The House Healthcare Vote

The House passed the healthcare bill late last night, 220-215. Only one Republican, Joseph Cao (LA-02), voted in favor. Here are the Dems who voted no:

District Incumbent District Incumbent District Incumbent
AL-02 Bobby Bright MN-07 Collin Peterson OH-16 John Boccieri
AL-05 Parker Griffith MO-04 Ike Skelton OK-02 Dan Boren
AL-07 Artur Davis MS-01 Travis Childers PA-04 Jason Altmire
AR-04 Mike Ross MS-04 Gene Taylor PA-17 Tim Holden
CO-04 Betsy Markey NC-07 Mike McIntyre SD-AL Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
FL-02 Allen Boyd NC-08 Larry Kissell TN-04 Lincoln Davis
FL-24 Suzanne Kosmas NC-11 Heath Shuler TN-06 Barton Gordon
GA-08 Jim Marshall NJ-03 John Adler TN-08 John Tanner
GA-12 John Barrow NM-02 Harry Teague TX-17 Chet Edwards
ID-01 Walter Minnick NY-13 Mike McMahon UT-02 Jim Matheson
KY-06 Ben Chandler NY-20 Scott Murphy VA-02 Glenn Nye
LA-03 Charlie Melancon NY-29 Eric Massa VA-09 Rick Boucher
MD-01 Frank Kratovil OH-10 Dennis Kucinich WA-03 Brian Baird

There was also a vote on an anti-abortion amendment, which passed 240-194. Sixty-four Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for this amendment. (John Shadegg voted “present.”)

P.S. I don’t like having to do this, but I’m going to remind everyone in advance to keep it civil on this thread. This is the place to discuss the electoral reasons why members of Congress voted the way they did, and the electoral impacts of those votes. Before you hit “post,” think about whether your comment falls under this description. If not, it’s probably off-topic.

UPDATE: In comments, DCal has a good summary of which Dems in R+3 or redder districts voted yes, and which Dems in R+2 or bluer districts voted no. Also, the NYT has a great interactive chart detailing the Dems who voted no.

331 thoughts on “The House Healthcare Vote”

  1. I think Mary Bono Mack just drew a big target on her back. “Republican majority for choice” my rear end!

    As for Artur Davis, does he honestly believe that this will help him win the Governor’s race? What a craven fool.  

  2. The guy has more undeserving praise then Ronald Reagan. I still don’t understand why some progressives defend him against any criticism, while you can never say anything nice about Minnick or Matheson.

    It’s not like it matters anyways. House leadership uses a “catch and release” strategy that allows conservatives to vote for some things but not others. Tom Delay used this method extensively.

    From Wikipedia:

    Employing a method known as “catch and release,” DeLay allowed centrist or moderately conservative Republicans to take turns voting against controversial bills. If a representative said that a bill was unpopular in his district, then DeLay would ask him to vote for it only if his vote were necessary for passage; if his vote were not needed, then the representative would be able to vote against the party without.

    On that note, it would be interesting to see the no votes for HRC side-by-side with the ACES no votes to see who was caught and who released. Harry Teague comes to mind as one of those who switched.  

  3. It’s the ones who voted yes for HCR and for Stupak that turn my stomach.

    Maybe because it’s so transparent in its politics: vote for the amendment, go home with pro-life cred still intact while also having pushed the legislation forward. Yet it involves pro-life women being thrown under the bus. And so many Democrats voted for it, including ones who are otherwise okay, like Tim Ryan and Tom Perriello.

    I’m not about to go PUMA and say I won’t contribute at all to our 2010 re-election efforts if if Stupak stays in the bill (I care way too much about keeping control of Congress for that) but goddamn it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Like the Obama victory/Prop 8 win all over again.

    Okay, back on topic. Anyone surprised? This is why I’ve never been a huge Kucinich fan. I respect voting against good legislation if you have a real problem, for instance Feingold voting against the recent hate-crimes legislation because it was attached to the war spending that he opposed. But voting against something because it doesn’t go far enough is silly.

  4. I can understand this (though I’m not pleased) because…

    -Less than a week after Christie unseated Corzine.

    -Being the first Dem in that district in 124 years.

    -Winning in a nailbitter (with Obama on the ballot) despite holding a 10 to 1 funding advantage over Myers for the majority of the campaign.

    If Adler wins re-election in 2010, I expect to see a more progressive voting record out of him.

  5. …will this “No” vote on the overall bill really provide cover to those in conservative districts?  I’m wondering if you live in a conservative district and are part of the political party that brings universal healthcare to fruition, will these people be able to say “I voted no so re-elect me” in these conservative districts?

    While I’m more for the diversity in the party than most on here (I like the “wacky coaltion” of dems in the house and Senate), I’m just thinking on this one maybe you’d be better off swinging for the fences and voting yes.  The healthcare bill will be tied to the se conservative dems in the 2010 elections no matter what, no escaping it even with the no vote in my opinion.

    For those of you mroe astute on the 1994 elections, whent he republican wave hit, how did the conservative dems who pushed back on healthcare reform do compared to hose who were for it?  Is my hypothesis proven wrong by the 1994 elections?

  6. How mnay think they, especially Snyder, committed political suicide? Snyder has a strong opponent and he does not raise money in the off-year. Berry may be safer. He has no opponent

  7. I understand that’s not a rock-solid Dem district, but he won it so easily in 2008, seems to have no real threat in 2010, and the district will probably only get more Democratic after redistricting.

    Like others have said, I am sure there are a handful of these who’d have voted “aye” had their vote been needed.  And its nice that we won by more than 218 so we can avoid the “Dem Congressman X was the deciding vote for socialized healthcare…”  Nice work by the leadership to hit more than 218 and Cao certainly helped on that front too.

    How about some praise for the members who probably didn’t do themselves any short term political favors by voting for this.  Just a quick scroll through the roll call makes the following names jump out at me:

    Bean, Berry, Snyder, Carney, Driehaus, Ellsworth, Donnelly, Hill, Dennis Moore, Periello, Space, Spratt, and some others I am sure.

  8. Much has been made over the last 12 hours on the vote made by Artur Davis (AL-07) (D+18) and his vote against the health care reform bill.

    The bottom line : Davis is currently running for Governor of the State of Alabama and did not believe that he could justify a yes vote in his ambition for 2010.

    However, Artur Davis was elected as a Congressman for the 7th Congressional District for his 4th term in 2008. He has a duty to represent his constituency which is one of the poorest, most unemployed and most uninsured in the entire country. He failed that constituency last night and likely miscalculated in his belief that he would not lose voters in his base. I can’t say that I’m surprised based on his recent statements that he would vote against HCR. However, I like many others did hold out hope.

    We do have a chance to replace him with a more Progressive Dem in 2010 – (discussion below the thread)

    cross posted at Daily Kos

    More on the Davis vote/betrayal

    Davis was one of 39 dems that voted against HCR reform and the only African American. Almost all of these were Dems from R+ districts. In fact the only other two from +D, I think were John Barrow and Dennis Kucinich. Barrow is right on the button. Davis also voted for the Stupak amendment. Davis was also only one of 8 that voted against that bill which came from districts Obama won in 2008.

    Of the eight, Obama’s highest percentage came in Rep. Artur Davis’ 7th district where he won 74 percent of the vote. Davis’ vote is rightly understood through a political lens as, despite the overwhelming support for Obama in his district, he is running for governor of a conservative-leaning state next November and wants to safeguard against attacks from Republicans.

    Six of the remaining seven members — Reps. John Adler (N.J.), Brian Baird (Wash.), John Barrow (Ga.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Scott Murphy (N.Y.) and Glenn Nye (Va.) — represent districts where the President took 55 percent or less in 2008, making their decision to vote “no” strategically defensible

    (The last Democratic member holding an Obama district to vote against the bill was Rep. Dennis Kucinich who, as we all know, is tough to predict.)

    Davis may in fact be chasing windmills in his bid to become Governor. I believed that he might have had a shot to win. However, betraying his base will be costly any way he tries to justify his vote. This is not the first vote where Davis’s vote has been inexcusable for his district. A couple of others that immediately come to mind – Bankruptcy Act 2005, and Hate Crimes legislation.

    Chance to Elect Progressive Dem in AL-07 in 2010

    We will elect a more progressive Dem for this district in 2010. That’s a given in my opinion. This is a race that the netroots should be actively engaged in based on the wishes for Better Democrats. I’m supporting and helping Shelia Smoot who I believe would be the most progressive of the leading contenders. In fact, I was sitting with Shelia last night watching the debate and final vote come in and I know that she would have voted for the passage of the bill and been a strong supporter.

    She understands the needs of the voters in this district. She would be the first African American female elected to Congress from Alabama.

    She is not going to be the well-funded candidate in the race. That will be Terri Sewell – a corporate attorney – and in my opinion the closest to Davis in her ideology and supporters.

    However, I can personally vouch for the fact that Shelia Smoot is a fighter and would be a much more progressive voice in Congress. And she is a leading contender leading the only poll released for this race actually commissioned by another candidate in the race.  

    Shelia understands the need for better access to health care in this district. As a County Commissioner she’s actively fought for keeping open Cooper Green hospital – the indigent care facility in Birmingham. She’s also touring the rural part of the district (known as the Black Belt) and just yesterday was in the poorest part of the District – Perry County discussing health care.

    I’ll stick around for any questions. Shelia is on The Progressive Electorate Act Blue Page if you want to make a donation. She certainly will need our help.

  9. or something to that effect.

    Waht is Christie saying?

    Kucinich badly needs to primaried.

    How is this vote going to help the democrats in the days ahead? I know this is not a very good question particularly with the senate in a flux. But for an administration still consolidating, this better do some work.

  10. for stupak amendment and against final bill: Ike Skelton, Bart Gordon and Collin Peterson.  I’m okay with them caucusing with Democrats, but they shouldn’t be in leadership positions.

  11. There was obviously catch and release involved.  I hope the Senate can get its act together.  All we got to do is get a straight caucus vote for cloture and I think we got it.  

  12. Here is the vote breakdown among Democrats by PVI group:

    R+11 or worse: 0 Yes, 14 No

    R+6 to R+10: 10 Yes, 11 No

    R+3 to R+5: 10 Yes, 7 No

    R+1 to R+2: 15 Yes, 3 No

    EVEN To D+1: 9 Yes, 2 No

    D+2 or better: 175 Yes, 2 No

    Summarized into 3 groups:

    R+11 or worse: 0 Yes, 14 No

    R+3 to R+10: 20 Yes, 18 No

    R+2 or better: 199 Yes, 7 No

    YES votes in R+3 to R+10 group:

    ND-AL Pomeroy (R+10)

    WV-01 Mollohan (R+9)

    AR-01 Berry (R+9)

    IN-08 Ellsworth (R+9)

    PA-10 Carney (R+9)

    OH-18 Space (R+7)

    SC-05 Spratt (R+6)

    AZ-01 Kirkpatrick (R+6)

    IN-09 Hill (R+6)

    WV-03 Rahall (R+6)

    AZ-05 Mitchell (R+5)

    AR-02 Snyder (R+5)

    CO-03 Salazar (R+5)

    VA-05 Perriello (R+5)

    AZ-08 Giffords (R+4)

    TX-23 Rodriguez (R+3)

    KS-03 Moore (R+3)

    MI-01 Stupak (R+3)

    NY-19 Hall (R+3)

    PA-03 Dahlkemper (R+3)

    NO votes in R+2 or better group:

    NY-20 Murphy (R+2)

    NC-08 Kissell (R+2)

    NJ-03 Adler (R+1)

    WA-03 Baird (EVEN)

    GA-12 Barrow (D+1)

    OH-10 Kucinich (D+8)

    AL-07 Davis (D+18)

  13. When we came to the floor to tell Henry Waxman that he was opposed to the bill, Boucher seemed almost kind of sad that he had to vote against the bill. I’m sure that he felt like he didn’t have much of a choice, but that he would have voted for it if he could have. It’s kind of ironic how much this bill would have helped his struggling and uninsured constituents in SW Virginia, but it would have made him a target if he had voted for it. I imagine McDonnell did well in his district and I know that VA-09 was McCain’s best district, even more that Goodlatte’s district. Is Boucher actually in any kind of danger next year?

