Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blue Dogs Behaving Badly-- Again


Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to approve the Health Affordable Choices Act. Every single Democrat on the committee, even right-wing corporate shill Kay Hagan of North Carolina, voted for it and, predictably, every single Republican member voted against it-- from the drooling extremists and anti-family fanatics like Richard Burr (R-NC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) to more mainstream conservatives like Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Judd Gregg (R-NH) and John McCain (R-AZ). One of the most determined progressives on the committee, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), explained the bill at DailyKos yesterday.
This bill will help rein in the runaway health care costs that are bankrupting families and businesses.  It will give Americans the peace of mind of knowing that they are no longer one pink slip away from losing coverage.  It will make it illegal for insurance companies to charge people more or turn them away just because they’re sick or older.  Combined with the work that is being done by the Senate Finance Committee, 97 percent of Americans will have coverage. People who like their current coverage will be able to keep it, and everyone will have more choices and access to affordable coverage, no matter their lot in life.  And importantly, it includes a robust public option.  This bill represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our broken health care system.

The fact, though, that a reactionary like Hagan was forced to vote for it, doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of Democrats making common cause with obstructionist Republicans to derail it-- or at least water it down and make it ineffective. In the Senate corrupt reactionary Democrats on the Finance Committee like Max Baucus, Tom Carper, Kent Conrad and Blanche Lincoln are working with the Republicans to carry out the demands of their Insurance Industry paymasters to weaken the bill to the point of making it untenable.

And in the House, of course, we have the always treacherous, always disingenuous Blue Dogs, many of whom are southerners who will, by nature, oppose anything and everything that could possibly help Black families or immigrant families. Although Blue Dogs ostensibly stand for fiscal discipline, in reality, many-- if not most-- of the Blue Dogs just use that as an excuse for their own reactionary and racist politics. The only Democrats, for example, to cross the aisle and vote with the Republicans against Hate Crimes legislation last April were a gaggle of sleazy, bigoted Blue Dogs. Similarly, it is primarily the Blue Dogs in the House who are screaming that they will oppose any bill that includes a public option or in any way forces the Insurance Industry CEOs who shower them with so much money to compete with an alternative that is based on delivering health care instead if denying it. These are the 51 Blue Dogs in the House. There aren't a dozen worth a collective bucket of spit:

• Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Co-chair for Administration
• Rep. Baron Hill (IN), Co-chair for Policy
• Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA), Co-chair for Communications
• Rep. Heath Shuler (NC), Whip
• Rep. Jason Altmire (PA)
• Rep. Mike Arcuri (NY)
• Rep. Joe Baca (CA)
• Rep. John Barrow (GA)
• Rep. Marion Berry (AR)
• Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA)
• Rep. Dan Boren (OK)
• Rep. Leonard Boswell (IA)
• Rep. Allen Boyd (FL)
• Rep. Bobby Bright (AL)
• Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA)
• Rep. Chris Carney (PA)
• Rep. Ben Chandler (KY)
• Rep. Travis Childers (MS)
• Rep. Jim Cooper (TN)
• Rep. Jim Costa (CA)
• Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX)
• Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN)
• Rep. Joe Donnelly (IN)
• Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN)
• Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ)
• Rep. Bart Gordon (TN)
• Rep. Parker Griffith (AL)
• Rep. Jane Harman (CA)
• Rep. Tim Holden (PA)
• Rep. Frank Kratovil, Jr. (MD)
• Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
• Rep. Jim Marshall (GA)
• Rep. Jim Matheson (UT)
• Rep. Mike Michaud (ME)
• Rep. Walt Minnick (ID)
• Rep. Harry Mitchell (AZ)
• Rep. Dennis Moore (KS)
• Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA)
• Rep. Glenn Nye (VA)
• Rep. Collin Peterson (MN)
• Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND)
• Rep. Mike Ross (AR)
• Rep. John Salazar (CO)
• Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA)
• Rep. Adam Schiff (CA)
• Rep. David Scott (GA)
• Rep. Zack Space (OH)
• Rep. John Tanner (TN)
• Rep. Gene Taylor (MS)
• Rep. Mike Thompson (CA)
• Rep. Charles Wilson (OH)

And speaking of this trash, it's worth noting that the Blue Dogs are already reaching out to conservative candidates, particularly in the South, in an attempt to enhance their power within the Democratic caucus. Although progressive Navy vet Doug Tudor astounded the political establishment last year by doing so well-- with only grassroots support-- against GOP leader Adam Putnam, the Blue Dogs are trying to maneuver the DCCC into supporting a reactionary, anti-family fake Democrat, Lori Edwards, against Tudor. Edwards, like the worst of the Blue Dogs, opposes the public option and the Blue Dogs, with corporate shill Allen Boyd in the lead, have endorsed her.

"We know a little bit about Lori's record; we know that she will be a great fit with the Blue Dogs," said Boyd, who was in a similar group with Edwards when both served in the legislature. "She understnds how the government economic model works."

Edwards, who faces Doug Tudor in the Democratic primary, in a conference the endorsement will help voters unfamiliar record understand that "I am a conserv and moderate Democrat." Asked about President Obama health care reform proposal, Edwards indeed sounded like she'll fit right in with the Blue Dogs, saying it should be "deficit-neutral" and focus on "small business protection."

DWT has endorsed Tudor and we urge everyone who can to consider making a donation to Doug's campaign and sending a message to the DCCC that we want real Democrats in Congress, not Blue Dog hacks serving the interests of corporate CEOs.

