Monday, August 20, 2007



Chris Carney-- worse than Joe Lieberman?

This weekend Pennsylvania Congressman Chris Carney said his personal choice for the next president of the United States would be Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (NE). On substantive matters Hagel and Carney have very similar voting records: extreme right. Let me come back to that in a moment though. Carney's endorsement of the right wing Republican-- someone who has supported abolishing Roe v Wade, who has voted for every single Bush judicial nomination, regardless of how extreme, who opposes equality for minorities, who has never met a corporate subsidy he didn't embrace, who is always wrong on the environment, fair taxation, education, medical care, etc-- comes just as the DCCC is urging grassroots Democrats to contribute money to Carney's re-election campaign.

While Carney was cutting down a potential Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton ("Certainly we are not Hillary Clinton. We don't govern like she does."), DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen had prioritized Carney's re-election. Interviewed by Brett Lieberman for the local Patriot News Carney and Van Hollen tried to make a case for his re-election. (The full and unedited version of the story appears on the Pennsyltucky Politics Blog.) Carney is a master triangulator, demonizing the Democratic Party and Democratic values at every turn.
"I'm not beholden to (Republican leader) John Boehner. I'm not beholden to Nancy Pelosi. I'm beholden to the people of the 10th district," he said.

But that independence has also angered some of the liberal groups that helped raise money and work to elect Carney.

"There's a lot of people in the blogosphere who would like him to lose his seat as a lesson for candidates who come in and lie to us and try to get our money.....he lied to us," said Howie Klein, a blogger on the progressive Firedoglake Web site.

"I think that would be shooting ourselves in the foot," said U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "It would be self-defeating for people who helped Chris Carney to turn their backs on him now because the fact of the matter is he's been a very effective member of Congress."
"These are independent members of Congress...does that mean sometimes they are not going to vote exactly the way the democratic leadership wants to go on an issue, yes, but that's why their constituents elected them," Van Hollen, D-Md., said.

Klein's group planned to stay quiet despite Carney's having what they viewed as one of the worst records in Congress until he allied himself with what Klein calls "a bunch of horrid homophobes" and voted against the hate crime bill that he said the congressman promised during the campaign to support.
"It makes many of our contributors says what difference is it if we had Sherwood in there," he said.
The group's Blue America PAC that raised $545,000 for progressive candidates wants Carney to refund $8,210 raised for him.

Carney denied misleading the group and said it was naïve on their part to think he would vote 100 percent in sync with their views.

You may have read about Blue America's dispute with Carney. When he was running for office he lied to us about his stance on key issues and 722 of our members contributed to his successful campaign against Republican incumbent Don "The Choker" Sherwood. As soon as Carney was elected he started voting just the way Sherwood would have. We were astounded that we helped elect an out-and-out, across-the-board reactionary. But we know better than to think just because you donate some money to a candidate they'll vote your way. We just watched with dismay as Carney's voting record got worse and worse and worse with each passing week. It was soon clear he was headed right for Joe Lieberman country. On contested substantive matters he was almost always with the Republicans. But it wasn't until the Hate Crimes bill came up for a vote-- a bill he had specifically promised to support-- that we decided to go public. Because then it was a matter of character as well as values. Carney had lied to us. While 2 dozen mainstream conservative Republicans crossed over and voted for equality with the Democrats, just Carney and 13 of the most reactionary and homophobic Democrats voted against the bill.

Now anyone who decides how to vote based on getting fancier offices and better parking spots for big-time Democrats like Pelosi, Emanuel, Hoyer and Van Hollen, might want to consider supporting Carney despite his atrocious voting record and his constant tearing down of the Democratic Party. But if you're the kind of Democrat for whom issues matter, a vote for Chris Carney is like a vote for Don Sherwood... only without the choking.

There is no progressive running against Carney. There are progressives running against other reactionary Democrats in primaries. We're always adding to our Blue America list of progressives and we invited you to support the men and women listed there. A progressive challenging a Democratic reactionary incumbent right now is Donna Edwards (who is opposing the corrupt corportae tool Al Wynn in Maryland). Other progressives locked in primary races against reactionaires and opportunists include Victoria Wulsin (OH-02), Angie Paccione (CO-04), John Laesch (IL-14), and Darcy Burner (WA-08). And crusading progressive Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) is being challenged by the odious and right-wing/DLC Harold Ford Machine in Memphis. Can you think of splitting $10 between these worthy progressives who won't just be run-of-the-mill Democrats who are a little better than rubber stamp Republicans?

