Thursday, May 10, 2007



To be honest, I hardly expected such a strong show of support-- at least not from cowardly members of Congress-- for Jim McGovern's H.R. 2237. 171 yes votes was pretty damn impressive. That's the one that would have begun the redeployment of U.S. forces (and mercenaries) from Iraq not later than 90 days after enactment, with the proviso that it be completed within 180 days. This is the legislation supported by the Out of Iraq Caucus, the one all progressives were behind. I've been trying to figure out which Democrats betrayed us and this is the list I've put together so far:
Jason Altmire (reactionary-PA)
John Barrow (reactionary/electoral whore-GA)
Melissa Bean (reactionary-IL)
Shelley Berkley (Zionist-NV)
Howard Berman (Zionist-CA)
Sanford Bishop (reactionary-GA)
Dan Boren (reactionary-OK)
Leonard Boswell (reactionary-IA)
Rick Boucher (reactionary-VA)
Allen Boyd (reactionary-FL)
Nancy Boyda electoral whore-KS)
Dennis Cardoza (reactionary-CA)
Chris Carney (reactionary/electoral whore-PA)
Ben Chandler (reactionary-KY)
Jim Cooper (reactionary-TN)
Jim Costa (reactionary-CA)
Bud Cramer (reactionary-AL)
Henry Cuellar (reactionary-TX)
Lincoln Davis (reactionary-TN)
Joe Donnelly (reactionary-IN)
Chet Edwards (reactionary/electoral whore-TX)
Bob Etheridge (reactionary-NC)
Brad Ellsworth (reactionary-IN)
Gabrielle Giffords (electoral whore-AZ)
Bart Gordon (reactionary-TN)
Gene Green (reactionary-TX)
Stephanie Herseth (reactionary-SD)
Baron Hill (reactionary-IN)
Tim Holden (reactionary-PA)
Steny Hoyer (reactionary-MD)
Ron Kind (reactionary-WI)
Nick Lampson (electoral whore-TX)
Daniel Lipinski (Zionist-IL)
Tim Mahoney (reactionary/Republican-FL)
Jim Marshall (reactionary-GA)
Jim Matheson (reactionary-UT)
Mike McIntyre(reactionary-NC)
Jerry McNerney (sigh... electoral whore)
Charlie Melancon (reactionary-LA)
Harry Mitchell (electoral whore-AZ)
Dennis Moore (reactionary-KS)
Solomon Ortiz (reactionary-TX)
Collin Peterson (reactionary-MN)
Earl Pomeroy (reactionary-ND)
Ciro Rodriguez (electoral whore-TX)
Mike Ross (reactionary-AR)
Dutch Ruppersberger (reactionary/Hoyer puppet-MD)
John Salazar (reactionary-CO)
Allyson Schwartz (reactionary-PA)
David Scott (reactionary-GA)
Rahm Emanuel's Heath Shuler (reactionary-NC)
Ike Skelton (reactionary-MO)
Vic Snyder (reactionary-AR)
Zack Space (electoral whore-OH)
John Spratt (reactionary-SC)
John Tanner (reactionary-TN)
Gene Taylor (reactionary-MS)
Mark Udall (electoral whore trolling for senate votes-CO)
Charles Wilson (reactionary/electoral whore-OH)

Pelosi allowed the vote on McGovern's bill, which was co-sponsored by freshmen Betty Sutton (D-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT), in order to keep antiwar Democrats in the fold-- although she got McGovern to make a few changes to make it more "palatable" to Democrats in conservative districts, such as changing the reference to "withdrawal" in the bill to "redeployment," and moving the redeployment date to 90 days instead of the 30 days most people would prefer. This is the bill everyone who actually opposes the war, and who wants to vote their conscience, can support. McGovern said that "getting the opportunity to vote on my bill means I have an opportunity to vote my conscience and that's what I want to do. I think that's what a lot of members want to do. If my bill doesn't prevail, I'll support the Obey bill." The two Republicans that voted with the Democrats were Libertarian Ron Paul (TX) and John Duncan (TN).

Reactionaries in the Democratic caucus were, predictably, disparaging. "It's a token for the Out of Iraq Caucus," said a senior aide to one Blue Dog Democrat, demanding anonymity.

The House voted on this before moving to the very compromised new Iraq war supplemental cobbled together by Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey. Obey's bill gives Bush the blank check the Republicans want-- but only til the end of July, at which point it requires an up-or-down vote on whether to continue funding military operations or to begin the phased redeployment. It passed. It was supported by every reactionary Democrat, every Bush enabler in the Democratic caucus and every warmonger in the House (except John Tanner). The opponents were among the Democrats most committed to ending the war: Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters, Pete Stark, Dennis Kucinich, Barabara Lee, John Lewis... Bush vowed to veto everything until he gets his way.