  14. It’s interesting to note the 8 Republicans who voted yes on ACES just to see how many more Blue Dogs were given political cover. Overall the ACES passed 218 to 215, while HRC was 220 to 215. There are 44 Dems voting “no” on ACES, 39 “no”s on HRC. I get the feeling that Pelosi and Hoyer have a good handle on the Dem caucus. Both of the votes were close, but on the more controversial HRC (my opinion) they were able to pull in more Dems.

    Here are the peeps who crossed the aisle for ACES.

    Dems voting no:

    Jason Altmire (PA)

    Mike Arcuri (NY)

    John Barrow (TN)

    Marion Berry (AR)

    Dan Boren (OK)

    Bobby Bright (AL)

    Chris Carney (PA

    Travis Childers (MS)

    Jim Costa (CA)

    Jerry Costello (IL)

    Kathy Dahlkemper (PA)

    Artur Davis (AL)

    Davis (TN)

    Peter DeFazio (OR)

    Joe Donnelly (IN)

    Chet Edwards (TX)

    Bill Foster (IL)

    Parker Griffith (AL)

    Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)

    Tim Holden (PA)

    Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ)

    Larry Kissell (NC)

    Dennis Kucinich (purity-OH)

    Jim Marshall (GA)

    Eric Massa (NY)

    Jim Matheson (UT)

    Mike McIntyre (NC)

    Charlie Melancon (LA)

    Walt Minnick (ID)

    Harry Mitchell (AZ)

    Alan Mollohan (WV)

    Glenn Nye (VA)

    Soloman P. Ortiz (TX)

    Earl Pomeroy (ND)

    Nick Rahall (WV)

    Ciro Rodriguez (TX)

    Mike Ross (AR)

    John Salazar (CO)

    Pete Stark (CA)

    John Tanner (TN)

    Gene Taylor (MS)

    Pete Visclosky (IN)

    Charlie Wilson (OH)

    Eight Republicans voted yes:

    Mary Bono Mack (CA), Mike Castle (DE), Mark Kirk (IL), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank Lobiondo (NJ), John McHugh (NY), Dave Reichert (WA) and Chris Smith (NJ).

  15. the stimulus, Cap and Trade, and healthcare. I really hope she takes on Kyle in 2012 but those three issued would be basically what she’d be attacked on in ads.

  16. that Joseph Cao will last until next November as a Republican?  Personally, I think he will have changed parties by spring.

  17. How much money have they taken from insurance companies and PACs.

    My feeling is that few Representatives, if any, will help themselves by voting against this bill, and that some will hurt their reelection chances. I think they have made an unprincipled political miscalculation (with the exception of purists Kucinich and, possibly, Massa). Clearly, they disagree that this is a miscalculation (but I haven’t heard any good arguments for why the reforms in the bill are excessive or it busts the budget). Only time will tell who is right.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many of these folks, having demonstrated “independence” by voting against this bill, will decide to vote in favor of the Conference Report, wanting to be part of history, and claiming that their original “Nay” vote led to improvements that enable them to support the bill.

  18. Boyd











    Cao voted NO on this one

    The ones with a * voted yes on the health care bill.

  19. Came out looking like a fool with his present vote.  CSPAN said he was doing this because he thought that if the Stupak amendment failed, the pro-life Dems would oppose the bill, but he didn’t want to actually vote against it. I’m not sure if he was expecting more of his colleagues to vote present along with him, but he ended but being the only member to actually vote present. Also, RTL scored a present vote as a no vote, so his score will be less from them for this year as a result. And did anyone else see the way he exploited that baby on the House floor this afternoon by pretending that she opposed healthcare? Really bizarre and inappropriate in my opinion. Hopefully we can get a good challenger for him this year. I wonder if there will be any coattails from Terry Goddard if he has a strong performance in the governor’s race that could help Giffords, Kirkpatrick, and Mitchell?

  20. 23 Dems voted against Healthcare and Cap and trade:

    Bobby Bright

    Parker Griffith

    Artur Davis

    Mike Ross

    Jim Marshall

    John Barrow

    Walter Minnick

    Travis Childers

    Gene Taylor

    Mike McIntyre

    Larry Kissell

    Eric Massa

    Dennis Kucinich

    John Boccieri

    Dan Boren

    Jason Altmire

    Tim Holden

    Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

    Lincoln Davis

    Chet Edwards

    Jim Matheson

    Glenn Nye

    John Tanner

    Other than Kucinich (that guy has got to go), I can forgive most of these (a few dissapoint me, but I will forgive)

  21. Great stuff thanks! Curious though why didn’t Castle support this bill?  It seems like in such a strong democrat state (Delaware), he’s gonna be really hurt by this vote next year.

    Surprised Cooper from Nashville voted yes, I thought he was in a war with Kos and would definitely be a no vote

  22. For once I am really proud of Blue Dog Leonard Boswell, voting no on the Stupak amendment and yes on the bill. Now, Boswell’s had a pretty strong pro-choice voting record going back to his days in the Iowa Senate, and the final bill included the changes to Medicare reimbursement rates that were a high priority for Boswell.

    Still, I think that Ed Fallon’s 2008 primary challenge has nudged Boswell in the right direction. His voting record is still not good enough for this D+1 district, but it’s a lot better than 2005-2007, when Boswell was always on the list of crappy Dems selling us out. (Boswell voted for the climate change bill in June as well.)

    I am on board with primary challenges to some of our bad House Democrats. They can be helpful even if the challenger loses.

  23. So, I see all these websites set up by bloggers and the Netroots are endorsing these Democratic candidates, like Kratovil, Childers and Markey. After they win, they go up there and do everything in contradiction to what their supporters wanted. Childers for example was endorsed by this very site, yet he has voted against the stimulus and now the health care bill. My question is, is SSP going to endorse Childers in 2010?

    This is a very strange pattern that I notice keeps happening in American congressional races, and both parties could not be any different. Conservative Democrats are publicly denounced, but privately they still receive the support to win reelection. Republicans however both denounce and kick out their liberal moderates.

    But I understand the dynamics. Moderate Dems are the only ones who can get elected in their districts. But it disturbs me that principles have to take a hike for electoral success.

  24. Alan Boyd just lost my vote…..primary and general (if he survives the Lawson challenge I will not vote in that race)

  25. that some of these Democrats be primaried.

    The guys I want to start with are John Barrow and Brian Baird.  These guys represent Obama districts.  We need to find primary challengers for these two.

    And lets try to keep people with courage in office, i.e. Tom Perriello.

  26. Why is it that all the “blue dogs” and conservative Dems, get defended for voting No because they were “caught-and released,” but Liberal Dems get trashed?

  27. Now that the healthcare reform bill contains strict anti-abortion language, I’m left with no choice but to oppose it.  If that makes me a bad a Progressive/Democrat, so be it.  I hope this bill suffers a crushing defeat.

    House Democrats, thanks a lot for stabbing women’s rights in the back.  I won’t give any of you a penny of my money or a minute of my time ever again and I could care less if you all lose reelection.

    1. He’s the only one I have real issue with.  I think Davis is going to be our nominee, unfortunately, for Governor of Alabama.  I wish Sparks would have run for a different position statewide, like the open Treasurer position.  Regardless, the rest of those are understandable votes.  I think we have been giving the House leadership a lot of flak, but they really did a hell of a job here.  

    2. I think TX-23 is R+4 not?

      I like tell all R+3 democratic representatives vote yes to the health care reform. Three of they, Stupak included in blue states.

      Maybe good make groups R+4 to R+5 (6 Yes 7 No) and R+1 to R+3 (19 Yes 3 No). If you take the list of NO in R+3 or better districts is just the same making more ununderstandable the No votes in this group.

      Very interesting your post.

      Im very critic with A Davis. If he can not vote yes because he is running for governor, he should resign previously and let another dem vote yes from his district.

      Why vote no D Kucinich? Is this a no from the left of the text? Very difficult for understand.

      Brian Baird? John Barrow? All the names in the list of No in R+3 or better district let me so cold…

  28. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) PVI  D+11 was one of the catch and release.

    although in his case, he was the only one on politico’s No list that was caught (and changed his vote) as leadership needed his vote for the bill (though it’s possible that the Stupak amendment helped move his vote).  

    1. What are you asking?

      Your literal question is hard to understand.

      Okay, suppose we replace Aderholt, Bachus, Rogers, Bonner and Gregg Harper with five Bright-like Dems.

      1) we get somewhere between 1 and 15 more votes from this group on key votes during the term.

      2) Team Red has conitpition fits, recriminations and is forced to spend a lot of money ousting one or more of them (to prevent someone getting entrenched like Gene Taylor).

      3) As a group the 5 plus Bright become more emboldened by the leftward movement of their constituents and those around him and liberalize their voting so that instead of getting 1 to 15 votes, we get between 4 and 25.

      4) The people of Alabama and elsewhere get in the habit of at least sometimes pulling the D lever so the very best Gov and Senate candidates we run have a chance to win, or force Team Red to spend $ to protect the seats.

      Etc.  All kinds of good things happen that are better for the country, the party, and the future political direction of the nation.

  29. Something I find interesting is the members who voted no on both the Stupak amendment and the final bill.  Some of these I find some logic to (not that I agree with them, because I don’t), either purity votes or suburban members.

    However, it’s interesting to see Boucher, Boyd, Chet Edwards, Kratovil, and Minnick on both lists.  I know for a fact that Boyd has voted at least twice for partial birth abortion bans.


    1. It’s unambiguously clear that Kucinich voted against the bill because he thinks it sucks and considers single-payer the obvious solution. I agree that it’s the obvious solution, but I disagree with voting against something that sucks much less than the status quo, if those are the two choices.

  30. This thread started off on the right track, but quickly got derailed by people who either A) can’t read or B) can’t control themselves or C) are simply disrespectful.

    We’ve decided to suspend the accounts of several of the worst offenders in this thread for a period of one week, and anyone else who helped derail the discussion into the pure policy realm is getting off with a warning. It amazes me how some people think we’re not serious when we ask that you limit your discussion to electoral aspects of the issues, but we are, and users who abuse their posting privileges will have those privileges removed in the future without hesitation.

    1. one for Presidential elections and another for midterms. He’s trying to win over that extra 20% of whites so he doesn’t ever have to have another trough election.

      There was a time a few years ago when I figured he was an Athens liberal. And in reality, that’s probably what all of the white people still think. So I don’t know what he’s getting out of his insanely conservative voting record.  

      1. Which in southern New Mexico probably cost him a lot (I know that Pearce has been trying to hammer him over the head with that vote).

      2. He was a school teacher and a factory worker. I had always thought of Larry Kissell as being on the same level as the average american, not a Washington insider. In addition, I believe that his district is trending blue and that with the election of Anthony Foxx (first democratic mayor of Charlotte in 22 years), his constituents would have wanted a yes vote.

      3. And they are probably better off for using it.  I don’t know if anyone has seen this video, or were watching C-Span yesterday, but Republicans were being assholes.  I would want to run up the score as much as possible on the health care vote as a big “FU” stamped onto the bill.  

      4. His district went for Obama by a 10 point margin iirc and he had significant support from the grassroots last year. His stated reason for opposition to the bill was over the Medicare cuts, but it still seems like he could have voted for the bill and it wouldn’t have been a political liability for him. After all, Bob Etheridge voted for the bill and his district is more Republican than NC-08, plus he is considering running for Senate against Burr.

  31. If you can’t vote for the signature item on the Democratic agenda, why are you even a Democrat in the first place?

  32. If the leadership hadn’t decided to give them cover and let them vote no. Peterson, Chandler, maybe Nye?  

  33. when she knew she had to votes…that’s what I heard from my friends on the Hill.

