Most voters are sophisticated enough to know that politicians don't always believe everything they say during election season. They hire pollsters to take the pulse of the electorate and fashion their positions based on what is popular and, therefore, likely to keep them in office. But for most politicians, the process is about tweaking their positions: emphasizing one issue that may be more popular with the public rather than another that may be dearer to the heart of the elected official. But voters don't expect that their representatives will turn from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde, taking positions at total odds with what they've stood for in the past and that helped them get elected in the first place.
But that is exactly what Reid seems to be counting on in a lame duck session. He hopes that a group of Democrats from conservative-leaning districts who have just lost their seats will vote the straight Democratic party line because they have nothing more to lose. And with a Democrat in the White House who has shown he doesn't have much interest in what the American people want either, whatever Congress passes will likely be signed into law.
It's a truly frightening scenario: a lame duck Democratic Congress passing tax hikes and new spending bills that the president will gladly sign -- the voters be damned.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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