Saturday, April 07, 2007



This morning's New York Times published a story about how happy the GOP "centrists" are with the Democratic takeover of the House.
As the new Democrat-led House rushed to complete its business before adjourning for spring break this week, Representative Ferguson was marveling at the many bills that had been passed in Congress’s first 100 days, including one that would make it easier for unions to organize and another that would increase the minimum wage.

“Under the Republican majority, those bills would have never gotten to the floor,” he explained before heading back to his district. “Now they have been brought to the floor, and I've voted for them.”

Mr. Ferguson's enthusiasm captures a peculiar political reality in the Capitol: many Republicans from swing districts in the Northeast are finding that life under Democratic rule has its advantages.

Indulge me for a moment and come take a look at Progressive Punch's relative ratings of all the members of the House. If you scroll down to where the most reactionary Democrats-- the likes of  Gene Taylor (MS), Dan Boren (OK) and Bud Cramer (AL) meet the supposed "moderate" Republicans like Chris Shays (CT), ex-Democrat Rodney Alexander (LA) and Ron Paul (TX)-- you'll see the fallacy of the Times' and the general mass media's position. The so-called "moderate" Republicans are far to the right of the most right-wing Democrats. No one ever accused right-leaning Georgia Democrat Jim Marshall of being progressive. His voting record is execrable and doesn't look remotely "Democratic" to me. He's the 9th most reactionary member of the House Democratic caucus and his Progressive Punch score is 63.23. The 9th least reactionary Republican is Maryland's Wayne Gilcrest; his score is 19.91. That's an unbridgeable chasm, not between neo-fascist shit-eaters like Tim Walberg (R-MI), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Patrick McNutcase (R-NC) on the one hand and progressive heroes like Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) on the other, but between Democratic right-wingers and the so-called "moderate" Republicans.

The Times touts the easily supportable, immensely popular bills that Nancy Pelosi pushed through in the first 100 hours-- bills to reduce interest on student loans and increase minimum wages. They were easy for Republicans to support and many did. But when it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff-- issues like women's right to choice, fair taxation, Bush's catastrophic war... that's where you see the difference and that's when you realize the only good Republican is a defeated Republican.

Aside from Ferguson, a highly vulnerable New Jersey Republican with an overwhelming rubber stamp voting record (and a laughable score of 13.35), the Times singles out a gaggle of pathetic freaks from blue-leaning districts but with solid red voting records, such as Randy Kuhl, Peter King and James Walsh of New York, all kooks with, respectively, abysmal scores of 8.81, 11.74 and 16.24. All of them are die-hard Bush-Cheney warmongers who never met a Big Business they didn't want to give a tax break to and never met a middle class family they wanted to give any kind of a break to. The Times is in the same dreamland McCain was in when he talked about strolling through pacified Baghdad.



At 5:50 PM, Blogger TSop said...

Ferguson represents part of the richest county in New Jersey (probably in the country) - and his constituents have benefited mightily from the Bushco Family tax cuts. Only this fact helped him barely defeat Linda Stender, whose campaign took a bit long to get its footing. In any case, Ferguson is an opportunist who will do anything to hang on to his seat. Just like the rest of the wingnuts. Hopefully 2008 will bring a different result for Stender. (She should hire some of Carol Shea-Porter's folks to help her out.)


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