Sunday, February 11, 2007

IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO GET DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEN TO REPRESENT US... NOT THE BUSH REGIME & MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?

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So far no votes have been taken on the House side of the 110th Congress as to whether or not to support Bush's war on and occupation of Iraq. All we have to go by for new members is whether or not they've signed on as co-sponsors of bills to end the war-- like Woolsey's and Murtha's. For all non-freshmen, we have years of voting records, starting with how they voted on October 10, 2002 on H.J. Res. 114, the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq. It was the final vote on a bill that gave Bush congressional authorization to conduct a unilateral attack on Iraq. It weakened the constitutional role of Congress in declaring war, isolated the U.S. from the international community because of its unilateral nature, and established a dangerous precedent for preemptive war, something the world tried to end with Hitler. It passed the House 296-133, with a majority of Democrats, led by then-Whip Nancy Pelosi voting against it (while Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt voted for it, ruining his political career).

But there were many Democrats (81) who joined Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt and John Boehner and virtually all the Republicans (6 voted with Pelosi) to support Cheney's demands for this. Generally speaking, reactionary-leaning Democrats plus otherwise moderate and progressive Dems in thrall to AIPAC (led by Californians Henry Waxman, Jane Harman and Howard Berman) voted with the Republicans to attack Iraq. Emanuel hadn't been sent to Congress by the corrupt Daley political machine yet but Hoyer, of course, was a big proponent of the war. So, by the way, was Murtha-- although Murtha has done a 180 degree turn while Hoyer and many other Democrats are still dragging their feet on this.

Of course, that first bill was hardly the last. There have been dozens of bills since then to back or oppose the Bush's Regime's policies and actions in Iraq. Only 4 Democrats have perfect voting records, opposing the Regime every step of the way, Raul Grijalva (AZ), Maurice Hinchley (NY), James McGovern (MA) and Donald Payne (NJ). Close enough to perfect are Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Barbara Lee (CA), George Miller (CA), Janice Schakowsky (IL), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Barney Frank (MA), Jim McDermott (WA), John Tierney (MA), Edolphus Towns (NY), Nadia Velazquez (NY), Earl Blumenauer (OR), John Lewis (GA), John Conyers (MI) and Pete Stark (CA). Another 20 Democrats have exemplary voting records of standing up to Bush and Cheney on Iraq including Maxine Waters, Whip James Clyburn, Charles Rangel and my own congresswoman, Diane Watson. Then there's a big group in the middle, supporting some Bush stuff and opposing some other Bush stuff. But that still leaves 100 Democrats Bush has generally been able to count on when Bush came to shove.

100! Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Most names shouldn't surprise you; they're the Democrats most eager to vote with Republicans on reactionary positions, like Jim Marshall, John Barrow and David Scott (all of Georgia), like Bud Cramer (AL), Vic Snyder (AR), Collin Peterson (MN), Jim Matheson (UT), Chet Edwards (TX), Gene Taylor (MS)... But some of the 100 are in blue blue districts that are filled with majorities opposed to war like Steve Israel (NY), Steven Rothman (NJ), Nita Lowey (NY), Howard Berman (CA), Adam Smith (WA), Ellen Tauscher (CA), Jane Harman (CA), Steny Hoyer (MD), Patrick Kennedy RI), Gary Ackerman (NY), Adam Schiff (CA), Jerry Costello (IL), Bob Brady (PA), Loretta Sanchez (CA), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL), and, of course, the Democrats' version of The Architect, Rahm Emanuel (IL).

There are no Republicans who have stood up to Bush at all. A few stragglers who have on rare occasion refused to do the rubber stamp boogie are Ron Paul (TX), John Duncan (TN), Rodney Alexander (LA), Walter Jones (NC), and Tom Petri (WI). But remember what I said; these Republicans have rubber stamped all the worst Bush agenda items almost always and the only Republican voting more antiwar than any Democrat was Ron Paul (who beat out a small handful of the worst reactionary Democratic warmongers but still has a hideously unacceptable voting record).

