7 Democrats Who Stood Their Ground

I started this post a couple of weeks ago. It sat in my rough drafts section as I tackled other issues and offered my thoughts on the stimulus and other topics. The sad part is that when I started it, there were 11 Democrats who had stood their ground and not let the party dictate what they believed to be true. We have since seen the passage of the bill, and the final vote. The good news: 7 stuck to their guns and did what they felt was right regardless of party pressures that I am sure were quite demanding. The bad News: 5 others rolled over and showed their belly to Queen Nancy. But I wanted to put these guys out there so that you all knew which 7 in Congress held to their beliefs rather than their party’s beliefs.

It must be noted that 5 of the original 11 switched votes to Yes. One other Representative, Peter DeFazio, voted yes originally but no on the final bill. So here is a list of the 7 Democrats who stood their ground and voted “NO”, in direct opposition to their party and their comments on why they did so. I know you Democrats will call them traitors and Republicans will call them heroes. I will just call them honest enough to vote what they believed. Remember, these are their reasons. Whether or not I agree with them is irrelevant:

Bobby Bright (D, AL, 2nd District) –  “I feel strongly that the American people must have confidence that a recovery package is worth its tremendous price tag. Congress could have done this by simply focusing on investments in infrastructure and targeted tax relief for individuals and small businesses, but this legislation includes billions in additional spending that will have little effect on the economy.”

Parker Griffith (D, AL, 5th District) – Griffith wanted more funding for projects “such as NASA, water and sewer and transportation” in the fifth district. “We need to jump start our economy and create new jobs, but this bill does not do enough to cut taxes, support small businesses or invest in our research and development programs. I hope that we can work together to improve this bill as it moves through the process so that taxpayers are protected and we do more to invest in the programs and projects important to North Alabama.”

Walt Minnick (D, ID, 1st District) – “Economic stimulus, no matter how much you spend, is only going to work if the US banking and financial system is also functioning.” He added that “until banks are lending money again, it’s unrealistic to expect results.”

Heath Shuler (D, NC, 11th District) – “The legislation before the House today contained too much additional spending in areas that will not offer immediate economic stimulus.”

Colin Peterson (D, MN, 7th District) – “In this difficult economy, many in Congress are rushing to write and pass another massive federal spending bill. In my view, what we’re considering will not solve our problems, and may in fact make matters worse. The bill should have focussed on programs directly resulting in job creation and infrastructure projects, and for unemployment compensation and food stamps”

Gene Taylor (D, MS, 4th District) – “If anything is in it for the Coast, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s worth the $800-billion price tag. I do think there are lower cost ways to stimulate the economy. For example, the multi-peril bill will pay for itself.”

Peter DeFazio (D, OR, 4th District)“The bill is simply too larded with tax cuts – as opposed to infrastructure spending – for me to accept the final version.”

As for the five who reversed course? I can tell you who they were, but not why they switched. Perhaps the back room compromise on a new version of the bill included some pork throw their way. That is what usually turns a vote around. They are:

