Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Many Reactionary Democrats Are Blinded To The Benefits Of Emergency Deficit Spending


Ellen Tauscher-- lurking in the darkness

Monday D-Day wrote about New Democratic Coalition leader Ellen Tauscher's insatiable appetite for more homeless people. The former Wall Street stock broker and fiscally conservative (though socially moderate) Democrat led the reactionary/Blue Dog revolt against Nancy Pelosi's attempt to pass "cram down" legislation that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify terms of mortgages on primary residences to prevent more of this kind of destruction of social cohesion across the country. Tauscher isn't a Blue Dog but she works closely with them to drag the Democratic House caucus away from pro-working family positions and towards her the special interests of her sleazy corporate patrons. She certainly cares more about the banksters than about her own constituents. Her New Democrat Coalition-- which is much bigger than the Blue Dog caucus-- isn't considered quite as venal as they are. But they share many members and when it comes to protecting special interests (of their corporate donors) they can be just as fierce as Blue Dogs and Republicans.

The NDC-- like the Blue Dogs-- has grown wary of "outing" their new members. Neither group has updated its membership lists to include freshmen and both still include right-wing Democrats who followed their reactionary precepts are were defeated in November, Nick Lampson and Tim Mahoney. The last available NDC membership list:

Ellen Tauscher (CA), Chair
Ron Kind (WI), Vice-Chair
Artur Davis (AL), Vice-Chair
Adam Smith (WA), Vice-Chair
Joseph Crowley (NY), Vice-Chair/Whip
Jason Altmire (PA)
Michael Arcuri (Blue Dog-NY)
Brian Baird (WA)
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
Melissa Bean (Blue Dog-IL)
Shelley Berkeley (NV)
Bruce Braley (IA)
Lois Capps (CA)
Russ Carnahan (MO)
Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA)
André Carson (IN)
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS)
Joe Courtney (CT)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Susan Davis (CA)
Rahm Emanuel (IL)
Eliot Engel (NY)
Bob Etheridge (NC)
Bill Foster (IL)
Gabby Giffords (Blue Dog-AZ)
Kirstin Gillibrand (Blue Dog-NY)
Charles Gonzalez (TX)
Jane Harman (Blue Dog-CA)
Stephanie Herseth (Blue Dog-SD)
Brian Higgins (NY)
Baron Hill (Blue Dog-IN)
Rush Holt (NJ)
Darlene Hooley (OR, retired)
Jay Inslee (WA)
Steve Israel (NY)
Ron Klein (FL)
Nick Lampson (defeated Blue Dog-TX)
Rick Larsen (WA)
John Larson (CT)
Tim Mahoney (defeated Blue Dog-FL)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)
Kendrick Meek (FL)
Gregory Meeks (NY)
Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA)
Harry Mitchell (AZ)
Dennis Moore (Blue Dog-KS)
Jim Moran (VA)
Chris Murphy (CT)
Patrick Murphy (Blue Dog-PA)
Ed Perlmutter (CO)
David Price (NC)
Loretta Sanchez (Blue Dog-CA)
Adam Schiff (Blue Dog-CA)
Allyson Schwartz (PA)
David Scott (Blue Dog-GA)
Joe Sestak (PA)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
David Wu (OR)

This morning's Hill reports on conservative Democrats' yipping and yapping about the deficit, playing right into Republican strategy for derailing President Obama's ambitious plans to start down the road to restructuring American society in a more equitable direction. They're grousing that although Obama's plans for bringing down the Bush deficit by more than two-thirds, it could start growing again in 2014. It shocks me when naive Democrats join with corporate shills to empower treacherous Republican partisans.
In this new Republican strategy there is an incongruity. GOP lawmakers have said the stimulus bill heaps too much debt on the next generations. Where were these reborn fiscal conservatives when the prior administration ran a war-- whose costs now rival World War II-- on a credit card?

One of President George W. Bush's most damaging and self-destructive choices was to make the war on terrorism a partisan issue. It was a Karl Rove tactic designed to produce "a permanent majority." By doing that and by shunning the sympathy of other nations, Bush turned a golden moment into a dead-end strategy. And now the diminished Republican numbers in Congress are making the nation's economic recovery a partisan issue. Indeed, they are betting on calamity.

The congressional Republican profession of horror at the site of deficit spending resembles the feigned surprise of the police chief in the movie Casablanca who was "shocked" there was gambling at Rick's Cafe and then was handed his winnings. The GOP's new deficit spending mantra is a lot like congressmen and senators who shun certain health care funding scenarios because they "don't want to see health care rationed." In truth, we ration health care now. In fact, every culture has rationed health care. It's simply a matter of how we choose to ration it. Will some of us get health care, or will a broader swath of Americans get it?

Deficit spending is worth it if a nation gets something for its money. The infrastructure elements of President Obama's stimulus package are especially worthy. It is the largest such package since the Eisenhower administration, when America built the interstate highway system. This is a good marriage of an urgent need and a pressing moment.

CQPolitics reported this morning that the Democratic culprits working with the Republicans to derail Obama include Utah and Arizona reactionaries Jim Matheson and Gabby Giffords. And they're not alone. Almost 50 Blue Dogs and NDC members are skulking around plotting with the GOP about eviscerating Obama's plans to help the middle class. These are all members of Congress who always put the special interests first and their own constituents last. It's what got us into the mess we're in in the first place.
A dozen of them were among 20 House Democrats who voted against the $410 billion discretionary fiscal 2009 spending package (HR 1105) on Feb. 25. Another group later forced House leaders to sideline a contentious bill (HR 1106) to allow bankruptcy judges to modify home loans.

Although only a handful of moderate and conservative Democrats abandoned their leaders during party-line votes on the economic stimulus law, the group of vulnerable Democrats branded the omnibus spending bill as a budget buster and questioned whether the mortgage bill would raise interest rates on average home-owners and cause some struggling homeowners to rush to bankruptcy.

The defections could cause heartburn for Democratic leaders charged with ushering through Obama’s three biggest priorities: a health care overhaul, a cap-and-trade system to curb carbon emissions and his fiscal 2010 budget blueprint. The president might also have trouble winning their votes for an anticipated second financial bailout package.

...Many of the 49 Democrats in the group have particular concerns about Obama’s call for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy families to expire.

“I don’t agree with the administration about letting all those tax cuts expire for upper-income families,” said Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz. He argues for retaining the current 15 percent rate on capital gains and for permanent reductions in the estate tax.

Sounds exactly like a Republican, doesn't he? He called me when he was running for office in 2006 against an incredibly worse Republican, J.D. Hayworth, and even then I had to choke back the stench of reactionary shit-brains to not warn Arizona voters that they were trading in an "F" for a "D-minus." On key substantive issues, Mitchell has voted like a Republican from the moment he got into office. Let's hope the folks at Accountability Now are watching.

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At 12:03 PM, Anonymous me said...

I've known Tauscher was a closet scumpublican ever since she was one of the first in line to condemn Bill Clinton for getting a blow job.

She's exactly the kind of phony "Democrat" the country needs to be rid of.

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh Howie, Darlene Hooley is still alive.


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