    He listed Scott Murphy, Frank Kratovil, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Ben Chandler, as part of that 10+ who held out until the end when they saw their votes weren’t needed anymore.  

  34. I haven’t been to these places in awhile but Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and the cesspool of OpenLeft think of him, Ralph Nader and Cindy Sheehsn as saints. So I can’t see anyome there giving him shit. Here at SSP: Damn right there giving him flack and for very good reason.

  35. Baird’s district is fairly marginal though. I’d not hit him too hard on this one, even if people with worse districts voted in favor.  

  36. He doesn’t seem to realize that Deeds lost because his trashing of the Democratic Party platform caused the base to stay home. If he thinks he’s going to win the votes of conservatives who today are praising him for his “courageous” vote, he’s going to be in for one hell of a surprise.

    All over the Virginia blogosphere — and I don’t normally put much stock into the actual power of the “netroots” aside from being a fundraising tool — Democrats are pissed. Nye is going to need the support of local party activists to get re-elected, because there’s not going to be anything else on the ballot with coattails for him to ride. And judging by his performance so far, he’s turning off every progressive in the 2nd District, who will be content to sit on their hands and watch as he goes down in flames.

  37. Any Representative or Senator that lets the results of NJ-Gov and VA-Gov affect their voting record are probably underinformed on the fine details of both races.  I can’t tell you how many people who watched the post-election news think that there’s going to be a wave in 2010 because two Obama states elected Republican governors.  

    I can understand Adler’s no vote solely based on your last checkpoint based on his results/fundraising from 2008.  

  38. but any way we could get someone to do a musical remix of everything that happened on the floor of the house yesterday. We don’t always have lively debates like that.

  39. I’ve been taken aback by how hard health care reform has been to push through congress.  Polls show wide support for health care reform and a public option.  There was a recent poll showing strong support for a public option in Arkansas too, IIRC.  

    If I had to guess this is going to be a motivating issue for conservative ground troops, but for someone entrenched (and going unopposed last cycle, I would assume he is more popular than most Representatives) I doubt that he can be ousted over one vote.  

  40. The public option is popular in Arkansas, and both represent areas of the state that tend to be more Democratic.

  41. Berry’s vote probably puts a lot of pressure on Senator Lincoln. Berry represents her old district.  

  42. I’m old enough to clearly remember the Democratic Congress in 1993 and 1994, and especially the debate over the Crime Bill, which went as far as any one specific thing to cost Democrats seats (and Congress) in 1994.  The NRA and the Republican Party was absolutely shameless in going especially into more rural, conservative districts saying that the bill passed would allow Bill Clinton to take their hunting rifles away whenever he wanted.  Of course, it was absolute crap (and if you don’t believe that, find me one person who lost their hunting rifle because of that crime bill) — but what was even worse is that a lot of people on our side let it happen, and didn’t fight back as much as we should.

    This debate over health care reminds me a lot of the early 1990s, but perhaps with even more at stake.  How should people like Congressman Snyder (and the Blue Dogs in my homestate who supported the bill last night) respond?  I think by aggressively defending what they did.  They’re going to get hit with a lot of crap about death panels and pulling the plug on Grandma — and us supporters of health care reform need to stand up and say “Bullshit!”

  43. This bill is going to work out fine, not as good as I’d like it to, but it will still bring in many good reforms.  Healthcare reform is politically popular-it’s not the public at large that opposed this bill but rather a small and extremely loud minority of vested money interests and dimwits.  Berry and Snyder did themselves a world of good with this vote, as their constituents stand to benefit greatly from it.

    What’s more, they significantly weakened Ross’s standing, leaving him the lone hold out among Arkansas Democrats.

  44. Sorry if that’s such a bitter pill to swallow. But none of this would be going on if President McCain was running the show with Sarah Palin as his sidekick. Remember that.

    But regardless I agree with what you said about Kucinich. It’s one thing I can understand with Russ Feingold voting down hate crimes legislation because it was attached to the war supplement, that I can see and I was alright with that because the vote was a 68-29 landside so that was alright. Kucinich voted down a bill simply because he didn’t get everything he wanted in it and in a bill where literally every single vote mattered for passage, he and Eric Massa voted it down because of spite. That alone pisses me off.

  45. Ever think that maybe those Dems who voted for Stupak and for the final bill did so becuase that is what they believe? I know if I was a congresscritter that is the way I would have voted.

  46. “How about some praise for the members who probably didn’t do themselves any short term political favors by voting for this.  Just a quick scroll through the roll call makes the following names jump out at me:

    Bean, Berry, Snyder, Carney, Driehaus, Ellsworth, Donnelly, Hill, Dennis Moore, Periello, Space, Spratt, and some others I am sure.”

    Trust me, there getting praise from Democrats everything because they weren’t spineless and were brave enough to vote for a bill that may get them into trouble (not all of them but some). They got kudos from me and come next year i’ll be opening up my wallets for a couple of these guys that’s for sure.

  47. with Staten Island Republicans, in so much as they won’t challenge him next year as long as he bucks the party on certain key votes.

    Plus he’s been bombarded with teabaggers recently, and even liberals on Staten Island have problems with healthcare…as has been my experience there.

  48. I attended his town hall meeting and his entire position was one of almost militant wavering.  Including “cute” comments such as people holdig up signs would make him more likely to vote against their position.  His presentation was one where he defended various aspects of the bill but gave a number of small objections that might cause him to vote against it.

    To my ears it sounded like he was prepared to vote for it… if his vote was necessary but that he would rather not and continue to play the issue down the middle (I don’t think anyone STILL knows whether McMahon supports the public option or not). And I suspect a number of Democrats were in reserve in case the vote was close.

    McMahon is also very concerned about getting the Conservative Party endorsement again.  This included endorsing the Conservative/Republican candidate for Borough President.

    As for Staten Island.  It is not friendly territory.  McCain not only won Staten Island in an overwelmingly Democratifc year but won despite a record turnout of African-Americans in the Democatic North Shore.

    Jack Murphy in the 1970s was at best even in Staten Island and depended on the out of borough portions to make up the winning margin.

    McMahon should be safe due to Republicans continued inability to recruit.  But it is not something they (to their credit) are taking for granted.

  49. The Stupak Admendmrnt kept the ban of using federal funds for abortions and the Democrats like Ellsworth, Driehous, Doyle etc. are pro-life, they were simply voting their beliefs on the admendment. If I was a pro-life Dem in Congress I would of voted for it as well. If you want to get pissed, get pissed at the so called pro-choice GOPers that voted it down like Leonard Lance, Jim Gerlach, Charlie Dent and Mark Kirk.  

  50. before Obama was elected, I remmeber someone telling me “funny that we’re a pro-choice country, but we’ve only ever had one real openly pro-choice President” Bill Clinton…Obama is our second.

  51. Why do we need another amendment to go even further?

    Anyway, there’s really no way I can debate this without going further off-topic. But while I can’t speak for every congressman who voted yea, I know for a fact Tom Perriello said he was pro-choice last year.

  52. There’s some hostility towards Kucinich at Kos (though there’s some HRs being tossed around too).

    By the way, I wasn’t saying the criticism of him is by any means unwarranted. I personally find his grandstanding annoying (though on this vote I find Eric Massa even more annoying). I do, however, generally try to observe Dem-vs-Dem battles over ideology, rather than participate in them.  

  53. But there is a political difference between having a majority of two and a majority of 15-25 (which is what I believe should have been possible).  

  54. I’ll bet you the Democratic ticket wins it in ’10 (assuming that Cuomo is running for Governor–and everyone does).

  55. McMahon is in sorta a non-aggression pact with Staten Island Republicans, in so much as they won’t challenge him next year as long as he bucks the party on certain key votes.

  56. Hell much of frozen over because those people look at him, Nader and Sheehan as saints. Wow.

    Sometimes I just wanted Dem on Dem battles over ideology to learn and form an opinion but debates like this is where I have to jump in because I have something to say.

  57. unless he or she is a commitee chairman, I understand Kucinich wants to hold out his vote for something better, but guess what, he’s become irrelevant and no one is paying attention to him.

    If he had 30-40 Democrats backing him up, he could go somewhere.

    I’m pretty sure Kucinich is looking for the Green party nomination for President in 2012.  

  58. I was thrilled when Obama won, I’d been pulling for him (and canvassing) since the primaries. But I’m saying Prop 8 kept me from being overjoyed because it was a reminder of how long we had to go on some issues.

    Massa, I give him some leeway because he’s in a competitive district. I sure don’t like it, but at least it wasn’t wholly spiteful.

  59. You were thrilled when Obama won but you were very dissapointed on the same night because on the night the now President won, Prop-8 won as well casting a bit of a dark cloud over the night and reminding of that were still have a long way to go on certain things like gay equalty? I get where your on with this and I agree. Prop 8’s win made us all a bit sad on a night we should of been very happy. I mean we still were but there but it could of been better if it of went down in flames.

  60. Coal miners are furious about cap-and-trade, and have Sean Hannity and Hank Williams, Jr. there to stoke the fire.  There have been some ferociously angry townhalls about coal out there this year….and even long-time Democratic strongholds in SW Virginia coal country went for McDonnell by more than 60% last week.  Makes me wonder if the entire area has been realigned to the GOP in one election cycle.

  61. I predict that Boucher is done.  If Terry Kilgore runs, IMO, Boucher is 95% finished.  If some second stringer runs, I would give Boucher a 30-40% chance of surviving.

    Boucher and Teague did the wrong split politically, they both voted for cap-n-trade but against health care.  They should have voted the other way around.

  62. Alabama simply does not want to elect democrats into office other than in Al-07. The lopsided AA turnout in 2008 that helped Griffith and Bright win will not be there in 2010. I see Bright loosing to Roby by 3%, Griffith being unseated by around 1,000 votes, and Artur Davis loosing the governor’s race by 100,000 votes. I like what I have read though about Sheila Smoot. Go progressives!!

  63. If you looked to see who voted against us on SCHIP or Lily Ledbetter or the Matthew Shepherd or Iraq, etc., you’ll see the same names coming up again and again.

  64. That’s what Obama told the caucus in his pep rally, and he was right.  The Republicans called Charlie Friggin’ Melancon a liberal when he announced his campaign against Vitter.  They said Zell Miller would be another Ted Kennedy.

  65. survive a primary against someone like Cedric Richmond though? Other than healthcare, he has not always been a very good Dem. vote. He voted against the budget and the stimulus, which is definitely against the will of most voters and especially Democrats in his district. I still think he is dead meat next year regardless of which party he belongs to, but apparently he still sees some way he can hang on. Maybe he knows something that we don’t…

  66. Could he survive a Democratic primary?

    Same situation a lot of the conservadems are in: most would not survive a Republican primary if they ever switched.

  67. Davis is a dimwit if he thinks he’ll win the AL Gov in 2010. Even Judge Roy Moore will beat him! I’ve said before that voters prefer a principled opponent to an ambitious opportunitistic fair weather friend. Davis’ been in office for over almost 10yrs. If he thinks voting like a Republcan in ’09 and ’10 will make him electable and AL voters will forget his votes in the prior congresses, he is dummer than he looks. He’ll lose by at least 220k votes.

    Bright is a lot stronger politically than his 2008 margin reflects. His district has a decent number of AAs and he himself is pretty much an independent conservative, always been that way with his reputation in Montgomery. I think, after a few cycles, he’ll be the Gene Taylor of AL.

    Griffith is a coward and if he wins in 2010, he’ll to switch parties before 2012. He’s junior enough that it doesn’t matter now (recall Bob Stump of AZ who switched to the GOP in 1981 after being elected as  Dem in 1977). He’s already said he doesn’t want to be referred to as Democrat but as an independent conservative. And he says he won’t vote for Pelosi. Finally, AL Dems have lost a number of offices in North AL since Gov. Riley’s reelection and frankly he’s too spoked to care about anyone but himself

  68. I think she was overconfident, because one of my friends who works for Frank Pallone told me six Democrats Pelosi was “letting go” ultimately decided to vote for it anyway; Chris Carney, Brad Ellsworth, Melissa Bean, Zack Space, and Dennis Cardoza.