  1. Allen Boyd (D, FL, 2nd District) – “I have serious concerns that this level of deficit spending without a plan toward fiscal responsibility will only make our economic problems worse. This stimulus package does not address the issues that we know are at least partly responsible for the economic downturn, and that is years of irresponsible fiscal policies rooted in out-of-control spending and borrowing.” (But you changed to yes on a bill rooted in out of control spending and borrowing $787 Billion)
  2. Brad Ellsworth (D, IN, 8th District) – he supported many of the provisions in the bill and “it’s clear that our economy cannot get back on its feet without some help.” But “there were far too many provisions that would provide little to no economic stimulus. I hope that the Senate and conference processes will result in an improved final bill.” (It didn’t and all those provisions were still there, what was eliminated was tax credits for first time home buyers and auto buyers. Interesting that it was elimination of of the stimulating parts that changed your vote)
  3. Frank Kratovil (D, MD, 1st District) – “A stimulus package of this unimaginable size needs to be met with the reality that a recovery and reinvestment plan is an extraordinary response to an extraordinary crisis. It is not an opportunity to abandon fiscal discipline in lieu wasteful spending. The plan includes projects to the tune of $200 million to rebuild the National Mall and $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.  Although these may be admirable causes, they certainly are not emergencies and should not be lumped in with legitimate efforts to strengthen our economy and get people back to work.” (Yet you voted yes even when these pet projects were still there in the final version)
  4. Paul Kanjorski (D, PA, 11th District) – “I strongly agree that we must stimulate our economy to help it recover from the current crisis. However, considering the magnitude of this program, is vitally important that the Congress and American people fully understand both the problem and proposed solution.  All Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle needed to provide their input, but unfortunately this was not possible.” (Nothing changed there Paul, The American public was given 11 hours to view the 8 inch thick bill before your yes vote)
  5. Jim Cooper (D, TN, 5th District) – “This bill had too many congressional pet projects and too few of President Obama’s plans for jump-starting the economy. I hope the next version of the bill stays closer to its purpose: helping America recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.” (Again, nothing changed here except for your vote)

So there we have the guys who stood up to their party in the House of Representatives. And those who rolled over and reversed course on the final version. It isn’t important in the end what my thoughts are on the stimulus. What I wanted to highlight was the fact that at least some of the members of the House voted their beliefs instead of the party line. It is that kind of courage that is needed to move the country forward. Now if we can just get them to admit that they are Libertarians. Tomorrow I will give the same treatment to the 3 Senators who did the same.

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Comments

  1. Nothing lasts forever. When a political party is no longer relevant and is out of step with what exists in the present and insists on re-living the no longer existing past, …that political party is destined to be viewed as a dead man walking.
    The Republican party is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, it is out of touch with 21st century america and consequently has become an obstical in america’s progress toward a progressive and enlightened future. Under the Bush years the republicans were a thorn in the side of the entire world, and the world reacted with a sigh of relief, and hope for the future when the republicans were defeated in their attempt to hold on to the reins of power.
    The political center is in the process of shifting away from all what existed in our no longer relevant past and is moving toward a more relevant present by adopting measures that favor the general public and are opposing measures that tend to favor the special interests of the rich and mighty.
    It is my opinion that the Obama administration and the democratic party will attempt to compromise with much of what occured in the past, so as to become a more relevant centrist american political party. With the passage of time the republican right wing political party will go out of existence and the present day democratic party will replace the republican party as being the new representative of the party that represents the recent traditional past. That particular change will give rise to a new main- streame political party that will represent the moving away from the no longer relevant traditions of the past and toward a new more relevant left wing progressive future.
    History has shown that you cannot stop progress, and progress has always been the movment of the masses of people to the left of the political spectrum.

    • Despicable,

      I am sorry to say that I disagree with you. I don’t think the Republicans are going away anytime soon. And more to the point, I don’t think that the Democrats have any idea of what the “relevant future” is. It is an interesting thing to watch Democrats today with the smugness of full control and the belief that the average American is lock step in love with their party. They couldn’t be more wrong. American’s voted for what they thought was someone in the middle. They voted for what they thought was “hope and change” They got fooled, and they are starting to figure that out. And that means, and mark my word on this, the Republican party will regain control of the House of Representatives in 2010.

      You are right history does show us things. It showed us that the current course that the Democrats are on has been attempted in this country before. Roosevelt and the New Deal that was adored for ages but that we now know didn’t work. Kennedy and his gift for orating but a lack of Presidential know-how. Carter and the identical platform he ran to the platform ran in 2008. In every case a far left President has resulted in 2-3 terms of Republicans when the the country remembers what electing a Democrat to the Presidency means.

      This country does not want the socialist agenda that you seem to think that they do. Remember he ran a perfect campaign against a horrible candidate and still barely won the popular vote. And I can’t tell you how many Democrats visiting this site have cried foul now that they can see his agenda not panning out to be what he campaigned on. Democrats will always fall to the wayside because they favor banning guns and funding social programs that hurt our country’s economy, our self-reliant point of view, and our values.

