Monday, February 12, 2007



Last year, in the run-up to the election, two progressive legislators, Bob Menendez and Sherrod Brown did some dreadful political calculations and voted in favor of one of the absolute worst bills that the Bush Regime shat out in it's entire 6 years of terrible initiatives, the Military Commissions Act, the one that ok-ed torture and undercut habeas corpus. It flipped everyone at Blue America out so badly that we removed Sherrod Brown from our fundraising page, even though he had an otherwise stellar record as a progressive and he was challenging a reactionary rubber-stamp imbecile (Mike Dewine).

Today Blue Jersey informs us that Senator Menendez has joined Military Commission Act opponent Chris Dodd in introducing the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act which will "restore habeas corpus rights, ban torture and uphold the Geneva Conventions." I like that Menendez is trying to clean up the mess he helped make and it'd be great if Brown signs on as a co-sponsor, as Leahy and Feingold already have.

I was just listening to John Kerry on Air America. He was talking about his new website, and the new legislation he is proposing to end the war in Iraq. Earlier today I was doing some research on Iraq war voting records. I was snooping around in the voting records because I got into a polite argument with a Hillary Clinton supporter who invited me to a fundraiser/dinner with her. I don't know the supporter, an attorney but I responded that I'll be voting for Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee but that I plan to only donate to anti-war candidates this year. I didn't expect a reply. But I got one:
Senator Clinton recently gave a speech to the DNC in which she unequivocally stated that if she is President on January 20, 2009 and Bush has not removed all US Troops from Iraq, she will immediately begin a withdrawal. I am not sure how much more you want from her. I think she is definitely the candidate. The anti-war democrats may not be aware of her current position as I have had several comments similar to yours.

In order to respond to his uninformed blather-- an uninformedness he shares with most Democrats, I'm afraid-- I went back over the record. My response was pretty simple and to the point:
Like I said, if she gets the nomination I will vote for her despite her past support for the Bush Regime's Middle East policies.

As for what I want from her-- how about some real leadership in ending the war, instead of being dragged along kicking and screaming and resisting the whole way while people demand an end to the policies she has supported? If you are interested in the extent that she has supported the Bush Regime in their policies, please take a look at all the votes she cast in concert with the Senate Republicans starting in Oct, 2002 when she voted against progressives on 5 roll calls out of 6 regarding S.J. Res. 45 authorizing force in Iraq-- including a vote to cut off debate of Democrats trying to stop Bush from attacking Iraq.

In votes concerning Iraq, Senator Clinton has one of the worst voting records of any Senate Democrat-- tied, in fact, with Bill Nelson (who is barely a Democrat at all)-- and more pro-war than Democrats generally regarded with distrust in the progressive community like Ken Salazar, Dianne Feinstein and Mark Pryor. And while Senator Clinton was voting to support Bush again and again, senators like Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin, Ted Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Robert Byrd, Patrick Leahy, Daniel Akaka, Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, Carl Levin, Jack Reed, Ron Wyden, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray and Debbie Stabenow were voting to oppose Bush. Why did they understand the nature of what Bush was doing and Senator Clinton not understand? And if she didn't understand, what makes her qualified to run for president (as a Democrat)?

I didn't hear back from him and I don't expect to. Maybe he fainted when he saw the overwhelming and incontestable evidence that he's supporting a war-monger. But what I noticed during my research is that there is actually a Democratic senator who has a worse Iraq-related voting record than Clinton, worse even than conservative red-state cowards like Max Baucus, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, and Ben Nelson... and even more putrid than Bush/Cheney buttwipe Holy Joe Lieberman.

Otherwise staunchly progressive Senator John Kerry was running for president and very busy calculating how his voting record would appear to the focus groups the Inside the Beltway consultants were putting together to bolster their support for and/or cowardly posture towards the Bush Regime's Middle East agenda. I've always thought that had Kerry been true to himself instead of all tangled up in ridiculous Beltwayese nuance he would have beaten Bush by at least 5 million votes. Instead we had a candidate who no one was positive of. Kerry's Iraq voting record scores the same miserable rating as reactionary rubber stampers Joe Lieberman and John Thune! Yep, Kerry's record is much closer to wingnuts like Tom Coburn, Mel Martinez and John McCain than even to the voting records of conservative Democrats!

And it started October 10, 2002 when the Senate had 5 roll calls to consider for S K Res 45, the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. Kerry voted with the Republicans on 3 of the 5 and on the following dat he voted with the Bush lackeys again to support H J Res 114, the final passage of the bill to allow an unprovoked attack against Iraq. After that he was otherwise engaged when 18 Iraq bills were voted on in the Senate, including 13 crucially important bills that were close calls. Blecchhh.

Our leaders. What a crew! Biden has a despicable record of rubber stamp support for the Bush Regime's Iraq policies. Back in October, 2002 he cast his lot with the Republicans and against the Democrats on all six of the votes regarding the authorization of the use of force against Iraq, including the one to cut off the other Democrats who wanted to continue the debate. Now he wants to lead the Democrats! I've never missed voting in a presidential election in my entire eligible life; if Biden were the nominee that would be the first time I'd pass on voting. Evan Bayh thinks he's going to be vice-president and he'd be perfect... if the public was looking for candidate who supported Bush every step of the way in Iraq. Even Chris Dodd's Iraq voting record, though better than Clinton's or Biden's, doesn't close to the standard set by a Durbin or Boxer or Leahy or Kennedy or Feingold. It's not even as good as Salazar's, Schumer's or Mark Pryor's-- which aren't exactly records to write home about!

So what about Obama? His Senate record isn't long enough to give a reliable picture-- and now he's a politician on a quest for the golden ring so... all the pretty words are good but... even Clinton says she wants to end the war (as do Bush and Cheney).


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie, bingo!!!! That is what I did not like about Kerry. And, even though many like Wes Clark, the first time I heard him speak he came off as a total hawk.


At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Rockford, Il. Our paper had a partial rundown of Sen. Obama's record in the state senate if you would like that. It is just a sampling but it may help you.
Let me know if you want to know about it.
I do know he was given a 100% rating by some progressive groups.
His mentor here in Illinois said you cannot pin him down to a label of just progressive or whatever. he's all over the map. Votes each issue.
hope that helps.

At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone, (R)s and (D)s and Greens and Independents need to see this link:

Clintons illegal Kosovo bombing was a prelude to Iraq, and a PNAC project.

It's not a conspiracy theory, it's right on the neocons website.

The Elites of both parties have signed onto this disgraceful doctrine.

Good Democrats like Gravel and Kucinich, and good Republicans like Ron Paul haven't signed on to the New Pax Americana, and that is why they don't have a chance.

And the American People, obsessed with the trivial, deserve what they get. The New Rome.

By the way, when are "we" going to leave Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo?

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious--do you want to drive out every Democratic member of Congress or just most of them? If you force the party to govern from the extremes on every issue, they won't hold the power to govern for very long.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

We sat and watched on tv as Colin Powell described the threat from Iraq. It was pure speculation. Anyone who fell for it doesn't deserve the highest office. Hillary, no way. I'm saddened that Edwards falls into this camp. I think Obama is a poser.
Not enough meat there. Who else we got? Anybody care to step up to the plate and blow these pseudo leaders out of the water?

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember speaking with a friend in 2002 and he said, "We'll tough it alone." Americans were trained in fear, hiding under school tables during drills, fearful the Russians were coming.

In addition, World Geography isn't anyone's forté.

I don't blame senators who made mistakes about the war. At this point, however, it is clear it must end. I support Hillary 2008.


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