    Had those six not voted yes, it would’ve failed.

  69. that he doesn’t always have to do what Eric Cantor tells him to do, especially if by doing so he is continually throwing his constituents under the bus.  I think that, if he flips, and with some solid Democratic issue favorable votes under his belt, he can compete with Cedric Richmond.

  70. it made some sense. He said something along the lines of under the stimulus his district was projected to get the least amount of jobs was his district by the Obama Administrations own analysis. It did seem from his PR that he was sympathetic to the idea of the stimulus.

    His vote on HCR was coupled with an agreement with the Obama administration to get more founding for New Orleans.

    This guy has some balls he voted for the bill with Cantor sitting right next to him. Of course the freepers are going nuts on a racist tirade for his vote. I don’t know if he can last as a Republican, he certainly cannot get reelected (would he even survive a primary?).

    It seems that Cao is very much a moderate except for being extremely, extremely pro-life. And moderates have no place in the Republican party, that much the base is making clear.  

  71. I ask because, so far, it hasn’t been possible to unseat Shadegg, and the elections haven’t been all THAT close.

  72. Big insurance.  Big healthcare.  Lobbyists.

    From a guy that represents a district Obama won by 9 points.  

  73. Could it be that certain districts (like Barrow, Kissel) tend to vote more Democratic at the Presidential level than at the Congressional level.

    I’m thinking of reverse Kentucky/West Virginia districts where the Dems rock at the State level but get killed at the federal level. Any ideas? and if you can think of some, why would voters split their ticket like that?

  74. On the local level, such as legislative districts, county offices, and the governor’s race last week? Does anyone have a guess on the Christie-Corzine-Daggett percentages in his district?

    I have been surprised how moderate Adler’s voting record has been for a Northeastern Dem though so far, even more moderate than for many Blue Dogs. Nothing redistricting won’t solve by 2012 though, when he’ll have a safer district.

  75. Lily Ledbetter:









    Hate Crimes:














  76. got the info from talking off the record with John Friscia, who is chair of the Staten Island GOP, earlier this year when I was still working at ABC.  

  77. Which was essentially a party line vote (4 Dems voting no, 6 Reps voting yes). The 4 Dems were Allen Boyd, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Paul Kanjorski, and Mike McMahon.

    But Bright, Minnick, and Griffith all voted with the rest of the party on that bill.

  78. handidly as he carried Burlington County and wiped Corzine away in Ocean.

    The real reason he voted no I think is because of cuts to Medicare. His district is a classic swing district, but was drawn to protect Jim Saxton, who btw was pretty conservative, especially on economic issues.  

  79. You mean you were surprised how right-wing his voting record has been. At least, that’s the term _I_ would use. But that’s because I think the so-called “moderates” are possibly to the right of what used to be the Republican mainstream (Chuck Percy, Howard Baker) and certainly to the right of those who used to be considered moderate or liberal Republicans (Jacob Javits, Matt Mathias, Jr., Lowell Weicker).  

  80. which one is it?

    Because you are here at SSP you get the benefit of the doubt and one will assume for your sake that you havent been to DKos very frequently if ever, b/c Kucinich, Nader and Sheehan got destroyed by front pagers and diarists alike – Nader since the inception of the site,  Sheehan when she started making noises about primarying Pelosi 18ish months ago and Kucinich for running for president and for being very anti-choice until he ran for congress.

  81. “Prop 8’s win made us all a bit sad on a night we should of been very happy.”

    Waking up with fewer rights than you went to bed with will do that to a person. :)

  82. ….Obama is not.  That’s why Blanche Lincoln is in trouble.  Voters will penalize those who vote the same way as Obama even if, in theory, they support the bill.  That’s my take on the situation in Arkansas right now…and why I think all four Congressional Democrats on the ballot in Arkansas will get wiped out next year.

  83. In 2008, Obama narrowly lost this district getting 49% of the vote. Mark Udall was also on the ticket. Before that Kerry got 41% of the vote and Gore got 37% of the vote. In 2010 Obama won’t be on the ballot but Ritter and Bennett will be and my guess is that they are very disliked in the district. In addition, Betsy Markey will be competing against a much better opponent than the insane Marilyn Musgrave. With all this in mind Markey figured that after voting yes on the stimulus and yes on Cap and trade, she had to vote against health care to show she is independent.

  84. By who?  I know that Lincoln has a relatively strong challenger, but are the current challengers to our House members really going take our guys out?

  85. Blanche is in trouble because, as a good friend of mine who’s been involved in Arkansas politics for years once said, “she knows who butters her bread.”  The general since in the state is that when it comes right down to it, Lincoln doesn’t give a shit about us.  If anything, Blanche could help herself by voting for healthcare reform, because it’d give her base a reason to come home.  It’s voting against this thing that will hurt her more than anything, because it’s not going to win any of the nutjobs over to her corner no matter how hard she works for them.  But then again, it’s probably not about any of that…it’s about shoring up a six to seven figure job after she goes down.

  86. Mike Beebe has a 71/15 approval rating. Pryor’s is 50/36. And Beebe will be at the top of the ticket. No way in hell all four Congressional Dems go down.

  87. every piece of major legislation thus far.

    I’ll reserve my judgment for if I care if he wins in 2010 still.  He still has time to vote for at least something…

  88. But could someone tell me what value Bright/Boren/Griffith/Melancon provide when they vote with the Repubs on EVERY SINGLE remotely close piece of legislation.

    I totally am against cleansing the caucus of members in very Republican districts who are usually against us.  But why do put up with these guys when they are against us every single time?  All they do is make the caucus look divided and waste donor money.

  89. to look at who opposed us a majority of the time on the 6 important votes (Healthcare, Cap and Trade, Economic Stimulus, Hate Crimes, Lily Ledbetter, and SCHIP) this year:

    Bright (6 out of 6)

    Boren (5 0f 6)-SCHIP

    Childers (5 of 6)-SCHIP

    Griffith (5 of 6)-SCHIP

    Schuler (4 of 6)-SCHIP, LL

    All represent tough districts. Boren annoys me the most, he could have voted for LL.

  90. Barrow



    Artur Davis

    Lincoln Davis

    Chet Edwards

















    Not Voting: Boren, Boyd, Braley, Giffords, Oberstar, Olver

    This does not count no votes from members no longer in Congress (e.g. Lampson).  And the likes of Minnick, Bright, Kratovil, Childers, etc. weren’t in Congress.  I think the votes of Weiner, Clarke, Velazquez, Nadler, Holt, Michaud were purity votes as all of them co-sponsored the stronger version of the bill that included gender identity.

    By comparison, 35 Republicans voted for the bill, including the likes of Flake, McCrery, and Walden.

  91. ….I just have a really bad feeling about where public opinion in Arkansas will be regarding Obama’s Democratic Party next year.  Seeing how awful Blanche Lincoln’s numbers were against a largely unknown and unfunded opponent even before the health care debate started sent a chill down my spine that last year’s 20-point McCain blowout in the state was the official point of realignment.

  92. I remember Kissel being a favorite and now he gets torn apart.

    Although I hope the Dkos crew dont go to hard on these conservadems as their support is what really helped draw attention to plenty of candidates around the country.

    I think we just all get dreams of grandeur and the word “populist” is extremely misleading as so many of us automatically put it into the progressive populist context.

  93. and actually genuinely expect it.  Kinda weird.

    According to the above, there were exactly two votes against from D+2 or above districts.  That means there should only be exactly two people to be pissed at.  Kucinich has no excuse, and the purists like him criticizing the blue dogs likewise have no excuse.

    Hopefully someone will primary Kucinich with health care as the #1 issue.  If I fall down the stairs and break a leg and get a cut in my shoulder, Kucinich would think it is better to fix neither rather than set the broken leg.  He has voted that “better” is not prefered over “worse”, and thus is a sadist of a politician.

  94. tactical reasons to support Childers. I think the DCCC could easily have made that judgement (though as Zell Miller demonstrated, sometimes a vote ins’t just a vote). But for my own part, I wanted nothing to do with him.

  95. while Democrats are currently the Party of the Left and the Party of the Center at the same time.  Both in Congress and in the Presidency.

    We’re both suffering and tolerating it.  That’s what the voters gave us in the ’06 and ’08 elections: both more liberals and more centrists, i.e. a mix that that would do progress but be slow-paced and make moderate noises about it.  

    It looks like the voters are getting tired/bored of it.  They’re giving the anti-progressives (teabaggers, Palinites, hardline Right) a hearing but frankly, it’s being taken like the patient with a really embarrassing confession and nothing can be done about the problem at a group therapy session.  The message is the meta: there are people who are just hopeless at the moment but we have to accommodate them.

    I think it translates into non/anti-teabag Republicans winning a bunch of seats in the South/Plains/Mormon Belt from conservative Democrats, revisiting the Virginia governor race story.  The 2010 Republican primaries are my guess of where the ‘teabag’ thing will receive its mortal wounds.  But Democrats should win more swing district Republican-held seats à la NY-23 everywhere else.  Sort of a a tit-for-tat, and it should further consolidate the Parties geographically.

    My guess is that Republicans win on net numbers gained.  But Democrats get things too- November 2010 should be when we get to 220 solid Democrats in the House, up from the 210ish now (e.g. support for the robust public option).  Probably a better Senate majority, too.  And while ‘we’ lose various nominal Democrats and nominally Democratic power in Louisiana and Alabama and Kansas and the like, there should be promising Democratic gains in places like Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Arizona.


  96. So caught up in running up the score that we forgot why we wanted to win in the first place.  That’s my explanation for Netroots support for the likes of Herseth and Childers.

  97. To read more about why we endorsed Childers, here, here, and here. Ultimately, our highest goal can be summed up in this post, which I wrote after Childers won – the race was a backbreaker which utterly demoralized the GOP. The result in MS-01 led to fierce dissension among Republican ranks and very nearly led to Tom Cole’s ouster as head of the NRCC in the midst of the campaign cycle. The constant second-guessing and ceaseless infighting helped turn an extremely difficult year into an almost impossible one for the GOP.

    Because the circumstances of Childers’ re-election campaign will be extremely different next year than they were in May of 2008, I would not anticipate endorsing him. Also, the SSP has not endorsed incumbents in the past.

  98. Marion Berry and Mike Ross have nobody opponents, however. Not that it would be any great loss if Mike “King of the Blue Dogs” Ross lost.

  99. Hopefully somebody better than Joe Cimperman will emerge.  I can’t stand Kucinich for his unwillingness to compromise and his appetite for shooting down good, progressive legislation.

    I’m not old enough now but maybe in 2012 I could take a shot at it.  Right now I’d be a carpetbagger because I’m from OH-13 but it’s likely that my home will be put into OH-10 in redistricting anyway, it’s just outside the border.  Depending on which areas it takes in (Medina County in particular), Kucinich might not only have to worry about a primary, but possibly a Repub beating him in the general if he keeps this shit up.  

    One OH-redistricting map I saw had him being combined with Marcia Fudge (OH-11).  If that happens Kucinich is GONE, because Fudge is universally beloved by the minorities (re: blacks) on Cleveland’s east side.    

  100. I had her pegged as a future statewide candidate someday.  It could still happen I guess, as she could later give her reason as that the bill didn’t go far enough or something like that in a primary, which might play pretty well years down the road, I don’t know.

  101. and voted against Stupak’s amendment. He was definitely released from leadership on this vote. You should give him some leeway.  

  102. I think it translates into non/anti-teabag Republicans winning a bunch of seats in the South/Plains/Mormon Belt from conservative Democrats, revisiting the Virginia governor race story.  The 2010 Republican primaries are my guess of where the ‘teabag’ thing will receive its mortal wounds.  But Democrats should win more swing district Republican-held seats à la NY-23 everywhere else.  Sort of a a tit-for-tat, and it should further consolidate the Parties geographically.

    except I think it will be limited to the South (and ID-1) and they will be teabaggers, not anti-teabaggers.

