Friday, March 16, 2007



When the blame for the disgrace that Walter Reed has come to symbolize-- the horrifying abuse our wounded vets have taken from the Bush Regime-- get apportioned, and there's plenty to go around, I'm sure several rubber stamp members of Congress will be right up there with Bush cronies from the Regime itself. That blame will fall disproportionately hard on members whose jobs it was to oversee the medical care of our wounded servicemen and women, from real villains like John McHugh (R-NY) and Steve Buyer (R-IN) to a hapless and well-meaning chump like Florida's C.W. Bill Young. (I explained the case against Young last week.)

Yesterday Young, 76, said he has been contemplating retiring. This district leans Democratic and there is a good chance that if he does retire-- or even if he doesn't go voluntarily-- it is a possible pick-up for Team Blue next year. Young doesn't want to slink off with his tail between his legs. His wife, Beverly, is a huge advocate for the wounded vets and he's extremely embarrassed to have been exposed for, at the minimum, being in a severe state of denial. This week he told CongressDaily that he had "given some serious thought to retiring at the end of this term. I do not run away from political threats. If the national Democrats think that this smear attack, based on this big lie, will get me to retire, they don't know me very well."

The less than moribund Florida Democratic Party seems to have suddenly awoken to the opportunity making itself apparent in Young's district.
Democrats served notice Thursday they hope to make a serious run at Young's seat by blasting the veteran lawmaker for not using his clout as chairman and now ranking member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to force changes in the care that injured soldiers receive on their return from Iraq and elsewhere. Former Rep. Karen Thurman, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, sent an e-mail to 150,000 party activists that Young's "silence on this issue is a moral outrage" and urged them to contribute to the party and write letters to the newspaper. "Most Americans would agree that our heroes should come before politics. It's simple human decency, and if our members of Congress don't understand that, they need to be fired," Thurman wrote. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week sent Southern regional political director Bret Wask to the district to meet with potential candidates. A Florida Democratic Party spokesman said Thurman acted out of personal outrage at the Walter Reed revelations, and noted that her former district has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country.

He blames bloggers for his bad press on this and claims he's being smeared. The reality is, what he feels in his heart about helping the wounded vets did not get translated into action. He's elected and paid for getting something done, not for feeling sympathy. Beverly Young did a great job. C.W. Bill Young failed and should resign.

The DCCC is feeling feisty and aggressive and they smell a shot for a pick-up in Florida. Unlike Emanuel, whose only experience is fighting progressive Democrats, the new DCCC head, Chris Van Hollen, actually took on an entrenched Republican and beat her. Emanuel was good at attacking grassroots and anti-war Democrats and failed miserably when it came to electing Democrats over Republicans. Most Democratic winners last year won despite Emanuel, not because of Emanuel, John Hall, Carol Shea-Porter, Jerry McNerney being some of the most outstanding examples of Democrats he tried to defeat but who were able to overcome him and then the Republican incumbents. In FL-10 state Reps. Lars Hafner, Bill Heller and Rick Kriseman, state Senator Charlie Justice, Bayfront Medical Center CEO Sue Brody, and former state House Speaker Peter Rudy Wallace are all good bets to run whether Young decides to retire or not.

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