Look at that list above. I could count the number of Democrats on it that I wouldn't love to see beaten in a primary on one hand-- and I'd probably have a couple of fingers left over. The glaring exception is a freshman congressman I consider a friend of mine, Jerry McNerney (CA-11). I was shocked and dismayed when he voted with the forces of darkness and reaction today. Until today, his voting record on Iraq has been perfect and his overall voting record has been comfortably progressive (and in a less than Democratic district). The energy and initiatives he's brought to his new job have been commendable and we were happy to have him back at FDL for a Blue America chat a couple of weeks ago. Since then 74 of our members, all as convinced as I was that Jerry was as against Bush's catastrophic occupation of Iraq, contributed to his campaign through Blue America.

So what the hell is he doing on a list with Republican-lite shills like Gene Taylor, John Barrow, Collin Peterson, Jim Marshall, Tim Mahoney, David Scott, Dan Boren, Mike Ross, Allen Boyd, Rahm Emanuel's Heath Shuler, Joe Donnelly, Lincoln Davis and the rest of that disreputable crew? He says he's still as committed to extricating the country from the quagmire in Iraq as he ever was; he didn't agree with Jim McGovern's strategy.
"I want an end to the war in Iraq. But ending the war must be done in the most responsible way. 
"Today, I followed my conscience, after evaluating what I considered to be the most effective method of bringing America's involvement in this conflict to an end. That is why I voted for the supplemental bill and against the McGovern bill.
"I am reminded every day of the terrible cost of this conflict.  In fact, on Tuesday, I received notice that a Marine from Manteca was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Our brave men and women in uniform serving in Iraq are caught in the middle of a religious civil war.
"Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been spent.
"We have been fighting in Iraq longer than it took us to win the Second World War.
"I feel strongly that ending the war must be done in a way that respects our soldiers, honors our veterans, provides the best chance to reduce the violence in Iraq, and prevents the violence from spreading to neighboring countries.
"That's why tonight I voted again-- for the third time-- for the supplemental plan, which I believe is the most responsible course to take.  It's the only way to ensure that Iraqis begin to take responsibility for Iraq.
"The supplemental plan I voted for provides the framework to end this conflict by bringing about a diplomatic solution, which experts from across the political spectrum recognize is the only way to end the war responsibly.  
"I could not, in good conscience, vote for legislation like the McGovern bill that included neither specific provisions to bring about a diplomatic solution nor funding for the needs of this newly created generation of veterans. The supplemental does both.
"We have to be tough but smart to bring about a responsible close to the war in Iraq.  Continuing the war any longer than necessary would be unconscionable. 
"This was a vote of principle and one I stand behind."

We helped elect Jerry so he would be a strong and independent voice. I would have made a different choice today, but I'm inclined to let this pass. You may agree with Jerry's reasoning. If you do, make a contribution to his campaign today, even if just $5, and tomorrow I'll let him know how many DWT readers were moved to do so.

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At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melissa Bean (DINO - IL 9th)
Is no reactionary. She is just a tad short of the Rethug she "displaced". A very big mistake by the Dems.
Thanks, Rahm Emanuel...

At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

M Bean is from Illinois 8th district....(my bad)

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's the story with mcnerney??? was his support base that much broader than the people who believed he'd work to end the iraq occupation?

and i mean that seriously. it seems odd that facing what will undoubtedly be a bruising and very difficult (not to mention expensive) reelection campaign, who does he expect to have his back? who does he expect to canvass and volunteer?

although i'm really disappointed in his vote today (even granting that it wasn't going to pass either way), i think i'm way more disappointed that his vote could cost the critical support needed to keep a democrat in office in that district.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous masaccio said...

Howie, Jim Cooper voted with us on the first bill, which we won with exactly 218 votes. He may be a Blue Dog, but we needed that vote. I might add that I talked to his chief of staff about this, and I know that was a hard vote for him.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous RT said...

Howie, this is the sorta shit that destroys us - turning on our own the moment they disagree with us about something. Rick Boucher's a reactionary? I bet you thought he was great last summer, when we were fighting to preserve a neutral Net. Nancy Boyda's an electoral whore? Guess you want Weird Jim Ryun back. Sheesh.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Basharov said...

Gene Green of Texas used to be my congressman. (Now it's Sheila Jackson-Lee.) He represents a heavily Hispanic district and has usually been a voice for reason and moderation, and not a reactionary. I wish I were still in his district so I could vote against him.

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Collin Peterson from MN.would sell his own Mother if he thought it would help himself. He is about as real as that Fake piece he has on his head.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, did my Congress critter Rahm Emanuel (IL-5) actually vote for the cut it off bill or did he just not vote?

I called his office the other day and his staff sounded happy when I said NO more money for Bush's folly.


At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"electoral whore"?

Yes yes God forbid that a politician might want to please the people who elected him or her.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger woid said...

Thanks, Howie... You inspired me to send off a screed to my rep, Howard Berman.

As a "liberal" in a safe seat, he'll probably be in Congress forever -- but it really irks me to be represented by somebody who goes so much against the grain of his district on issues I care about. He's in the pocket of both AIPAC and the RIAA, two organizations I could very much do without.

I could rant on, but I'll just leave it at... Grrr.