    A certain professional name-caller on this site will probably be here shortly to dump on me again.

  103. He is way too conservative for his district and represents it as though he’s representing the entire state of Georgia.

  104. state Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver as a challenger to Baird.  Former Clark County Commissioner, good, progressive guy who is apparently tired of the Senate because he failed to wrest away Senate Ways and Means Chair from the incumbent last time around.

    Another possibility is state Rep. Brendan Williams of Olympia, who has a high profile but is controversial because of his scathing and vocal criticism of the state’s Democratic establishment, particularly House Speaker Frank Chopp.  Williams might be too liberal for this moderate district and I’m actually not even sure if he lives in the 3rd or the 9th (Olympia is split between the two CDs).  No doubt Williams has the balls for it though.

  105. here on earth anyway.

    Somebody above posted one vote of Bright’s that was “correct”.  Others have occasional ones.

    The caucus is and should be divided.  It’s impossobile to understand the nut philosophy where they need a caucus where everyone agrees owith their position on everything every time.

    As for wasting donor money, you have that 100% backwards.  The best aspect of the extreme right of the blue dogs is they make republicans waste money trying to take back districts that they should easily win.  As long as most of the battles are being fought in the Confederacy, cool, Team Blue is in power.

  106. time the vote is close.  It’s not that I have a problem with him being against some of the party’s principles… But he’s against every single one.  The party is and should be divided between liberals and moderates and a few conservatives.  However, no member of our party should oppose us on every single issue.

    Also, one of my biggest pet peeves is the “but we’re making the Republicans throw money away” myth.  It’s not like all the DCCC money would vanish if it didn’t go to Bright.  It would go to electing Democrats in moderate districts.  And the Republicans would counter by playing defense in those districts instead.  The money is gonna get spent either way.  The question is whether the election its being spent in makes a difference.

  107. but also undermine the party brand. It’s not a worthwhile tradeoff IMO–especially if you actually believe in anything.  

  108. A few more of those people that don’t agree with us on everything and this bill would have gone down the toilet, substantially weakening the President, and effectively showing the electorate that Democrats couldn’t govern effectively.

    And let’s be honest here, most of these guys aren’t casting their votes based on what they believe-they’re casting them based on who’s lining their campaign coffers and who will give them the cushiest job if they lose.  Or, in Mike Ross’s case for one, who will buy their pharmacy at the most astronomical price.  The left/right divide in the party, and to a great degree within the country as a whole, isn’t really an issue of ideology-it’s a money issue.

  109. The post I responded to was false, period, for anyone living on Earth.

    Such ridiculous posts are not factually true on the planet earth, as I said in referencing the comment above about Bright’s college vote.  

    Here on earth, not some nutty fantasy land, every Democrat has cast at at least one significant majority-agenda vote.

    Deal with it.

    And yes, in my opinion, the leftnut philosophy is just as nutty as the wingnut philosophy.  If you have never typed “wingnut” in your life, fine then you speak differently than most people here, but if you have, then stop being a hypocrite.

  110. The College loans bill.  Your hyperbole is objectively wrong.

    “no member of our party should oppose us on every single issue.”

    Again, no one here on Earth has, so cut out the fiction.

  111. the 60% of the nation that is moderate or right of center.

    Of course it is true that Bright is not exactly our brightest star, but he also comes from the second most Republican district to have a Democratic representative, so he logically SHOULD be the worst, most “disloyal” member.

    And for pete’s sake, undermining the party brand in the deep south… come on.  

    The Democratic party has the brand of welcoming people of varying opinions.  The other side does not.  THAT is the party brand I care about… from a swing state perspective.

    The way to better Democrats is through more Democrats everywhere, not less.

  112. Especially with Boren.  OK-02 is an ancestrally Democratic district.  We could do better there.  We probably couldn’t do better than Bright in AL-02, but he’s not worth the biannual investment.  For most of the Blue Dogs though, it’s a tougher call.

  113. has on the brand is not limited to the place where the representative is from. I don’t have any problem with Bright and I don’t believe we could do better in his district, but the fact that he gets protection from the DCCC means that I can’t comfortably give them money.  

  114. What people care about is results and whether what they get from us improves their lives and wellbeing.  If we do that with or without conservatives, blue dogs, Republicans, little green men or oompa loompas, no one will give a shit.

    That said, we almost lost this one by a handful of votes-and the results of a loss would have been crippling to the whole party, from Congress on up to the Presidency.  And with so much work to be done we’ve got no time for pussy footing around.

    So again, no one cares if Republicans shut us out or all vote the same way-we didn’t win in ’06 for whining about that (and we did plenty of it).  And no one will care who loses primaries or what not on or side.  As long as we get the bills passed and the policy works, no majority is going to come together to vote the Democrats out because “Well, gosh, the Democrats are doing good and all but they just didn’t support that fella in Alabama so they must be too extreme!”

  115. If his district is dismantled again and he has to run in a more conservative district in 2012 then he doesn’t want to be branded “too liberal”. Or at least that’s my guess.  

  116. I’ve made a map where Barrow’s district gets dismantled.  The question, however, is would something like that even pass Justice Department/Courts muster as the district is porbably at majority-minority by now.  

  117. We won the college loans bill by like 80 votes.  

    I’m talking about situations where Bright would actually provide value to the cause.  I don’t see one close vote where he hasn’t voted with the Republicans.

  118. I basically put Marshall and Barrow together in a Macon-Augusta-Savannah district that also includes Milledgeville and parts of Statesboro and Warner Robins.  

    I need to get those map diaries written at some point.

  119. Not giving the DCCC money because of an entity so trivial to the world as Bobby Bright is an astonishing thing to admit.

    As you basically say, Bright is the best we can do in terms of a representative for the people of that district.  Since I believe those people are welcome to be citizens of ths country, I say welcome to Bright and to the two or three votes he gives us on important items each two year session… votes we would never get from a Republican.

  120. I might have this confused with another race, but I’m pretty sure Barrow was already challenged from the left at least once. It didn’t work.  

  121. ….now that Max Burns is no longer in the mix.  Without Burns’ name rec, it’s unlikely any other Republican could win in GA-12.  The only caveat to that is a very low turnout year where the black vote stays home.

  122. And having Savannah, Augusta and the college towns (although neither are big or really that heavily Democratic) of Milledgeville and Statesboro mean you’re probably going to pick off some white liberals, too.

  123. Pelosi probably “had” 230-235 votes and let a few of them go to save face. I bet we see another handfull of votes on the conference report.

    We’ll never know the actual whip count, but I can guarantee you it wasn’t 220.

  124. for refusing to donate to the DCCC, out of principled disagreement with some of the candidates they support, and instead, donating to Act Blue or the individual candidates’ funds, themselves?

  125. I said 220 a few months back. At that time I also said the post-conference count will be quite different. Some of the rebels will vote for the compromise with the senate but some progressives will bolt because of it. I stand by that now.

  126. A few less of those people that don’t agree with us on everything and this bill would have gone down the toilet.

    If all those folks were replaced by Republicans, it would be a sure thing this bill would have lost, because several other people would have gotten cold feet, and because the bill would be far more conservative than the one we have now.

    Having the large number of blue dogs we have is what got this bill passed in this form.  If there were ten more blue dogs (of the top of my head, like Boyda, Cazayoux, that dude from Wyoming, Berkowitz, somebody from Florida instead us running that pervy guy, etc etc), we could have three to six more votes for the bill.

    Blue dogs are inefficient, but they are better than Republicans.  We need more and more of them… in R+ districts.

  127. I can see him surviving a primary that has multiple candidates. Would there be a runoff of some kind?

  128. Hard to see how any non-African-American Democrat could win a primary in LA-02.  Even Ray Nagin was re-elected in New Orleans because of race.

  129. Obama got 47% there.  And all five districts undoubtedly have loads of people who could benefit from HCR, LL, and the stimulus.

  130. Are these jackasses that stupid that they think they’ll royally piss off voters if they do something so horrible and constroversial as ensuring women earn equal pay for equal work?

  131. They need a Blue Dog representing it, but Brad Carson was much less of a douche than Boren.  I see virtually nothing that distinguishes Boren from a southern Republican.

  132. and not Bobby Bright representing AL-02, or Bill Sali and not Walt Minnick, then the College Loans bill would have been closer because Love and Sali would have voted against it.

    When people say that Blue Dogs like Minnick and Bright are not much better than Republicans, they should look at strictly party line votes like this one, which was a very important vote too for lots of students. If Republicans were in those seats, then it would have been that much more difficult to get it through. If the Blue Dog/GOP-friendly seats held by Democrats were in GOP hands, then the bill wouldn’t have passed by 80 votes, which shows why it is important to have Democrats in seats even if they don’t support the party all the time.

  133. The bill passed, and it would not have been MORE likely to pass if Bright had lost in 2008.  LOL

    It passed because of the fifty state strategy and support from some of the blue dogs, period…. including Owens.

  134. Votes that are squeakers like this one, good policy like cramdown, which could have helped a lot of people, go down the drain, have to put up with them watering down legislation or talking it down like they’ve done with EFCA, and cutting the President from behind while he’s having to block on his right already.  Just once I’d like to see you defend the actual public policy these conservatives vote for and the effects it has on people’s lives.

    That said, I don’t want all Blue Dogs gone.  I’m happy with Marion Berry being my congressman-I will always stand up for him-and there are plenty of others in that caucus I like, but I worry that in the end we’re going to have too many cooks spoiling the soup and our majority is going to prove unable to make hard choices and govern effectively.  I don’t want to purge the party of different opinions, but I want to be sure we can get things done, and like any voter should expect I want the guy I give money to and the guys I vote for to represent my interests-we should all be able to expect that to some degree or democracy is a facade.

    And again, let’s, for once here, be honest with ourselves.  This is about money.  Big businesses, like the insurance companies, want to protect their pocket books.  Dems like Bright and others feel vulnerable and want a big campaign chest.  So they vote the way the insurance company wants to get its PAC money.  There’s nothing ideological about this-it’s all about the soft corruption that’s a common part of our political system.

  135. We managed to win a squeaker like this because a couple dozen blue dogs replaced Republicans.

    Owens voted yes, Hoffman would not have.

    If Owens had not voted yes, perhaps Cao would not have.  if the vote had been 218-217, perhaps one or two votes that voted yes would not have done so because they didn’t want to be the deciding vote.

    In a very real sense, electing one more blue dog (from NY-23) may have the single critical element in getting this bill passed.

  136. Plus, Barrow tied himself firmly to Obama to get the black vote.  And you see what he’s been doing since.

  137. If you’re not in favor of men and women earning equal pay for the same work, and not in favor of children’s rights to health coverage, then you’re just a dick.  Period.

  138. only two Dems voted against SCHIP and both probably had to oppose it because of the funding mechanism.

  139. It is the primary issue in any campaign.  I question whether Ron Sparks can get black votes in the primary as much as I question if Davis can get white votes in the general.

  140. There are plenty of Blue Dogs I’m quite happy with.  I’m willing to add Owens to that list.  But again, I’ve already said all that.  You’re not even really addressing the argument anymore, you’re just attacking the strawman of your choice at this point.

  141. it’s only for state/local elections now. Blanco got rid of it a few years back. Shame…Don Cazayoux might of been saved if the runoff still applied for Federal Races.  

  142. If that’s all the amendment did, that would be one thing.  But the Stupak amendment bars any health care plan that participates in the health care exchange from covering abortion care.  So even the small number of plans (15%) that cover it now would be heavily disincentivized from doing so further.  It’s a step backward.

    That said, its prospects for staying in the bill in the Senate are dim, and it sounds like Pelosi caught-and-released enough Dems that even if the Stupid amendment (which is what I would like to call it from now on) is stripped in conference, HCR will pass the House again.

  143. she was caught-and-released.  I don’t begrudge her for it.  Give her a few more cycles and I expect she’ll become a reliable D vote.