      Don’t mistake the Democrat’s current position of power for anything other than America being frustrated with a President that never explained the reasons behind his decisions, which allowed a runaway media to incorrectly dictate to America what his stance was. And certainly don’t give me any of that crap about Democrats “adopting measures that favor the general public and opposing measures that tend to favor the special interests of the rich and mighty”. You are fooling yourself. If you think the Democrats aren’t just as in bed with big business as the Republicans, you are disillusioned. There are now 12 lobbyists working in the White house that banned lobbyists from working in the White House. The Democrats are just as dirty as the Republicans.

      America is pissed off. There is no doubt about that. And I believe that you are right a new party is going to emerge from this. If they can get their shit together it will be the Libertarians. Progress has not shown what you claimed at all. It has shown that the people eventually wake up and realize that no matter which of the current players are in charge they get screwed. And the end result is not a move toward the left of the political spectrum. That is liberal wishful thinking at best. The result in history has always been only one thing: Revolution. Join it now. The Democrats won’t do anything for you. Trust me.

  2. G. A. Rowe says:

    Who cares what the Demos do . . . Obama and his crew – led by Pelosi – are Socialists. When are you going to learn that fact and accept it? Ted Kennedy, John Kerry et al are so socialist they could actually be communist. Remember Jimmy Carter? He has never met a communist dictator that he didn’t like. The socialist agenda is hell-bent on removing every freedom from the American public. Gun control laws, unfettered abortions, removal of parental rights, taxpayer funded health care for illegal aliens, the list goes on and on, one little chip at a time. I used to feel sorry for those too blinded by their own idiocy to see what is happening – Not any more.

    If y’all don’t wake up soon, there won’t be anyone left to help you!

    • Parker Griffith (D, AL, 5th District) is my congressman and he is not for change, he wants health care to stay the way it is. Parker Griffith is not for the middle class working man or the poor. Blue Dogs are for the rich democrats and more like republicans with only slight difference in them.
      The south really does not have a democrat party for the middle class or poor folks. What we have in the south is a bunch of dixiecrats who tell the middle class and poor that they care about them to get their votes. I hope the naive people of the south will wake up to the propaganda that the blue dogs and republicanS tell them to get their votes.
      Parker Griffith is just another republican making folks think he is democrat. Wake up people!!

  3. TrustSeeker says:

    I love it everytime someone equates the rich with Republicans. Apparently, people are blind to how rich the democrates are. The richest people in the US are democrats people. Get your head out of the sand.

    I also love it how people say Democrates are progressive. What does that really mean? Do you mean they want a total socialistic government? That is the only way you can change and so call “progress” to the future. Every great civilization has fallen because they were “progressive”. You say learn from the past, I say read the past, and you will.

    No matter what people say about GWB, he had class. I never understood why he never explained his decisions, as I am sure he can justify them. The media is what tarnished him. He will truly carry that burdeon for the rest of this life. BHO doesn’t have class, he has publicly blamed somebody else for all the problems we face today. GWB never did that. He simply addressed all the things that happend. It takes real class to do that. Clinton has also recently came out to blame GWB for everything as well and not taking responsibility for his own choices. Just shows you the kind of spine Democrates really have.

    • ”All through the dark years of the Bush Administration, progressives watched in horror as Constitutional protections vanished, nativist rhetoric ratcheted up, hate speech turned into intimidation and violence, and the president of the United States seized for himself powers only demanded by history’s worst dictators. With each new outrage, the small handful of us who’d made ourselves experts on right-wing culture and politics would hear once again from worried readers: Is this it? Have we finally become a fascist state? Are we there yet?”

      Fascism only grows in the disturbed soil of a mature democracy in crisis. Paxton suggests that the Ku Klux Klan, which formed in reaction to post-Civil War Reconstruction, may in fact be the first authentically fascist movement in modern times. Almost every major country in Europe sprouted a proto-fascist movement in the wretched years following WWI (when the Klan enjoyed a major resurgence here as well) — but most of them stalled either at this first stage, or the next one.

