Sorry, Mike. I've been quiet about this Obama-having-to-buy-Democratic-votes bushwa you've been spreading on the local toast for a while now. You were silent about it after I mentioned it the last time for a while. Now it seems that you've taken my silence for tacit agreement that it's okay to try to distort reality in public again without being called on it.
Votes are, I assert, obtained in two ways — carrots or sticks — within the legislative context. This is why assistant leaders are sometimes called "the whip." That would include folks in both parties, Mike, Democratic and Republican, whose job it is to make sure that votes in the party should like up pretty much as they're supposed to. Sometimes a quid pro quo is used to help things along, like the promise of help with political support during a re-election campaign by visits from a popular leader or by support from the national committee. Sometimes a threat is used, like the threat of the national committee backing somebody else for your seat in the next election. The Republicans did a fair amount of running more conservative candidates against Republicans who didn't fall into line on votes, in case you've forgotten. That's part of the reason that the Republican party has scooted so far to the right from where it was during the forties and fifties.
Their job is to keep party member is line, either with threats or quid pro quo trades, to make sure that the legislative process goes the way that the party leaders in each house get the cooperation needed to get the cooperation they need.
I am also told that legislators require food, water and air for proper functioning as well, and that these functions are not unique to Democratic legislators as well. I don't want to get too obvious here, but since you profess shock at the notion of the quid pro quo in legislative practice and imply that it is is specific to the practice of the Democratic party, I thought you might need to be reminded of these other essentials as well.
Do you really think there aren't Republican quid pro quos as well, and during times when the party is out of power, Republican reprisals against folks who go against party voting policy?
This is the way that politics seems to work.
This is one of the things that's entertaining about some of the Historical fiction by Robert Graves, I, Claudius, and Claudius, The God, in particular. It's based very closely on some of the classic Roman histories of the Era, and they show that things have not changed all that much; though the infighting these days is perhaps a bit less fatal on the whole, the twists and turns and the lies and plots and backbiting and oddnesses of everything are remarkably modern. You read the stuff and it really feels amazingly right now.
I don't know how you are about fiction, or how anybody is who's reading these chats, but the Graves stuff isn't to be missed. I haven't seem the BBC Tv versions of the things yet, but I hear they're pretty good, too. I simply don't want to spoil the books in my head, though, if you know what I mean.