Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Road To 60-- And Unemployment Insurance


How can we really know how Georgia's embattled reactionary senator, Saxby Chambliss, would have voted on the unemployment compensation extension bill Friday? With Georgia's unemployment level rising to 7%-- the highest since 1992-- Chambliss, who didn't bother going to Washington to vote, claims he would have voted for the extension. Georgia voters, who will decide between Chambliss' implied pledge to block all the reforms and all the change President Obama tries to enact, and Jim Martin's resounding pledge to help President Obama get the nation back on its feet after years and years of wrong-headed right-wing policies uniformly pushed by Chambliss.

With the Minnesota race tightening every time another batch of votes is recounted and Al Franken looking likely to oust Republican rubber stamp Norm Coleman, the only hope the GOP has to keep Obama from succeeding in saving America-- and perhaps dealing a well deserved fatal blow to right-wing extremism as a viable political brand in America-- is in the blood red heart of Dixie, Georgia. And Martin is no reactionary from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. He's the real deal.

Forget for a moment that Democratic cohesion in House and Senate caucuses filled with Blue Dogs and DLC types who in many ways are as reactionary as Republicans and nearly as fearful and unsupportive of working families as the GOP is mostly wishful thinking. And forget the desperation the GOP feels about the recount in Minnesota and the run-off in Georgia. Let's instead just narrow the discussion down to helping Georgians make an educated guess about how Chambliss would really have voted on extending unemployment benefits-- especially if he wasn't battling for his political life back home.

Looking at the aggregate voting records of the 6 Republican right-wing extremists who voted to filibuster the bill-- Jim DeMint (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Michael Enzi (R-WY)-- clearly shows 6 of the lowest progressive scores in the Senate. The average for these six on substantive partisan bills that divide the two parties is an abysmal 2.31 (out of 100). Hard to imagine such a low score? Chambliss' is .044, far more reactionary than any of the senators who voted against extending unemployment insurance. There's no doubt that had he won the seat outright, he would have voted with his hard right colleagues to filibuster. That's who he is.

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At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CNN continues to insist that Saxby Chambliss won a plurality in Georgia. Hmmm. Maybe CNN has a different English dictionary that I have. The reason the Senate race is going to a run-off is because the Georgia constitution requires a plurality in an election for a winner to be declared. That means a candidate must get at least 50.1%. Chambliss didn't and he only led Martin by 3% - well inside the margin of error. That he performed so poorly in a state in which the GOP-controlled legislature redrew the district lines to form an almost unbreakable jerrymander is telling about how fed up Americans are with the GOP.


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