Wednesday, September 26, 2007



It was very disheartening for House Democrats to play along with or get manipulated into supporting Republican change-the-subject strategies and instead of doing their jobs, vote to condemn a newspaper ad. Only 79 Democrats seemed to understand what free speech means. As I said earlier, Blue America has endorsed 8 incumbents and four stood up for free speech today-- Congressmembers Hilda Solis (D-CA), Tom Allen (D-ME), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Jerry Nadler (D-NY)-- and four, in tougher, more Republican-leaning districts, took the bait and voted to condemn the ad: Carol Shea-Porter (NH), John Hall (NY), Jerry McNerney (CA) and Patrick Murphy (PA). Earlier I urged our members to stop donating-- at least for the rest of this quarter-- to the candidates who voted with the Republicans today. (I also asked everyone to thank Hilda Solis, Jerry Nadler, Steve Cohen, and Tom Allen by making a donation to their campaigns-- even if it's just a token one dollar each.)

But perhaps we need to go further. Blue America commissioned a poll to gage what the readers of Crooks & Liars, Firedoglake, Digby and DWT think. The survey asks if you agree or disagree with the candidates who voted against censuring MoveOn and then asks what you think we should do about the 4 who voted in favor of censure. There are 3 choices:
1) Encourage people not to give money to him for the rest of the quarter
2) Ask him to come on Blue America and explain his vote
3) Remove him from Blue America completely

Jane, John, Digby and I would like to get some guidance from our readers how strongly you feel about this and how strongly you want us to react. Please hit this link and take the survey.

A little while ago I spoke with John Laesch (D-IL), another Blue America-endorsed candidate. Like Martin Heinrich and Tom Allen he wasn't happy to see so many of his fellow Democrats fall into this trap. He told me he is "appalled that the House wasted one minute of their time condemning a newspaper advertisement. It's time to move on from the MoveOn ad. This is yet one more example of how President Bush continues to control the agenda in Washington." John has been fighting against Bush occupation of Iraq for several years-- and, as a vet of that conflict, he's not kidding around. He means business and I could just see him shaking his head in disgust on the other end of the phone.
I have no idea how much time U.S. House members have wasted on this bill, but I do know that our troops are still stuck in a quagmire in Iraq. I know that the healthcare system still leaves millions of Americans uninsured and the front page of my local newspaper featured one more story about a local business closing its doors.

The polling numbers of both the president (27%) and the United States Congress (11%) reflect how hungry America is for new leadership."

John had called to tell me that the Northwestern Illinois Building and Trades Council had unanimously endorsed his candidacy. But that got lost in all the hubbub about Democrats voting like Republicans.

"More and better Democrats" is a motto we need to be thinking about. Dan Grant, a Democrat running against Mike McCaul, a rubber stamp Republican in central Texas, sent me a note about McCaul's McCarthy-like vote against MoveOn. I want to share it with DWT readers:
One day after voting against extending the same kind of taxpayer-funded health care he himself enjoy to more than four million eligible American children who have no insurance at all, Mike McCaul has found a cause he can support-- condemning the free expression of opinion by a group of citizens during an important national debate.

The testimony to Congress by Gen. David Petraeus about the civil war in Iraq and what the U.S. should do about it was notable for at least two reasons:

    * The aimlessness of the White House's policy
    * The absence of one of that policy's chief cheerleaders, Mike McCaul

That is, until now. Mr. McCaul has finally roused himself long enough to participate in a shallow charade that does nothing to make us safer, bring our troops home, or make up for rubberstamping the Bush-Cheney administration's misadventure in Iraq.

I served as a civilian in Iraq. I watched all kinds of men and women from all walks of life work their hearts out to try to fix this disaster. And while Mr. McCaul engaged in this pointless theatre, some of those people may have died. Shame on him.

That's how Democrats should be answering Republican calumny against citizens exercising their right to free speech in challenging a catastrophic and failed policy that Congress has enabled Bush to carry out-- and still enables Bush to carry out.

Don't forget to take the survey. and don't forget to say thanks to Hilda Solis, Jerry Nadler, Tom Allen, and Steve Cohen.


They didn't condemn Vice President Cheney when he falsely connected Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein.

They didn't condemn Colin Powell when he lied about WMD to the United Nations.

They didn't condemn President Bush when he started eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant.

They didn't condemn President Bush and the Republicans when they attacked Sen. John Kerry's war record.

They didn't condemn Sen. Saxby Chambliss when he ran ads comparing triple-amputee and war hero Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden.

They still haven't done enough to slow this dreadful war or protect our troops.

A few hours ago, 146 Democrats joined every single Republican voting in the House in condemning a newspaper ad.



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At 4:17 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sorry I very much disagree with you. While I myself think the vote aganist the MoveOn ad was silly, I also though the MoveOn ad was to. Attacking a man with such valor service to his country leaves much to be desired.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Christopher, thanks for expressing your opinion. I hope you'll vote in our survey. There is no way to vote to support the condemnation, which I guess you wouldn't want to do anyway, but may I suggest that you consider the option of inviting the 4 Democrats over for a discussion?

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 32 years as a Democrat, I resigned this summer.
I see no one in the party in a leadership roll, which IMHO we desperately need. F***.

At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Progressives need to toughen up.
Remove them first. Then if they want to come on and explain their vote we will vote on them after.
We are their best friends they just lost.
Voting to censure free press and supporting the political spin war and deceit is unacceptable. I have asked for my 2006 contributions back.

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remove them. We don't need traitors in our midst.

It's not like there are no candidates to give money to. If we cut some off, that leaves more money for those who deserve support, which is a Good Thing.

Let's concentrate on the ones who will do what we want, and to hell with the rest. Why support candidates who will just thumb their noses at us? The fact that such a silly and self-destructive course of action could even be considered shows how accustomed we have become to being screwed by the Democratic Party.

At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Attacking a man with such valor service to his country"

Christopher, you're forgetting that when Petraeus addressed Congress in support of Bush's insane and illegal war, he ceased being a professional military man and became a politician.

It was Politician Petraeus who was (rightfully) being criticized, not General Petraeus.

Bush put him in that position precisely because of that claim of unassailability, but that claim, like everything else from Bush, is FALSE.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone, ANYONE, please give us the skinny on this man's 'VALOR'. He signed up to join the miltary and that is what he is doing. Where is the 'valor'? He is a professional military man DOING HIS JOB!! No frigging valor there me thinks. I go to work every day and do my job. So, have I served with 'valor'?
Christopher's comment was hollow. "I think the vote against free speech was silly but the practicing of free speech was silly as well." Christopher is the silly one here.

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carol Shea-Porter is a man?

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Prof. George Edward Challenger said...

You should give up on them. the netroots joins labor in the not-worth-listening-to dustpile at Dem HQ. The only way the whole stinkin' Ruling Elite will ever learn is if you stop funding and voting for either of the Two Parties without a distinction.

Call yourselves progressives, liberals, democrats whatever. As long as you continue to believe in the myth that any of these candidates are ever gonna side with the people against statists, corporatists, militarists you will forever be letting the spousal batterer back into your house saying things like "he really loves me," and "this time he's change,." from underneath your blackened eye.


P.S. Think about endorsing/funding the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't support these creeps in any way in the future. Simply drop them -- they've just sent a message that they neither want nor deserve netroots support. If freakin Al Wynn, the worst of the worst, could vote no, these clowns certainly have no excuse. I'm sure their repug friends and the corporatocracy will give them everything they need from here on out.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we need to get rid of the powerful democrats who aren't really dems: dianne feinstein needs to be recalled; steny hoyer needs to be challenged. There are others but we should start there.


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