Wednesday, August 29, 2007



In the past we've covered many disloyal, reactionary Democrats, the Jim Marshalls, John Barrows, Chris Carneys and Gene Taylors of the world. The ones who piss me off most are the Democrats in solidly blue district who betray their constituents to vote with the Republicans and with insidious corporate interests. Illinois' 3rd congressional district is afflicted with one of those fake Democrats, Lipinski, a Tennessean who inherited the seat from his father.

The latest outrage regarding Lipinski was when he joined a handful of other renegade Democrats to vote with the Republicans and pass Bush's outrageous and unconstitutional FISA legislation. A week from Saturday, Blue America will be hosting a session at Firedoglake with Mark Pera, a real resident of IL-03 and a real Democrat. The chat is at 1pm (Chicago time), 11am on the West Coast. You'll have plenty of time to meet him then and ask him whatever questions you'd like. I'm bringing him up today, however, because he just issued a statement on why he would have opposed the FISA legislation. Here is a very clear distinction between a rabidly anti-choice conservative-- who even opposes stem cell research-- and a progressive Democrat who will fight it out in a primary that will determine the next congressman to represent IL-03.

Last year Blue America helped a dozen Democrats replace a dozen rubber stamp Republicans. We plan to do the same thing this year-- and at the same time, we also hope to replace some rubber stamp Democrats with real progressives. Mark is one of those progressives. This is what he had to say about Lipinski's rubber stamping of Bush's FISA bill:

On Aug. 5, before he left Washington D.C. for vacation, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski gave President Bush and former-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez permission to run the domestic wiretapping program without judicial oversight.

A Congressman who is aware of the troubles befalling our nation should know by now that this Administration won't just let the wiretapping program gather dust. We can be sure that sometime during the next six months, President Bush will exercise the power given to him by Congress.

It is shocking to see such blind trust from "Democrats" like Lipinski who willy-nilly throw away Congress' own power in deference to a President who has routinely demonstrated to the American people and to Congress that he cannot be trusted.

In my experience as Assistant Cook County State's Attorney, I requested wiretaps and I respected the protocol involved in the process, of going to a judge and having a third party sign off on the request. It never impeded my ability to do my job.

It is particularly troubling that Lipinski again capitulated to Bush's and other Republicans' blatant use of concerns about terrorism in presenting the proposal. By bucking the Democratic Party and voting with the Republicans, Lipinski has again withered in the face of fear mongering.

This whole issue brings to mind what Benjamin Franklin once said, "The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

What makes Lipinski's vote that much more egregious is it granted expanded powers to the former Attorney General, someone who has lost credibility with even the staunchest Republicans. The Gonzalez resignation is another reminder that we, the critics of this Administration's rampant disregard for our Constitutional system, must remain vigilant against a "unitary executive."

While the Bush Administration and Lipinski claim a high regard for democracy and the rule of law, their actions demonstrate a deep-seated contempt for both. Congressman Lipinski took an oath to uphold the Constitution but by repeatedly voting in lockstep with the Bush Administration and shirking his responsibility to check presidential power, he has violated that oath and our trust.

A Congressman that understands his responsibility to the American public would do well to remember that two years ago, Americans voted for meaningful, purposeful change. As this FISA vote demonstrates, that demand has fallen upon deaf ears in the 3rd District of Illinois.

It's time to stand up to the President and say 'No more!' Dan Lipinski won't do anything about this Administration; it is time to send someone to Congress who will.

You can see all the contrasts between Mark and Lipinski at Mark's website. If you'd like to lend a hand to Mark's grassroots campaign against a bogus Democratic incumbent, we just added him to our Blue America page today.

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