyway, I'm not ready to dance in the streets or anything...).
With the 2006 election looking shaky for Republicans at the moment, what with Preznit Crapola Poll Ratings and his merry band of corrupt cronies and all, Democrats from conservative districts are trying to distance themselves from Bushie at the speed of light. While it is true that some have had a "see the light" conversion after the Katrina debacle in their districts (see Rep. Gene Taylor pictured above as a possible example), for some it's just political expediency.
While I'd rather see a more progressive motivation for the change of heart, at the moment I'll content myself with the votes and the Democratic unity.
(Photo courtesy of The Hill.)