You may have noticed that I have spent a lot of time in the last couple years writing about Rahm Emanuel's role in destroying the value of the Democratic "brand." Yesterday I was invited to participate in a bloggers panel at a convention in L.A. The topic of the day was, more or less, Anna Nicole Smith, who I had never heard of before her death. One blogger looked at my like I was insane and mentioned that she's "an icon." He said icon. Later I asked for a show of hands from the audience of who had ever heard of Rahm Emanuel. Four people raised their hands-- and one was a friend of mine who I had brought along for moral support. He's one of the half dozen men in the U.S. not permitting the Iraq war to end-- something I gather everyone in that auditorium would have liked-- and virtually no one had ever heard of him. But they certainly were conversant about Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton and another one I had never heard of, Perez Hilton.


Tomorrow a 3 day "occupation" begins in the district office of Blue Dog/war-supporter Adam Schiff. Schiff ran as a progressive and immediately started voting as a reactionary Democrat, including a yea when it came to H.J. Res. 114-- and to much of the rest of Bush's war agenda. Why do we bother voting for Democrats like Schiff if they get to Washington and, in effect, join the GOP? Our old pal, Marcy Winograd, is among a handful of progressives who will be making sure Schiff's constituents know he's a fake Democrat (like you-know-who) who favors the Bush's Regime war agenda. Citizen activists should be planning actions like this in dozens of districts around the country, especially in Emanuel's and Hoyer's.

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9 Comments:

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Dr. Tex Nology said...

Nice artwork Adam.

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good posting, but it's EARL Blumenauer from Oregon.

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Howie,
I didn't know that Bob Brady had such a shitty record about Bush's war. I don't know if you know, but Brady''s tit is in a ringer here in Philly. He wants to run for mayor, his boy, Vince Fumo has just been indicted by the Feds on 139 of corruption and fraud. The other thing, which happened at the end of this past week, was the Democratic party bosses of Philly(all beholden to Brady) endorsed him for mayor. If you think it smells fishy, you are right. The primary isn't for another few months. And the city bosses rarely if ever endorse someone before the primary.

 
At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your remarks about Republican libertarian Rep. Ron Paul show poor research.

Ron Paul has voted against every single Iraq resolution, every Iraq War appropriations budget, Patriot Act, Real ID.

There is no Democrat that has a superior voting record in regards to the Iraq War or the Drug War. Paul's voting record is as good as Barney Frank, Dennis Kucinich, Pete Stark, Blumenauer, and other icons (justly so) of the Democratic Party on any vote on the Iraq or Drug Wars.

 
At 2:37 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Marc Scott Emery, you sound like you're living in some alternative loonitarian world where facts have no bearing. As I said, Ron Paul has the best record of any Republican and his record is better than exactly 20 of the worst reactionary Democrats. BUT, every other Democrat has a better voting record on Iraq than Paul. Let's start with the granddaddy of them all H.J. Res 114, the resolution authorizing force in Iraq. There were 4 individual votes Oct 10, 2002 and Paul voted with the Democrats 3 times out of 4, pretty good for a Republican. Then on May 22, 2003 he voted with the GOP in the idiotic Roll Call 218 to castigate France for it's anti-war stance in Iraq. On 16, 2003 Paul voted "present" rather than "NO" on Roll Call 544, Fiscal 2004 Supplemntal Appropriations for Iraq/Afganistan. There were 13 other bills regarding the war in which Paul voted with the Bush Regime and against Democrats trying to rein him in, the latest of which was May 5, 2005-- H.R. 1268 (Roll Call 160).

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger skaterina said...

Jim Matheson is my congressman / last year he sent his staff down to my town to see if any of his constituents needed help in any way / during the discussion it was pointed out that he had voted for the Iraq war / staff defended him / he saw the intel and believed it / None Of Us Fell For It / we clamored

but we keep voting for him bc he is the only "democrat" in Utard

Katherine Hunter

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Paul said...

So how do we get them to represent us and NOT the military-industrial complex? I know it's a tough question but it needs to be addressed because that is the crux of the matter. Politicians come and go but the complex remains and will continue to shape foreign policy until it is stopped.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger My friend A. said...

Thanks, simple art, but to the point!

 
At 4:46 AM, Blogger Demimonde Mesila Thraam said...

This is exactly the sort of thing that makes me wonder how many Democrats are actually neocon plants, who talk a blue streak and vote with a red check pen. Sounds paranoid, but really, not in this century...

 

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