  144. Again, this was a close vote.  Having 20 more hard right Republicans would be of no benefit at all, having 20 more of a variety of blue dogs, would have gotten us more votes.

  145.     You don’t have to give to the D-Trip to be a loyal Democrat. With my limited resources I prefer to know who I am supporting and give to people I want to give to. Not all my candidates win, nor are all of them perfectly in line with me politically, but they are my choices. I may make some mistakes but I have supported some good ones who are now in Congress.  

  146. I’d much rather invest the money in an R+0-R+5 district where we could pick up a seat with a Democrat that might actually do something to advance progressive principles at least once.

  147. Nagin was put up as a black Republican friendly businessman running as a Democrat his first time around.  Today, New Orleans has a majority white city council thanks to the Katrina effect, and yet the voters that put that in place returned Nagin as well.  So it’s more complicated than that, but race generally is.

  148. As I’ve said in the other thread, the poor Democratic performance in the 12th in 2006 came as a result of having a gubernatorial candidate who alienated blacks.  We lost the counties that Columbus, Macon, and Savannah are in and only barely won the county Augusta is in.  

    That won’t happen again.  Barnes got Obama-esque numbers in Chatham (Savannah) and Richmond (Augusta) Counties in both of his previous gubernatorial elections (1998 and 2002).  Cleland did well in the district in 2002.

  149. but I’d argue that’s actually a brave vote to make. Wilson has a lot of fans in their districts.  

  150. In any case, it doesn’t matter, really. My position is that Barrow isn’t getting any milage out of voting like Zell Miller.  

  151. With Bright, Griffith, and Childers, I can at least understand it is hard to win as a Democrat in their districts, so there votes make some sense. Schuler’s is easier, but still Republican leaning and he has been rumored to be willing to vote for some of the other bills if his vote was needed, so I am fine with him. Boren just seems to be voting against our agenda for reasons I can’t fathom (I’d expect him to oppose some of these measures, but not as many). That being said, I think we are stuck with him and he is better than a Republican.

  152. If every North Carolina and Virginia Democrat could vote for it, I really don’t see Marshall and Bright (think that was the other) having much of any excuse.

  153. You can’t have it both ways.

    Without the moderates we lose all party line votes, or are far closer to it.  

    And your “I’d much rather” is missing the point.  of course “I’d much rather” have a R+0-R+5 who votes with us more (much rather have Boyda than Bright), but that is not the issue at all.  The issue is having a blue dog 10 to 60% of the time versus having Jay Love 0% of the time.

    I don’t see how you can take one step down the “I’d much rather” road without understanding the logical conclusion is “I’d much rather” have 40 blue dogs than 40 of Bill Sali.

  154. partly that the bill sucks compared to the bill that could of been passed, even though the better bill wouldn’t of done a single ounce of political damage.

    We had to cave to Conservatives on some things, but we then went, and caved on things that we didn’t need to cave on.

    Though I’m reserving all final thoughts until the conference.

    I’m hoping the bill comes out a lot better after the conference.

  155. What do you think was caved in on unnecessarily?

    (Also, just as a friendly reminder: It’s “could have” and “would have”; “of” isn’t used there. It’ll make you look a lot better educated if you try to avoid “of” for “have.”)

  156. And A bill I would be glad to hang my hat onto. Problem with Dennis is he’s to stubborn to compromise and when he can’t get what he wants like single payer he cuts the nose to spite the face by voting it down because it’s his way or the highway. And thid does make him a bad progressive because so many Progressive like Woolsey, Weiner, Grayson, McDermott and DeFazio voted for it hell Barbara Lee gave a rousing speech on the House floor when she said she supported the bill.

    Could it be a better bill? Of course there’s always room for improvement on anything but I would of never voted down this bill simply because I didn’t get exactly what I wanted.

  157. Yes, I was around when you guys used that line to describe Childers and why you supported him. But I don’t think you addressed his current voting record. He was supposed to help get jobs for his district, yet he voted against the stimulus. Whether the package would have given Mississippi jobs is another question, but Childers would not have known the outcome down the road so his voting against it is contradictor to what he said he was going to do. And while he supports SCHIP, that doesn’t explain why he would vote against providing the same service to all uninsured Americans.

    I think I start to see a pattern in the way politics is done in terms of during the election cycle. Whoever has a D next to his/her name, just help them win. Whatever happens when they’re in office is irrelevant.

    I saw a version of this in 2006. The Netroots were fully behind Ned Lamont in his primary challenge against Joe Lieberman. Once Lamont won the primary, he seemed to have lost momentum and support going into the general, which Lieberman won. But of course, that doesn’t matter to the Netroots because all that mattered was that Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination; the bloggers got their point across. I’m pretty sure that the bloggers learned their lesson with this particular case, and are not going to let Lieberman off the hook that easily next time.

    Anyway, I am so done talking about this. The bill passed, and as expected Blue Dogs voted against it. It’s just interesting that a number of them were supported with money from ActBlue and liberal bloggers.

  158. In addition, Del. Dan Bowling lost (while his district went 68-32 for McDonnell), and the main reason the other two SWVA Dems didn’t lose was they didn’t have opponents. Bud Phillips might have hung on, as his district “only” swung to 64-36 McDonnell, but Joe Johnson’s district went 73-27 for McDonnell.

    The good thing for the House of Delegates is they only have to deal with negative coattails every four years.

  159. veer a bit further off topic a bit curious about the counties Obama lost and Deed won big.  Obama lost Alleghany 48-50 but Deeds won 61-38.  Obama lost Bath 42-55 but Deeds won 63-36.

  160. Deeds, the SW Virginia born and raised conservative Democrat did nearly 7% worse in the 9th District than did a liberal black guy from Chicago.

  161. Even most of them voted for. He voted against health care reform, cap and trade, SCHIP, the budget, the stimulus. I don’t care why – that puts him more in common with the Republicans.

  162. because, in my opinion, out of every person in Congress currently, I think he is the most worthless one out of all of them, including idiots like Bachmann and Blackburn.

    Who votes against every piece of legislation because it isn’t liberal enough?  I can see a few principled stands, but every f’ing time?  He is doing his constituents a GIANT disservice by voting this way for him to get stand on a soap box and be worthless while doing so.  It’d be one thing if these stands resulted in something, but all it results in is his mockery and having him front and center to be readily mocked by the nation on a constant basis does not help the Democratic Party.

    Being such a purist that you wont vote for anything unless it perfectly conforms to your views on the policy, then why the fuck are you in Congress?  People in Congress actually work to get things done and compromise, not act like four year olds throwing a temper tantrum because they didnt get their way.  Yes, the legislation he envisions is usually the legislation I think this country needs but liberals dont even make up 30% of this country’s population.  Deal with it and work on legislation that actually has a chance of passing.

    He is a total waste of D+8 space.

  163. Let’s oppose healthcare reform because of the Stupak Admendment. Let’s deny more people healthcare coverage because your a purist that can get your way so you’ll cut the nost to spite the face. Yeah that will really work.

    In layman’s terms your crazy if I going to let this die because of abortion. Sorry if you don’t like it but I don’t care nor do I care for your rant. I may be pro-choice but I am againist using taxpayer money to fund it. And even befor this admendment you couldn’t use federal dollars to fund abortions so your point is moot.

    You could care less about them winning re-election then have fun with John Boehner as Speaker and Eric Cantor as Majority Leader because that’s you’ll get when you think like that.

    And BTW this does make you a bad Dem for saying this. Your thinking like Dennis Kucinich and that’s dangerous. One thing these days in politics is a purist.

    You hope this bill has a crushing defeat because of one admendment. Your really think like a person with their head not on straight. Calm down, take a chill pill and reassess your commrnts.

    Sorry for the angry posts right there guys. But people like this really boils my blood when they talk like that.

  164. Thanks for your disrespect. In the morning, I’m going to give the “ban” button a liberal work-out.

  165. I think I start to see a pattern in the way politics is done in terms of during the election cycle. Whoever has a D next to his/her name, just help them win. Whatever happens when they’re in office is irrelevant.

    I don’t even have the energy to refute this. Just look around you at the anger at Kissell and Massa, for instance.

    You are also completely wrong about Lamont. Everyone badly wanted Lieberman out of the Senate. What, you think we just supported a primary challenge for the fun of it? The reasons for Lamont’s fade are complex. Your interpetation is just incorrect.

  166. But Mr. Childers still voted against the health care bill, even though he supported SCHIP. So this could be an indication that the argument that reforming health care is linked to economic recovery is still a hollow argument.

  167. It’s a tax on cigarettes, not tobacco, and cigarettes are smoked everywhere.

    A cigarette tax is tremendously regressive. And if it’s a “sin tax” designed to reduce smoking, then it endangers the funding mechanism for the S-CHIP expansion if the tax induces people to quit. And if it doesn’t reduce smoking, then you’re basically taxing at least some people for being addicts.

    Moreover, I’m in favor of insuring more children but I don’t think it says much about our collective commitment to the cause if we’re in favor of it only if someone else pays for it.

    So I can understand a no vote on that one because I think the funding mechanism is terrible–though I don’t know if I actually would have voted no given the opportunity.

  168. And even then, it’s still light blue.  If it were a state, it’d be like Minnesota in terms of the final vote.  In higher turnout elections, it’s a darker shade of blue.  

  169. is full of tobacco farmers, so his vote is understandable. I am not as familiar with Bright’s district, but I believe it is true for his district as well. Plus, there votes were not needed to pass the bill, so why should they take the risk.

  170. It’s been clearly shown that when cigarettes are made more expensive, smoking decreases and, in particular, fewer minors get hooked.

    However, you are right that, like virtually all sales taxes, it is regressive. I agree with the rest of your points, too.

    My feeling, for whatever it’s worth, is that specifically-targeted “sin” taxes that actually save lives should exist for that reason only, even though they’re regressive, but that government should not depend on them for funding of anything in particular.

  171. It’s been clearly shown that when cigarettes are made more expensive, smoking decreases and, in particular, fewer minors get hooked.

    However, you are right that, like virtually all sales taxes, it is regressive. I agree with the rest of your points, too.

    My feeling, for whatever it’s worth, is that specifically-targeted “sin” taxes that actually save lives should exist for that reason only, even though they’re regressive, but that government should not depend on them for funding of anything in particular.

  172. Yea us silly purists not wanting to cave 100% to every conservative demand, no matter how ridiclous, silly us.

  173. And I stand my comment. I remember the diary you mentioned about Sheehan running for Congress and although alot of posters there stood by Nancy as they rightfully should, a good bit of the ones who commented stood firmly behind Sheehan because beating Pelosi would bring “Real Progressive Change” which is totl BS to begin with.

    I remember a diary on whatever DK should support Kucinich for President and there were people who lambasted Dennis, the majority of the people who commented stood behind Dennis because he’s the more liberal of the Dems who were running for President. Despite the fact Kucinich being too liberal would get him killed by McCain and Tina Fey…I mean Sarah Palin in the general.

    I think these people are way way wrong when they talk about their support of Sheehan and Kucinich but like it or not they love both of them and hate Pelosi. Obama there still behind with, that hasn’t changed. Out of all the major liberal sites Kos and TPM has to contaion his biggest supporters and there’s no problem with that.

  174. Not that he’s running for higher office or anything but he’s supposedly pro-choice and voted for Stupak.  

  175. Even though i’m pro-choice I would of voted for Stupak because I don’t believe in the government funding abortions (but that’s another story) but it could be that these guys aren’t really pro-choice and it’s a position they take to make themselves look moderate if they represent a purpleish socially liberal diatrict. That could it as well.

  176. It also says this: “It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions.”

  177. If the Stupak admendment failed the bill would of died, plain and simple. We all hate it but it’s the truth. It’s because of the admendment that we were able to get pro-lifers like Brad Ellsworth and Mike Doyle on board because this admendmrnt assured them that no federal funds will be used for abortions. It’s also the hard truth as Rep. George Miller said but there are more pro-lifers then Pro-Choice pols in Congress when you add up the unanimous Pro-life GOPers and the group of Pro-Life Democrats. I wasn’t going to let this bill die because of this. We all hate that this admendmrnt is in the bill and it probally killed a pro-choicer like Speaker Pelosi to bring it to the floor but if she wanted to get the necessary 218 to get this thing through she had to make a very difficult choice and believe me this was a difficult thing for her to do. This sucks I know.