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At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Texas 14 some 10 years ago Blue Dog Dummycrat Greg Laughlin kept moving further to the right with Democrats saying, "Well, he's the best we can do with the district." Then after the Republican Revolution in 1994 he changed parties, boasting that he'd have no problem winning the Republican Primary--until ex-Congressman Ron Paul came out of nowhere and beat him like a bowl of eggs. There were some mighty happy Democrats that day.

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I either called or wrote Carney when he voted for the Military Commissions bill that I would no longer support him. If he doesn't vote to uphold the constitution, he should not be in Congress.

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never voted for a republican in my life. I worked to get Carney elected. I knew when I was working for him that he was a schmuck. He was always in favor of the Iraq war whether there were WMD or not. He took 1000 bucks from Perl.
If a republican runs against him I will vote for the republican. If I am going to get screwed by my congresscritter I would rather it not be a democrat. At least we can run a real democrat against that person in the future.
In addition, some of Chris's earliest and most generous support came from the gay community. Shame on him.

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical pol. Lie to get elected, now watch as he feathers his nest. Carlyle dollars anyone?

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

got your link from Matt Stoller's piece at dailykos. Thank you for your list of progressive democrats to support. I have a couple envelopes for $ requests from Tim Walz, who I met at the home of one of Paul Wellstone's best friends... He's nothing like Carney, but I'm a little bummed out by his FISA &c votes. I met Darcy Burner at Yearly Kos, and she seems pretty great. I will be redirecting my next $ to the people on that list. Sorry 'bout Carney. sounds like a shmuck and a shande to the Dems.

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Hubris Sonic said...

fuck carney, cleary anyone who wants to run in the PA-10 would have plenty of financial support from the netroots.

At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Partisan Tyranny is no stranger to either political party, and the current results of Democratic Party rule making shows that it is more committed than ever to running the party for insiders.

However, the fact that both parties have chosen themselves as the common denominator to election by identifying their "organizational virility" to raise money and call the shots of the American public goes far beyond the premise as a method to aid elections. Truly, they have become a quasi-layer of government that has no basis in the Constitution at all, and partisan authority itself represents a tyranny before the American republic.

That political parties have moved from helpers in elections to gatekeepers in elections is outrageous in terms of administrative efficiency and public purpose. The power of parties needs to be reviewed and examined as the authoritative layer of government it has become.

The current climate of authority is anything but that Clinton proposed for government in 1992 with his open government policies, and his fondness for inclusionary politics, evidenced by his cabinet appointments of women and minorities.

The philosophy is fundamental to maintaining a democracy or an autocracy. Competition between political parties need not mean that the Democrats, in order to compete with Republicans, must follow their exclusionary nature - but the nation is surely headed in that direction.

Exclusionary politics need not be the gold standard of political parties that has the best interests of American voters in mind, nor fundamentally, should it be. What the Constitution prohibited to insure public representation has become a weapon of both parties to insure incumbency and cultivate insider politics.

If America doesn't recognize itself today, it is not totally the fault of Republicans but can blame the tactics and rulesmaking efforts of both parties to usurp election strategy and methods for their own behalf.

Professionalization can be good or it can be bad depending upon its methods and goals. Todays politics is beginning to look more bad than good based upon outcome, and based upon built in bias of political party gatekeeping to insure dominance and success.

Philosophically, mob rule is the same as fascism, the leader a mere puppet of the mob who chooses him or her.

At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the job of a member of the US House of Representatives is to represent the district that elected him. Chris Carney has done a good job of that for the 10th district. You can't reasonably expect him to pander to either extreme whether or not that fringe helped elect him or not since he is in there to represent all the people of his district not just some special interest group. Whether you care to admit it to yourselves or not, the 10th District is a socially conservative, fiscally conservative district. That Carney has been a conservative Democrat only proves that he has been a good representative for his district. Furthermore, supporting socially conservative issues in Congress also proves that he is being true not only to his constituents but also to his Midwestern Catholic values. If he can do a good job representing his entire district in DC and remain true to his personal values, then you cannot draw any comparison to Sherwood who ran on so-called Family Values while cheating on his wife and his 3 daughters. If you want a congressman who represents your political point of view and you're socially liberal and/or fiscally liberal, you probably ought to move to Oregon, Minnesota, or San Francisco so that your representative will more accurately represent you and the rest of the district. That represtentative will be as beholden to the liberal denizens of that district in the same manner that Carney is beholden to the very conservative constituents of the 10th. And fact is, Carney never represented himself as any thing other than a conservative Democrat. What you see is what you get. Open your eyes and see reality rather than what you want to see.

At 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted for Chris Carney, but I have been disappointed with his voting record. Chris Carney does not "walk the walk he talked" while seeking office. As an independent voter I can no longer support him.


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