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How can Joe Donnelly be undecided on Cap & Trade?

We contacted Joe Donnelly’s office in Washington earlier today to give him our opinion on the Waxman-Markey Cap & Trade bill. We asked the staffer who answered the phone how Donnelly was leaning and she told me he was undecided.

How can this be? Our suspicion is that one of two political gambits are at work here.

One: Donnelly could be holding off his vote until he can vote with the obvious winning side. This way, he has political cover.

Two: Donnelly might be holding off so that he can vote “NO” (pleasing constituents) but only after being sure that it will pass anyway. This way, he has political cover.

Neither of these possibilities is particularly confidence inspiring. Shouldn’t he vote by weighing what’s right for the country and what his constituency is telling him?

Or is it possible Donnelly is truly not sure whether the bill is a good thing (it’s not) or a horrible job and economy killing monster (which it is)? It is this possibility that should worry us the most.

Update: The House of Representatives has passed Waxman-Markey, 219-212.  Donnelly voted “NO.”  Which leaves us with option two above.  He voted the way we wanted him to, but the timing points to political cover, not voting on the merits.  If the vote had been in trouble for the Democrats, we wonder if his vote would have been the same.  Had we not discoverd he was undecided only a few hours before the vote, we wouldn’t even be suspicious.  But we did, and we are. And we are terribly disappointed that the congress voted to do this to us.

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