  178. When tobacco companies make pennies per pack off of each unit of cigarette sales, they’re labelled predators.  When government makes DOLLARS per pack, they’re credited for “saving lives”.  We shouldn’t get to have it both ways.  Government makes scores of billions of dollars per year from its profit-sharing arrangement with corporate tobacco.  And with each new puritanical and hypocritical “sin tax” they levy, government’s dependency on robust tobacco sales becomes that much more entrenched.

    As much as I generally favor the policy goals of the SCHIP expansion, voting against it would have an easy choice for me given that the benefits scroll up the income scale.  The average income of households eligible for the SCHIP expansion would make over $50,000 per year.  The average income of households that include smokers is only $30,000 per year.  With that in mind, disproportionate numbers of low-income children would be on the receiving end of a huge financial penalty because pseudopuritanical Congressional cowards chose to prey on Mommy’s addiction.  It’s diabolical public policy.

  179. For some reason this meme keeps spreading. Jay Love and Bill Sali wouldn’t have gotten nearly 50% if they didn’t win the right.

    The Repubs won conservatives, just not by the margin they needed to win the election.  While the conservative Dem won the left and center by large margins.  If black turnout for Obama wasn’t massive in AL-2, Jay Love would be that district’s Congresspeople.  

  180. It’s one that works. Taxing tobacco is better than taxing income or property taxes (things that effect us all). Not everyone in this country is a smoker and since it goes to funding S-CHIP I have no qualms about it whatsoever. You may hate it but it works.

  181. Don’t blame Congress for “Mommy’s Addiction”. Smokers know going into this what the risk are (birth defects, heart disease, lung cancer, death) but they chose to do it anyways and there are people who go out and spend their entire paychecks on cartons of smokes so if you want blame anyone don’t blame the “cowards” you call Congress, blame the ones you can’t or won’t kick the addiction that’s who I go after.

  182. You compromise. This bill would of died if that admendment wasn’t in it and I wasn’t going to let this bill because of this. You don’t kill an entire bill because you want to be a purist and want to cut the nose to spite the face. It’s that simple. It’s like what Siobhan said scrapping the bill altogether is the wrong way to fix the problem. I’m sorry you don’t like it but it’s the truth

    So yeah, silly you.  

  183. Congress is making a gamble that people who made the choice to smoke (often decades ago) will not be able to quit.  That makes them both cowardly and diabolical on this issue.  If smokers took your smug advice and successfully quit, SCHIP would be perennially underfunded and no additonal children would receive health care coverage than did prior to SCHIP’s expansion.  One of many reasons why the funding mechanism is circular and counterproductive….and why those who attempt to defend the indefensible have yet to come up with an even remotely persuasive argument on its behalf.

  184. to a 30-40% survival rate at best in 2010? For a 14-term incumbent? He may have a tougher race than he’s used to, but I think that’s a bit overly pessimistic.  

  185. The fact remains is this. Smokers can quit if they want to, they choose not to despite all the products out there to help you quit. And Congress is not cowardly and diabolican on this issue. They took a risk to find a way to fund S-CHIP and the better choice was taxing tobacco. I rather have them tax sin products that don’t necessarily everyone then them taxing property which then I would take a stand.

    Look Mark there is no winning or losing on this battle. Regardless of what I think this move was controversial and was necessarily to get S-CHIP funded something I wholehearted supported. The most important thing is it passed, S-CHIP got funded and i’m a happy person because of it.

    And believe me Mark, Smokers will for the most part will never quit regardless of the products out there to help them. Yes it’s because of addiction and it’s because they flat out don’t want to (like my mom and grandmother on my father’s side) and they may price for it in the future. Atleast my mom.

  186. ….which means the last thing they need is government preying on their human weakness by imposing astromonical further financial penalties on themselves and their families.  The cruelest irony in an SCHIP expansion theoretically “for the children” is that those who will suffer most are children from the poorest households who have smoking parent(s) getting fleeced for hundreds of dollars per year in additional tax burden with no personal benefit as the new SCHIP benefits will trickle up to middle-class households.  

    It says alot about you and other cigarette tax defenders that you consider these households such easy prey, the path of least resistance to single-handedly shoulder the burden of a new public spending expansion that you are apparently unwilling to pay for yourself.  If you really support SCHIP, you shouldn’t count on low-income smokers paying your share.  You should either rally to the cause of supporting a more progressive, more realistic, and less predatory and hypocritical funding mechanism…or you should at least be willing to purchase large quantities of these artifically expensive cigarettes yourself.  The only tangible choice one can make to support children’s health care is to buy cigarettes….lots of them.  If that doesn’t strike you as an insane way to conduct public policy, then the “progressive” movement has an irreparable identity crisis on its hands.

  187. Towards S-CHIP. Yes I feel for the kids who suffer because they have smokers for parents, I have a mother who smokes two packs of Marlboro lights a day. But hopefully seeing their parents suffer will wake up the kids to the reality that this shit can kill you. I consider this prey because it’s a easy choice with few risks that’s why I support taxing smokes, booze, porn, and starting casinos to generate profits because it’s low risk and effective and it dosen’t effect everyone because not everyone goes out and drinks and smokes, unlike funding projects by rasing property tax and income tax, something everyone pays. Plus I support it because it funds S-CHIP and that’s why I rally behind it.

    The progressive movement dosen’t have an identity crisis because some people believe in making money through sin taxes, some people believe in it because it’s a quick way to generate some sort of revenue. I considered myself a Progressive Democrat and that won’t change despite my views on taxes. I enjoyed debateing this with you Mark but there’s no point on continuing this debate because our opinions won’t change on the matter.

  188. That’s just patently untrue. There were a number of folks, especially freshmen, who went down that year who voted for assault weapons and the budget.  

    The one with the best name is probably Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky

  189. I would guess for the same reason that a lot of coal-state Dems voted no–it’s in their district’s economic interest.

    Bono Mack: reps Palm Springs–big with wind & solar + Californian

    Mike Castle: Delaware has no natural resources or much of an industrial base

    Mark Kirk: No coal, no industrial base in his suburban district

    Lance/LoBiondo/Smith: New Jersey has no coal and has voters who are [literally] sick of pollution

    Dave Reichert: swing district, suburban-ish, and Washington’s very green.

  190. Having a vote on it was necessary for the bill to pass. It didn’t need to actually win the vote. I can’t find the reference right now, but he said in an interview (ABC?) that even if the vote on his amendment failed, enough pro-life Representatives would have voted for the bill for it to have passed. If that’s true, that would mean that some of those who were “released” to vote against it would have been called on by Pelosi and the rest of the leadership to vote “Aye.”

  191. ….but I will always be the one who gets the last word on this topic as I consider the nanny-state wing of the progressive movement to be the most ethically repugnant and politically counterproductive thing going in the Democratic Party.  You’ve made it clear that you have no intention of limiting your predatory, regressive, and pseudo-puritanical “sin tax” crusade to those naughty souls who smoke cigarettes.  You want to see every aspect of the working class lifestyle specifically targeted for massive new taxes.  It’s tantamount to cultural terrorism…”unless you working stiffs adhere to Uncle Sam’s preferred lifestyle choices, we’re gonna financially destroy you and your family”.  

    And this heavy-handedness coming from many of the same people who for years scared the voting public shitless about how the Religious Right would mercilessly seek to use state-sanctioned authority to control our bodies if they ever attained full political powers.  When it comes down to it, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the authoritarian left and the authoritarian right, merely a different subset of issues on which they seek to micromanage the lifestyles of the peasantry…..hence the progressive movement “identity crisis” I cited in the last post.

    Along those same lines, you do realize that if every “sin tax” you listed above were to become a reality, the American tax system would become infinitely more regressive than anything that ever existed in the Bush administration…or even in Karl Rove and Grover Norquist’s wildest fantasies?  Again, an irreparable identity crisis in the progressive movement…and one that single-handedly puts the entire movement’s sincerity in doubt to those on the receiving end of the pointless and hypocritical culture war.  

  192. According to Politico if the pro-life Democrats didn’t get their way on Stupak they would of voted down healthcare like Brad Ellsworth. I wish you had that quote from Stupak saying what you jst repeated.

  193. When your state or city needs cash to funds things and when taxing property and income taxes aren’t the popular things to do you go with the sin tax because it’s quick and an effective way to generate revenue. It’s not pretty by far means but it works and that’s what i’m looking for.

    And no the sin tax is not part of the american tax system. I consider property, income social and capital gains taxes to be part of the system. Sin taxes are optional and used if necessary sometimes it is sometimes it isn’t. You can give me your morality speech all you want all night long but the fact remains even when your a progressive likem myself sometimes you have to resort to less than glamerous things to get money to fund projects. I won’t back down from my belief on this.

    But I agree with you on this, there is no difference between the extremes of the left and right only thing is there both dangerous and most of their candidates are unelectable in most party of the country.

  194. Isn’t what is destroying the family. What’s destroying it is people not drinking and smoking in moderation which leads to huge problems and the lack of attention and discpline alot of parents show on their kids. That’s what’s destroying it. Not the six tax regardless of what you said.

  195. ….as they are both tactically BETTER and more ethically acceptable than are “sin taxes” which either yield diminishing returns or they make government wholly dependent on “sinful” behavior to continue in perpituity.  Neither is a credible scenario and lends itself to either perennial budget-crushing funding deficiencies or a nation that is addicted to its own people’s addictions.  Bottom line…it’s an unsustainable pyramid scheme.  

    Your biggest problem on this issue seems to be a personal investment in both penalizing others’ lifestyles and holding yourself as harmless as possible for financing the policy agenda you claim to support.  Those who truly are progressives shouldn’t hide behind low-income smokers (or fast food eaters or whatever the sin tax crusade of the month might be) to pay for everything.

  196. on the GOP side in 2006 and 2008.  That was the positive side of realignment.  

    Now comes the other side of realignment, and that means that some long time Democrats like Boucher are going to go.

    VA-9 has fallen through the roof for the Democrats.  Deeds did several points behind Obama in his own backyard, and unless the GOP puts up complete incompetence for their nominee, Boucher is in deep trouble.

  197. Other forms of taxation outside of sin taxes are unpopular unless their solely going towards standard projects like building roads and school. If you want to fund a project that controversal like funding a revitalization project that cost alot of money six taxes are the way to go because it may that causes less of a stink because it’s not dipping into anyones property taxes. As for addiction, it’s not being addicted to others addiction because no matter how high you tax booze and smokes they will keep buying them, they don’t care.

    It’s not a pyrmaid scheme because unlike a pyrmaid scheme, sin taxes makes money. When a government is in a pinch there a good way to generate quick money and it’s effective. It’s not glamerous but let’s not kid ourselves most things people do these days isn’t glamerous.

    I am not penalizing other’s lifestyles because people choose certain lifestyles and i’m fine with that. The thing is the items that center said persons’ lifestyles are a easy way to make money and that’s what i’m looking at.

    You can criticize me all I want but I am a progressive Democrat and i’m not ashame to say that. But I am also a man who believes that government should fine any means possible to generate money and sin taxes are better than taking property or income tax money out to fund certain projects because it’s been proven to be unpopular.

  198. I would like to see it. If i’m wrong i’ll certainly admit. And even though i’m personaly opposed to the government funding abortions if the admendmrnt failed I wouldn’t of been spitting mad. Yeah I would of been dissappointed but it would of been that big of a deal to see it fail.  

  199. ….as it pertains to rationalizing why low-income “sinners” should pay your taxes rather than you.  I give up trying to rescue you from the ethical sewer from where you feign “progressivism” through the advocacy of making the nation’s tax policy exponentially more regressive than it ever was under Reagan or Bush.

