On the conservative side of the equation, Mr. Waxman has unrelentingly antagonized the rural Democratic members who make up the majority of his committee. He wrote a climate bill without their input, loaded it with provisions that hurt their districts, and left them to vote on Republican amendments designed to inflict maximum political damage.
He ignored requests to wait to see if the Senate could produce, instead forcing a painful floor vote on legislation prior to the July Fourth recess. Members went home to be brutalized by constituents and local employers.
This high-handed treatment already had Blue Dogs loaded for bear, not that Mr. Waxman heeded warnings. When he again ducked into secret meetings to craft health-care legislation, a group of 45 members sent a letter complaining. “We don’t want a briefing on the bill after it’s written. We want to help write it,” declared Arkansas’s Mike Ross, chair of the Blue Dog health-care task force. Rebuffed, conservative Democrats delineated for Mr. Waxman what they saw as an acceptable bill. Rebuffed again, they asked Mr. Waxman to let the Senate go first. Rebuffed yet again, Mr. Ross took his case to the nation, with a revolt that has beat down the House bill for weeks.
More at: The Waxman-Pelosi Follies