      ”As Rick Perlstein documented in his two books on Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, modern American conservatism was built on these same themes. From “Morning in America” to the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.”

  4. I guess the five felt when rape is enevitable, try to enjoy it. As Obama said, they won. Now we are witnessing the rape of the country.

  5. The idiot right wingers in the republican party, the libertarians and most democrats do not have a clue of what is happening in our nation or in the world! Their thinking about what transpires in our nation and in the world is a crazy mixed up paranoid fantasy. that is the result of not understanding the inevitable movement of historical change. The cause and effect relationships within a particular environment is a foreign language to those that are a part of this movement of dogmatic unscientific blind prejudiced thinking!
    The global economy and the development of modern technologies has created a world that most people refuse to try to understand! If you can’t or won’t try to understand and adapt to this inevitable change in the world environment you will remain stupid and eventually you will not be able to cope and you will die stupid.
    Most americans at this point in time are looking for a scapegoat to blame for their frustration and fear of a necessary change that is now occuring and consequently changing all that you were comfortably familiar with.
    People are liningup on the side of the public sector or the private sector so as to attempt to survive and to live another day. The truth is that what is happening today and what will happen tomorrow is and was predictable. The enemy is not the government, or the private sector or communists or fascists or whatever. The enemy is the people that refuse to understand what is was and will be, the nature and character of a predictably changing world.

  6. Me thinks someone left the door open on the cuckoo’s cage!

  7. Are you referring to me Citizen?

  8. US W: No! a general reference to despicable’s comment. Sorry just thought a little humor was needed after that.

    Bye the way, after reading you older posts re; your search for truth beginning last November, have you reached a decision regarding switching to the libertarian party?

    • Citizen,

      I cannot say that I have fully reached a decision on where I need to stand. I like the Libertarian platform. I have issues with certain parts as it seems many people do. But that is true no matter who’s platform I look at. The Libertarians seem to be closest to what I believe. The question is whether I can run as a Libertarian in the middle of the bible belt. I am in discussions with the Libertarian party here as to how to rectify my differences from their stances. I wish someone had the magic bullet for me, but not yet!

  9. US: Sounds like we are on the same quest and finding the same signs along the trail. Mine starts in the west and yours in the east. Perhaps we will get a chance to meet along the way.
    Keep the faith and never stop dreaming of a brighter tomorrow.
    JAC

  10. When there is no longer a moderate center to compromise the irreconcilable differences between opposing forces, the opposing forces will clash.

    The irreconcilable differences that exist that will bring a violent revolution to the world, will be the Progressive forces of workers. This force of no longer employed workers, that will be locked out of the system of capitalism will have no alternative but to attempt to change the system of competition for the profit of capitalists, to a system of social cooperation, and instituting a planned economy, so as to satisfy the needs of the entire community.
    The elimination of capitalists as a force in the world, will necessitate the establishing of the dictatorship of the working class, so as to insure a classless society and to prevent a counter revolution by the capitalist forces. These forces will naturally attempt to regain capitalist power in the world.

    This inevitable clash between the forces that want to go forward toward a dream, of a way the future can be, a future of sharing the abundant material wealth of the planet, according to individual need.

    Those that oppose this march toward socialism, and later communism, … and want to go back into our past and reclaim the dreams of our founding fathers, and the traditions, of our glorious past.
    The opposite tendencies inherent in the movement of the political right and left wing, will inevitably bring about a radical change!
    The Moderate Centrists that can no longer compromise with the forces that do not want to stand still but move forward or backward, will disappear into the ranks of those that want to move backward into the early stages of capitalism, and those that want to move forward into the ranks of the dispossessed and their struggle for socialism.
    With no compromising center to keep everything standing still, … the revolution will begin!

    The conditions for revolution are nowhere close, as of right now!

    Obama is a pragmatist and a progressive capitalist! He is not a Socialist or a Communist so all you champions of our glorious past, should be able to sleep well, … for now!

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