    Having given up on appealing to your would-be sense of humanity and basic decency, I will continue to make the case on why this is dumb economics.  While you’re correct that smokers will continue to smoke, drinkers will continue to drink, and “sinful” eaters will continue to ingest naughty stuff, they will not necessarily continue to pay the artificially hyperinflated prices on store shelves.  At some point, excise taxation becomes one and the same as prohibition considering the market price of these taxed goods is often a fraction of what government believes it’s entitled to for its “piece of the action”.

    In California, which isn’t even a high-tax state on cigarettes, the proximity to the Mexican tobacco market has created a scenario where more than 25% of all cigarette sales are done on the black market.  In high-tax New York City, more than 50% of cigarettes sold are smuggled.  Government doesn’t get its grubby paws on one red cent of “sin tax” booty if sales are done on the black market….and in fact loses money trying to enforce the tobacco smuggling law made possible by their own ridiculously inflated sin taxes.  And with every increase in the sin tax, more and more consumers are pushed into this black market, true with cigarettes or any other consumer good artificially priced beyond its market value.  Perhaps that’s why revenues from sin taxes virtually never meet expectations.  

    Under every conceivable metric, sin taxes are indefensible.  It’s infuriating how many otherwise sane progressives refuse to accept this no matter how much evidence is presented attesting to their futility.

  200. Because there’s no way your “convert” me to your morality views. It may not be glamerous but sin taxes work. Like I said it’s a quick way to generate money to cities and states that are either bleeding money or need a project that could help a city funded. I don’t call it feeding off someome’s addiction because no matter what some addicts will never quit, I simply call it making money and that what I want to see my governmrnt do: make money. Sometimes it may not be glamerous but it works and sometimes it’s better then raising taxes on property or income taxes that will draw angry voters. If you think I live in a ethical sewer then your in a dreamworld where there are no problemsand we all sing kumbaeh. I live in a world where sometimes morality matters may have to take a backseat if your government is broke, plain and simple.

    And I don’t live off “sinners” I pay taxes. I bust my ass four days a week for six hours at a time as a cart attendant at Target while I bust my ass to get through college so I pull my own in this world as the next guy or girl.

    In a perfect world we wouldn’t need sin taxes because governments wouldn’t find trouble getting money. But in reality where you and I live in and Governments are bleeding money, six taxes are a quick way to make money for the government or a huge project. I rather have then then seeing governments rid the chest of property and income tax funds. It may be indefensible to you, but it works. And progressives like me accept this because when your in a pinch the less glamerous ways of generateing money are sometimes the way to go.  

  201. I do have decency. I’m not some slezeball like you think I am because I don’t agree with your economic views. I simply look at when your in the need of quick cash for your city or state I look to sin taxes because it’s quick and easy to get money from. You may think it’s dumb economics, I called effective economics.

  202. ….that produces anything close to the targeted revenue projection.  With rare exception, they don’t “work” at all and we’ll get further proof of that when SCHIP falls far below revenue projections every successive year and as a consequence puts the solvency of the program in peril.  People either consume less of the “sinful” product or service being taxed into oblivion or they consume the product or service over the black market in larger and larger numbers.  There is no other possible outcome from a sin tax….at least not one we’ve ever seen to this point.

  203. With that defense, you could just as easily be justifying swiping little old ladies’ purses or selling crystal meth to elementary students outside their school.  From an ethical standpoint, the difference is negligible between that and preying on people’s addictions with ever-increasing “sin taxes”.  Is there ever any scenario where pursuing a “quick way to get money” at the expense of low-income Americans becomes morally unacceptable to you?  Or does anything go so long as you don’t have to personally carry the tax burden for the progressive agenda you claim to support?

  204. Products. They will keep doing it no matter how much the costs because they don’t care. There are people that pretty much go out an blow their entire paychecks on cigerettes and booze and it dosen’t matter if you tax them to death and regardless of what we tax or don’t tax the black market will always be there no matter what. If we take away everyones guns the black market will be a cash cow..oh wait they already have with that item. The fact is you want a fast way to get money into your governmrnt or to fund certain projects when the normal ways of getting it through taxpayer or private money fails. Like I said it’s not glamerous but it does helps. You want to go all night on this, you want to keep stuffing morality down my throat go ahead, I got all night Mark.

  205. ….was not a morality argument.  It was an economic one.  One that would make perfect sense if they weren’t coming at this entire argument from the angle of self-servingly shifting tax burden onto people other than themselves even if it means an insecure funding mechanism and an outlaw culture in which we won’t be able to build prisons fast enough to lock up all the smugglers and black marketeers trying to get around the artificial and ill-conceived “sin tax”.  Your entire argument here boils down to “other people should pay for SCHIP and not me”.  I’ve already sufficiently decimated it and out of respect to this board will refrain from indulging your monstrous selfishness disguised as progressivism any longer.

  206. There’s a difference between taxing tobacco and legalizing meth. Meth, cocaine, crack can kill you like that. Booze dosen’t unless you consume it for long periods of time then you develop cyrosis of the liver. And I have no problem legalizing Pot or Prostitution because in a economy like this taxing these two items can give a boost.

    Is there a senerio that is unacceptable to me? Yeah taxing meth, cocaine, PCP, acid, legalization of child prostitution. Is that good enough for you? You don’t know anything about me Mark, nothing. I carry the tax burden s well. I work busting my ass at a job I despise four days a week for low wages so yeah I do carry some burden. You may think i’m not progressive just because i’m not as moral as you but if you knew my political positions I am. And I don’t get money at the expense of low income americans. Because those low income americans no matter how high you tax them will never quit their addictiond, even while there dying from it. And BTW it’s not just low income americans that get addicted to this, it’s any type of american low, middle or upper class. It goes every way.

  207. As you know, I’m just a member, not a site official, but take note of the fact that an open thread was closed the other day because of excessive off-topic argumentation and people taking things too personally.

  208. ….if government’s profit-sharing arrangement with merchants of death results in the sinful and overtaxed product killing its users less slowly than meth and heroin do?  Interesting distinction.  So what’s the threshold here?  What’s the tenure of usage of a “sinful” product before the average user’s death where you draw the line?  If a deadly product kills its users after an average 10 years of regular usage, is it fine for government to cash in on massive “sin taxes” for that product?  Or maybe five years of usage?  Or perhaps 20?  At what point does the body count become serious enough for your ethical barometer to go off and decide that government should quit profitting scores of billions of dollars off of the predatory taxes from it?  What’s the breaking point where you find state-sanctioned genocide as a public policy funding mechanism morally troublesome?

    I usually refrain from getting this condescending but you’ve really earned it with this one, college boy.  When you’ve dug yourself into this deep of a hole, stop digging.  Class dismissed.

  209. But it can generate more money and it dosen’t effect everyone and like I said no matter how high you tax them they will never quit their addiction. Shit my mom smokes two packs a day to calm her nerves, she smokes so much she gets coupons in the mail from Marlboro, you think she’ll ever go back to her old ways and quit? Hell no. You may not like my arguement but it helps. And i’m not selfish. I believe in ways to make money no matter what and if taxing sin products, pot if it was legal etc. i’m all for it. Because in reality when money is being made their is no morality, just in your own universe. And once again I am a progressive. Just because I don’t buy into your economics dosen’t make me and less of a progressive and sorry if you don’t like that. Out of respct to SSP I will stop this debate because were just repeating yourself and you won’t admit the fact sometimes morality dosen’t matter when your searching for the almighty dollar. Good Night.

  210. I know this is a purely election site and I like that, save the politics part of it for Daily Kos right? I’m done debateing is and so is Mark.It’s getting tiring and getting too personal Thanks for pointing it out though.

    Got to ask, you find that link about Bart Stupak talking about his admendment yet?

  211. Back for more I see. I draw the line on taxing items that can seriously kill you and those items would be things like meth and herion that’s where I draw the line. As for addiction, this isn’t genocide your just straching it by saying that. People kill themselves over things like smokes simply because they have no will power or they simply don’t want to quit and if they want to keep wasteing their money on this crap that’s thewir business. But I don’t look at this as state sanctioned genocide because it’s not. Genocide is when a state kills their own people. People kill them selves when they get lung cancer from smoking, alcohol poison or cyrosis from drinking or ODing from doing too many drugs. That’s just the truth. And i’m sorry but what your describing isn’t state sanctioned genocide. Come back to me when states start breaking into peoples homes and start offing them one by one. That’s state sponsored genocide.

    And no sir, your the one that’s digging your own hole with your morality BS. I won’t back down from you because my convictions are way too deep. You keep digging and you going to get banned for going off topic, same with me. You want to debate this we can go to Daily Kos and do it where were supposed to debate topics like this.

  212. I’m sorry for going off topic. I meant no disrespect at all I mean that. I was debateing a guy who went off topic regarding the sin tax and a subtle debate turned out of hand. It won’t happen again I juat thought I had to defend my point of view againist Mark that’s all and got furious when doing so. I apologize to you and the other SSP Admins for it, it won’t happen again. Please ban me.

  213. Pelosi (CA) – zero defections.

    Hoyer (MD) – 1). Kratovil

    Clyburn (SC) – zero

    Larson (CT) – zero

    Becerra (CA) zero

    Obama and Emanuel (IL) – Zero defections after Lipinski was a no. John Tanner is a deputy whip and he is the highest in the Democratic leadership that voted no (along with those three committee chairs).  

  214. though not the one I was looking for, it’ll do:

    Stupak Town Hall Video: I Would Ultimately Vote for Abortion-Expanding Health Bill

    “If everything I want [is] in the final bill, I like everything in the bill except you have public funding for abortion, and we had a chance to run our amendment and we lost. OK, I voted my conscience, stayed true to my principles, stayed true to the beliefs of this district, could I vote for healthcare? Yes I still could,” Stupak is shown telling a town hall meeting in Cheboyan, Michigan in a video released today.

  215. if the Republicans were smart, they would have opposed the Stupak amendment, because without it there’s no way the health care bill would have passed. Maybe that was the thinking of those five.

  216. and with respect to the 5 who voted no on both, that assumes that they want the bill to fail rather than dont want their re-election efforts to fail.

    I guess it is still plausible for some of them to have voted with that in mind but I certainly give Chet Edwards the benefit of the doubt.  The story about him immediately getting up and writing a $100k check to the DCCC a year ago when Van Hollen said they needed more to money to capitalize on the races they have a shot at puts him into another category of being a “shitty Dem” in my opinion.  I think he clearly wants everything to pass and would vote for it if he could.

    Lets hope they give him a district he can hold onto in redistricting.

  217. I tend to agree.  We might have lost a few but we would have gained some of the progressives back (Kucinich, Massa, etc.).  All-in-all, a few caught-and-released Dems might not have been released (see Murphy, Scott), but we would have been fine.

  218. You are basing this on what, ONE ELECTION.  An election where the Democrats got blown out of the water more so than any other election cycle in recent history.  Hell, since 2001, there has been only one other blow out race for the GOP with them winning by over 10%.  In 1997, two of the GOPers won by over 10% and the other GOPer won by 6% or so.  

    And those results from way back in 1997 arent too reliable of a source to go off of as the state of VA has radically changed in voting since then in voting by way of the DC suburbs shifting heavily in our direction, much like the Philly burbs.

    Your notion that Boucher is doomed is so overly exaggerated and your reasoning is weak/non-existent.

  219. I agree on that sentiment. I don’t believe he would (or could) have voted for the bill without serious consequences for his reelection, but I noticed he was still showing up as undecided on some of the leaked vote counts. Along with Kratovil, I think he was the only Dem from such a red district to hold out for so long before voting for it, and it seems possible they probably both would have been yeas if the leadership had absolutely needed them.

    I like Edwards. He votes with us when he can, he’s usually with the Dem majority on procedural votes, I think, and if he doesn’t support something, he doesn’t go out and trash things like some other Dems. cough Boren cough

    How he survived the 2003 redistricting is beyond me.  

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