DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE NO CONVICTIONS ARE AS WORTHLESS AS REPUBLICANS-- MEET TIM MAHONEY OF FLORIDA
Today's NY Times, the paper of record, has published a story that purports to examine the plight of "moderate" Democrats stuck between rocks and hard places regarding Bush's war agenda and America's desire to end the war and get some action on turning the dire and worsening domestic economic situation around. The writer David Herszenhorn, or his editors, apparently didn't think it was relevant to the story to mention that the personification of the plight they are discussing, Rep. Tim Mahoney of Florida, was a Republican himself until just 14 months ago.
Mahoney's tale is far from typical. A lifelong countryclub Republican, a less than scrupulous venture capitalist with extensive and somewhat shady dealings in China-- something like a junior Mitch McConnell in that way-- Mahoney, a foul-mouthed homophobe, was approached by then DCCC-chair Rahm Emanuel once Emanuel found out Mahoney's predecessor, Republican Mark Foley had a long and accelerating history of relations with congressional pages that can be described as anything from unethical to predatory. No, Emanuel didn't mistake the wealthy Mahoney for a police officer or child protection specialist. Instead of going to a law enforcement official with his knowledge about Foley's criminal behavior, Emanuel-- not unlike Republicans Denny Hastert, John Shimkus, Tom Reynolds, Rodney Alexander, John Boehner-- decided to let the young male pages fend for themselves while he waited for the election to draw closer and while Foley tried breaking into their dorm rooms.
First Emanuel felt he needed to deep six the progressive Democrat, a union member, grassroots, anti-war activist, Dave Lutrin, who was running against Foley. Emanuel wanted a self-funder who wasn't going to make any noise about the war in Iraq and who would appeal to Republicans. He recruited the ambitious Mahoney while he and Steny Hoyer did all they could to turn the Florida Democratic Party against Lutrin. It worked; Lutrin pulled out. Mahoney, with a brand new voter registration card that showed he was now a Democrat, although he had never voted as one before, got the Democratic nomination. Emanuel is widely alleged to have surreptitiously helped push the Foley story out to the media just in time for his name to be unremovable from the ballot. FL-16 soon had a new Republican congressman, one with a (D) next to his name.
Mr. Herszenhorn or his editors didn't think this was important enough to mention as they attempted to pass him off as a typical "moderate" freshman Democrat trying to figure out what to do about Bush's big bad war and abysmal economic policies. Mahoney, a man with no firm convictions is like a leaf in the wind. He came back from Iraq impressed with the slick and misleading dog and pony show Petraeus' officers show visiting congressional delegations in their quick in and out Greed Zone toe-dips. He saw what happened to Brian Baird (D-WA) when he announced he would vote with the Republicans and he's pulled back to wait and see... which way the wind blows. Thanks again, Rahm Emanuel. Dave Lutrin would be leading now. Instead we have useless human refuse like Tim Mahoney and Heath Shuler, another Rahm Emanuel creation and another Democrat who just loves votin' with the Republicans.