House Democrats on Sunday were greeted with a particularly partisan, somewhat juvenile sight when they took their seats inside the chamber.
On several of their chairs were fliers warning them that if they happened to pass health care reform that night -- which they did -- it would result in a repeat of the 1994 midterm election, which became known as the Republican Revolution.
"IN 1993 THEY VOTED YES. A YOUNG PRESIDENT TOLD THEM 'DON'T WORRY, IT'LL BE OKAY,'" the flier read, substituting in bold red font for individual words. "34 INCUMBENTS DEFEATED, 54 SEATS LOST."
Pictured on the flier are the head shots of 25 of those members in a "wanted" style framing -- the margin of electoral defeat they suffered in '94 under their name.
A Democratic aide passed on the literature to the Huffington Post, relaying that Republicans had put them on some seats but "not all."
The Washington Post first reported on the fliers but did not obtain a copy.
The analogy that the GOP is trying to draw, of course, is imprecise. Democrats in 1993 didn't vote "yes" on a health care bill nor did a health care bill eventually pass under the Clinton administration.
In 1993, the tough vote facing Democrats was a budget bill to which Clinton had, indeed, staked much of his reputation. The legislation did, in the end, cost some lawmakers their seats. But at least one, upon reflection, expressed no regret. Writing in the Washington Post this past week, Rep. Marjorie Margolies urged her fellow party members to support health care legislation regardless the consequences. Margolies was lost re-election to her Pennsylvania House seat after one term.
"You will be assailed no matter how you vote this week," she wrote. "And this job isn't supposed to be easy. So cast the vote that you won't regret in 18 years."
I was wondering what the whole business at the beginning of the session was about flyers.....the Chairman at the time made mention of the rules which prohibit flyers without putting the author's/distributor's name on them. Guess this is why! Stay klassy, GOP!