Jonathan Chait

Will Rogers Update

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I occasionally accompany my posts about the disarray of the Democratic Party with pictures of Will Rogers, like the one at right. If you don't get the reference, it's because Rogers once joked, "I belong to no organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

Here's a good case in point. Democratic representative Neal Abercrombie of Hawaii resigned from Congress and departed, depriving the party of another health care vote. Republican representative Nathan Deal also announced he's resigning, which would seem to cancel that out. But no:

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal will delay his resignation from Congress by three weeks, citing intense pressure from House Republican leaders to remain and vote against President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

Apparently there was no such pressure on Abercrombie. That is the difference between a real political party and a loose coalition.

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