The Democratic caucus had often been described as uncontrollable. With Blue Dog Democrats who would often vote against liberal proposals, it would raise the question, is a bad Democrat better than no Democrat? In a way, it could be seen as a precursor to the Tea Party led House of Representatives, however the Democrats remain unruly. However, they are getting more in line, and repositioning Nancy Pelosi as a power player.
When Speaker Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ came around, one of the reasons it did not have enough votes was because of a lack of Democratic support. Yes, Plan B was originally a Pelosi idea, something Republicans made part of their talking points. But, Nancy Pelosi knew that a failure of the bill was more important on a negotiating perspective than having one of her ideas pass. She was able to keep all Democrats from supporting Speaker Boehner’s bill. Then, the fiscal cliff deal came. It was shown there that any compromise would require a majority of Democratic support. While any new votes will most likely not be as lopsided as the fiscal cliff deal, some Republicans can be expected to vote against any deal. If enough drop out, the Democrats will play a key role.
When the new Congress convened, Republicans sent freshman Democrats a certificate about Nancy Pelosi’s obedience school. While that may be a joke, it goes to show the whipping that Nancy Pelosi has put on her members. While the effects on partisanship have yet to be seen, it makes compromise all the more important.