Friday, October 31, 2008

How Badly Can Right Wing Democrats Hurt Obama? Like Nick Lampson


Only one Democratic congressman can be The Worst, unless there's an exact tie. Or unless you can't agree how to measure worst. But if you measure worst by looking at every contentious vote in Congress on a substantive issue and you see which Democrat has voted most consistently with the Republicans and against the Democrats you come up with... Blue Dog Nick Lampson.

Lampson would never had been elected had Tom Delay not been indicted. And Lampson would never had been elected had Tom Delay not contributed some of his district's solidly Republican areas to neighboring districts so that they would turn red-- even if it meant his own was less red. But it's still plenty red. Since getting into Congress (for the second time), Lampson has catered to Republican voters and decided Democrats would have no place else to go except to vote for him. Today's CQPolitics calls his strategy going local. I call it selling out. And I'm not talking about his rational support for the Space Program or other job-producing efforts in TX-22.

In 2006 Lampson barely beat (52%) a write-in effort by a silly and discredited candidate, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. This year he's facing a much more formidable threat from far right extremist-- and that's how they like 'em in that part of Texas-- Pete Olson. TX-22 is expected to vote overwhelmingly for McCain; he and Palin is exactly what this district wants in leaders. If 5% of the country thinks Obama is Muslim and 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim, 50% of TX-22 must be mired in the same appallingly grotesque ignorance. The race is rated a toss-up and Lampson is considered one of only 3 or 4 Democrats vulnerable to defeat on Tuesday. I'll have my fingers crossed.

Lampson's "party unity score" for 2008 is 56%, far worst than even the most reactionary and chickenshit nominal Democrats like Jim Marshall (83%), Jim Matheson (86%), John Barrow (83%), Chris Carney (84%), Joe Donnelly (79%), Jason Altmire (84%), and Brad Ellsworth (85%). In effect, he isn't really a functioning Democrat. To counter Olson's attacks on him as not being conservative enough, Lampson never tries defending Democratic positions. Instead he boasts about endorsements from anti-Democratic, right-wing groups like the National Rifle Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Texas Farm Bureau.

But Olson is pushing his conservative credentials, saying in his first TV spot that only a congressman with “conservative principles” can reign in government excess. He’s anti-abortion and pro-“traditional marriage.” He is, as he announced at the candidates’ debate, “fundamentally against universal health care” and supports extending President Bush’s tax cuts. He describes himself as a “smaller government” conservative and says he would have opposed the $700 billion financial bailout package Congress passed in early October.

Lampson voted “no” on the bailout twice, saying the bill “forces the average taxpayer to pay for a crisis that they did not create.” The Olson campaign charges that Lampson voted for authorizing the Treasury department’s credit assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “when nobody was watching,” then flipped “for political reasons” when it came time to weigh in on the higher-profile rescue. (The Fannie/Freddie provision was part of a larger housing package, and Lampson’s vote was to approve the entire bill.)

And Lampson is hardly the only member of Congress from Texas unworthy of the "D" next to his name. Bush's closest Democratic ally in the Texas Democratic congressional delegation has always been the odious Henry Cuellar from Laredo. Cuellar, proving that his loyalty is to the corporate interests that bribe him, not just to Bush personally, has already signaled that he is ready to undermine Obama if he becomes president-- especially on so-called "free trade."
Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, says he is ready to "fight" Barack Obama over the future of U.S. trade with Mexico.

On the campaign trail, Obama has said many times that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be renegotiated if he is elected president.

South Texas business and political leaders say NAFTA has been hugely important in growing the region over the last 15 years.

Speaking at a Rio Grande Valley Partnership luncheon on Thursday, Cuellar said he had spoken to Obama about the importance of NAFTA.

"I will fight him, the president," Cuellar said at the meeting. "If Obama becomes president, on NAFTA I will convince him on why trade is important especially for the border area."

If the carefully placed and ubiquitous rumors are true-- and let's pray it's just more signature Emanuel self-promotion-- that Obama is already looking at the worst and most treacherous "free" trader in Congress as a potential chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, Cuellar won't have much to worry about-- unless it's true that Americans are actually ready to put their feet down and say no to the Lampsons and Cuellars and Emanuels, as well as the the GOP. In any case, if we don't fight against corruption in both parties none of the most venal corporate interests who seek to buy influence for their special interests will have much to worry about.

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 8:58 PM, Blogger Jenn said... ..This video reminds what this election fight is all about!


Post a Comment

<< Home