OK, SO WHAT ARE BUSH AND HIS REPUBLICAN RUBBER STAMPS IN CONGRESS OPPOSING NOW?
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)
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.
UPDATE: STRANGE COMPANY FOR JERRY McNERNEY, WOULDN'T YOU SAY?
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.