Back in May I predicted that Democrat Congressman Rick Boucher's vote in favor of the Cap and Trade Bill would lead to his demise. Despite all the other reasons to vote against Boucher, and there were many, Cap and Trade was the magic bullet that ended his political career.
Since 1983 Rick Boucher has represented Virginia's 9th congressional district and for the most part his voting record has been to the left of his constituents, but despite his liberalism Boucher has rarely had a tough race. He has always managed to separate himself from the Washington Democrats. In the minds of most southwest Virginians Boucher was one of them; a southwest Virginian who would put his constituents interests before his party's interests.
But Cape and Trade hurt Boucher in two ways. First, the Cap and Trade legislation is bad for the coal industry, and bad for the economy, and at a time of economic weakness and high unemployment this vote did not help Boucher. However the other, more damaging, aspect of his vote in favor of Cap and Trade is that it served to link Boucher to the national Democrats. Republicans were able to say Boucher voted for what the national Democrats wanted at the expense of southwest Virginia.
Voters then came to the conclusion that Boucher was no longer one of them, rather he was just another Washington Democrat.