One Blue Dog, Patrick Murphy (PA), who has been supportive of a great deal of progressive legislation, including health care reform and, most recently, ending Don't Ask Don't Tell, is now a chair of the DCCC’s Red to Blue program. Yesterday he endorsed progressive Democrat Doug Pike for the seat being vacated by conservative Republican Jim Gerlach in the suburbs south of Philly. Although I wasn't too happy to read that the DCCC seems to be involving itself in a primary again, at least it's to the detriment of Blue Dog-oriented state Senator Andy Dinniman. It will be interesting to see if the DCCC persists in butting into local primaries this year. We don't even like it when they do it against a conservative like Dinniman but when they do it to support Republicans-disguised-as-Democrats like Lori Edwards, it means real trouble.

Ask almost any Democrat in the House who's the biggest scumbag in the party caucus and Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK) will usually beat out even slimy neo-Confederate shit-eaters like Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA), Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC) and Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS), all of whom vote with the Republicans on substantive matters at least as much as they vote with Democrats. Yesterday, Boren became the first so-called Democrat to go on a full frontal attack against President Obama.
Ten feet from the desk, in the main hallway of Boren's new Durant headquarters, the congressman beams from a portrait, his arm draped around President George W. Bush. A photo with the current president is nowhere to be found.

“Barack Obama is very unpopular,” said Boren, who represents Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District. “He got 34 percent of the vote statewide, and less in our district. If he were to run for re-election today, I bet it would be even worse.”

...“It would be a lot nicer if we had someone who was in the middle,” he said. “Bill Clinton won our district. A lot of people don’t remember that, but he, in 1996, carried this district. I think if you have someone who governs from the middle, who’s pragmatic, who works with both parties. President Obama talks a lot about bipartisanship. If you look at some of the legislation, he may have one or two Republicans.”

Next time you get solicited by the DCCC to donate please think about this brief piece in today's Hill:
Centrist Democrats are threatening to oppose their party’s healthcare legislation unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accepts changes that make the bill more to their liking.

Seven Blue Dogs on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have banded together to draft amendments that they’ll co-sponsor in the committee markup, which starts Thursday. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the Blue Dogs’ point man on healthcare, says if those changes aren’t accepted, they’ll vote down the bill.

“We cannot support the current bill,” Ross said. “Last time I checked, it took seven Democrats to stop a bill in Energy and Commerce.”

And remember, when you donate money to the DCCC you are contributing money to anti-family extremists, reactionaries and racists like Dan Boren, no matter what you think your money is going towards. Money donated through Blue America goes only to progressive candidates who you pick yourself-- like Doug Tudor and Jennifer Brunner.

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At 1:25 PM, Blogger Mike McNally said...

You use the word reactionary several times in your post, but when you paint with this broad a brush and use this kind of insulting, inflammatory language (e.g. -"aren't worth a bucket of spit"), aren't you being reactionary yourself?
Consider, for example, saliva wannabe Jason Altmire from my home district. Your alternative to Mr. Altmire was one Melissa Hart. a rabid, Bush-loving, Bible-thumping, right-winger if ever there was one. Moreover, a Democratic challenger in the vein of progressive you describe would have been slaughtered by Ms. Hart. If you feel compelled to castigate the positions of some of these people, fine. But before you question the motives and principles underlying a fellow Democrat, I suggest you present some real proof that they are as scummy as you state. Remember, people being allowed to disagree with your point of view is called democracy, not tyranny.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The only tyranny these two posters see is when their side is not in charge.

So, progressives want insurance companies to have to insure the aged and sick without charging more. Now that is good business sense.

Both parties are "progressives" and both are leading us to tyranny.

Progressives bite the hand that feeds them. They claim to be for the working man, but that is just code for Union man - i.e. the people with the help of the government who broke the auto industry.

You don't want freedom. you want control as do the Republicans.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Progressives bite the hand that feeds them. They claim to be for the working man, but that is just code for Union man - i.e. the people with the help of the government who broke the auto industry.

So that's what happened to GM & Chrysler? And here I thought it had something to do with an industry that continually cranked out and pimped the big gas guzzling behemoths that couldn't compete with better designed, more fuel efficient Japanese autos when the energy crisis of $4 per gallon hit. But who could have foreseen that? Why, them socialist, commie pinko Unions should have. Not the guys who were actually IN CHARGE!

Those poor, poor, victimized auto industry CEO's, VPs, design engineers and sales managers. I do hope they got some of that big fat severance bonus salve to ease the pain of those Union and Govmint inflicted booboos.

Or, in other words: Jan, you are an idiot.
Good luck in your quest to never growing old or getting sick and needing insurance and hearing; "Sorry, bottom line profitability for the Company is what health care is really all about. Just ask OUR Congresspeople. Bubye"

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey Steve, the following quote of yours
Or, in other words: Jan, you are an idiot.
Isn't that special. I take it as a complement coming from you.

So $4.00 gas killed the auto industry, and not the price of the cars.

Those Japanese made cars less expensively and shipped them here at a profit. Then the protectionist passed legislation to require cars to contain a determined amount of american made parts. The Japanese built plants here and still made cars less expensively.

BTW, many of those Japanese "branded" cars are just as big.

BTW, how long did that $4 gas last? about a week. I bought gas last night for $2.169.

I doubt you even own a car or pickup.


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