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I supported McNerney's campaign as a contributor and volunteer from the primary onwards. I am very disappointed in Jerry. And I don't buy his rationale. I have sent him a letter to remove me from his campaign mailing list.

Iraq is the signature issue of our time. In all conscience I cannot support the continued slaughter of US troops and Iraqis due to an occupation based on false pretenses.

This is reminscent of the sista souljah moment. Dems always align with right wing frames and screw the "liberals" that's what they believe gives them the cred. The Repubs on the other hand always cozy up to their base.

I am sorry Jerry you will not get my vote next time.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger lorelei_l said...

Its all about the oil........

At 11:00 PM, Blogger jlwolff said...

Maybe I've got more faith in Jerry than you guys but I think his logic is perfectly reasonable.

I think we can all agree it is foolish to write or support a bill that would give the President war powers without including a provision about diplomacy and veterans even if you believe these issues will be touched in a later bill. Similarly, it is foolish to support a bill that would re-deploy the troops that fails to mention veterans or diplomacy.

I know I would much rather have a Representative who is actually looking to solve the problem in Iraq, even if it might not be the popular thing to do, than a Representative who would vote for a solution that only solves part of the problem. Jerry is doing just that. Even after our troops have left Iraq, our attention must remain there. With no diplomacy provision this bill fails to look at the whole issue.

For Jerry to vote against this bill it took a lot of guts, something that the blogosphere regularly criticizes Democrats for not having. When it comes down to it we are Jerry’s base. His election to Congress can be credited to the netroots more than any other single group. So how on earth do you accuse a man who voted with his conscious rather than appeasing his base of being an “electoral whore”? Seems to me that if all Jerry was thinking about was reelection he would have voted for the bill and watched the netroots cash continue to flow. This is just another example of Jerry being a statesman and not a politician and up until now I’ve only heard that said with praise.

Have some faith in Jerry, he is still the man we worked so hard to get elected and has shown now more than ever just how strong his principles are.

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Nikolay said...

Shelley Berkley (Zionist-NV)
Howard Berman (Zionist-CA)

Are you crazy? Fighting the Zionist conspiracy? What this could mean?

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Sovereign John said...

Impeach Vice-President Cheney, President George Walker Bush and Congress.

The military code states troops are not to obey illegal orders. Serving in Iraq is an illegal order. Only
Congress can declare war and until Congress steps up and does its duty our troops have the obligation to stand down.

We US Sovereigns have a duty to demand Congress either declares war on Iraq or stop funding illegal police action in Iraq. We need to let our troops know we support their preforming their duty by refusing to serve in Iraq.

To those who insist they support the war in Iraq they must be reminded of the reality that Only Congress can declare war according to the US Federal Constitution and there is no War in Iraq since Congress has not declared war on Iraq. I can not support a war we are not fighting.

Impeach Them All.

At 7:03 AM, Anonymous mui said...

HR 2237 Roll call
Quite a list. IMHO All in all it's not a bad freshman class. And Cohen of TN is not doing too bad for a rookie on Abu Gonzales.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous RA said...

Howie - there are quite a few Zionists who have been against the Iraq war from the start, and would like nothing better than for AIPAC to disappear off the face of the earth. AIPAC and the neocons would love for us all to believe that Right Wing Israeli Politics = Zionism. By using 'Zionist' as shorthand for 'AIPAC toady', you are using their language and buying into their framing of the issue.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Larry Mc said...

I'm seriously sorry I followed the link from Crooks & Liars over to this bilious rant. After three years of following progresssive blogs, it was my first exposure to the kind of self-defeating nastiness on the left I've seen so much of on the right.

There are a lot of good people on that list who are doing what they think is right. There are going to be other, more critical votes coming up on getting out of Iraq and this kind of frenzied vilification is unlikely to make them amenable to future efforts.

You make me think maybe I should drop Crooks & Liars from my bookmarks while I'm at it.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Howie, give him a break. At least he's not Pombo.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McNerney's support base is not soley focused on Iraq; there's also the major environmentalist part. He was elected partly because Pombo was a real land-raper who made especial efforts to destroy the environment even if it didn't really benefit anyone!

Agree with ra: don't use Zionist when you mean AIPAC.

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that McNerney has a son who was/ in Iraq, he necessarily has a different perspective than many who made the same vote- same vote does not necessarily translate into same rationale. I would give his the benefit of the doubt on this one.


At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thus, not fair to call him an electoral whore, imo.


At 3:34 AM, Anonymous Irablues said...

While I agree that some Democratic members of the house were either cowards by not voting for the McGovern bill, others were part of the Democratic Leadership Conference candidates...the ones picked precisely because they were reactionary ("But we had a better chance to win with them") candidates they picked because it was their reasoning that ANY Democrat was better than even a liberal or moderate Republican...What I do object to is your labeling any of these Congresspersons with obviously Jewish names as "ZIONIST" rather than reactionary! THat is a slap in the face for every JEwish person supporting the end to the Iraq war...You shouldn't be a "Kosher" Don Imus...Reactionary is Reactionary, period...


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