Late Thursday night, the House leadership thought they could slip one by that no one would notice, H R 2642, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Basically, it gives Bush $162 billion for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no strings attached. It passed 268 to 155. Most Democrats voted against it (151) and they were joined by 4 Republicans. But the 188 Republican rubber stamps were joined by 80 hard core pro-war Democrats, the real Vichy creeps that have made a farce of Pelosi's Speakership and a farce of the grassroot's faith in the Democrats ability to end the war.
The same way that then Democratic House Leader Dick Gephart conspired with Bush and the Republicans to enable him to attack and occupy Iraq, the current Democratic Leader, Steny Hoyer, has conspired with Bush to continue the war. Hoyer, of course, was one of the most enthusiastic war-mongers from the very beginning, just as bad as your garden variety Republican, one of the many reasons so many people were appalled when the Democrats decided to elect him Majority Leader, instantaneously dooming any hope for bringing the occupation of Iraq to a halt. As culpable for the last few years-- and Thursday-- was the other equally treacherous and corrupt Democratic leader, Rahm Emanuel. (Pictured above: Emanuel hissing instructions to his puppet, Steny Hoyer, on how to further undermine Pelosi.)
Hoyer and Emanuel led a motley crew of the worst Blue Dogs, Dixiecrats and New Democrats (aka- The Rahm Caucus) in a last fling at Bush Regime glory in keeping the war in Iraq going. So who are these so-called Democrats who are keeping this disastrous war going? Democratic voters who oppose the war should want to know their names for November. Here's the whole list of who voted how. But I'd like to point out some particularly egregious Vichy Dems who should be treated exactly the way we treat Republicans. And, by the way, when you donate even one dollar to the DCCC you are helping these people get re-elected and you are guaranteeing that the war never ends. YOU. Here's the worst of the Hall of Shame:
Steny Hoyer (MD)
Rahm Emanuel (IL)
John Barrow (GA), who can be defeated in a primary July 15 where he is being challenged by Regina Thomas, a progressive Democratic state Senator who is adamantly opposed to the war. Give her a hand
Chris Carney (PA)
Jason Altmire (PA)
Bill Foster (IL)-- surprised? don't be; we warned you
Don Cazayoux (LA)-- see above
Nick Lampson (TX)
Brian Baird (WA)
Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Ike Skelton (MO)
Tim Mahoney (FL)
Baron Hill (IN)
Zack Space (OH)
Collin Peterson (MN)
Dan Boren (OK)
Heath Shuler (NC)
Joe Donnelly (IN)
Howard Berman (Likud)
Dan Lipinski (IL)
Melissa Bean (IL)
Shelley Berkley (NV)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
I also want to again, call everyone's attention to the difference between the Udall cousins, each running for the U.S. Senate. Yesterday Tom (NM) voted against the Hoyer-Bush plot to wreck the Constitution and Mark (CO) voted for it. Same thing Thursday: Tom voted to end the war; Mark voted to continue it.
I want to make it clear that all 7 of the incumbents on the Blue America list-- Tom Allen (D-ME), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Donna Edwards (D-MD), John Hall (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), and Hilda Solis (D-CA)-- voted against this war bill and against yesterday's FISA bill. The big primary we have coming up (July 15) pits Blue Dog incumbent John Barrow (GA-12) against progressive state Senator Regina Thomas. Barrow, in his own words, "has supported our president's efforts on the war on terror at every turn" (watch the video) and he was a major force behind the warrantless wiretap and the retroactive immunity bill and voted for this war bill too. Regina Thomas is basing much of her challenge to him on his shameful record as a Bush rubber stamp and how his support for a 3 trillion dollar war has devastated the economy of her district. Regina needs our help against the massive influx of corporate telecom money Barrow is using against her. The Blue Dogs are fighting hard to keep Barrow in Congress. Let's send Donna Edwards, Jerrold Nadler, Hilda Solis, John Hall, Steve Cohen, Tom Allen, and Carol Shea-Porter an ally who will vote with them, not with the Republicans.
Yesterday Hilda Solis (D-CA), broke with the rotten Democratic leadership and stayed true to her own constituents and her own principles. After voting against the Bush-Hoyer Endless War in Iraq bill on Thursday, she also voted against the Bush-Hoyer It's-OK-To-Spy-On-Americans-If You-Pay-Big-Bribes-Bill. She was more diplomatic in explaining it to voters in East L.A., Covina, Monterey Park, Rosemead, Azusa, Baldwin Park and El Monte:
“Today, the House of Representatives passed the FISA Amendments Act, which I voted against. I am deeply concerned the legislation will provide an enormous loophole for those telephone companies that participated in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. We cannot allow backdoor immunity for telecommunications providers who spied on Americans and broke the public trust.
“The constituents of the 32nd Congressional District and many more from around the country have spoken loud and clear that any form of immunity for telecommunications providers is unacceptable and I wholeheartedly agree. We must work harder to not only fight against terrorism and threats to our country but also to respect our constituents’ civil liberties and the values upon which country was founded.”
Also yesterday, Darcy Burner issued a strong statement on how the American people were betrayed in regard to retroactive immunity for Bush's and Hoyer's corporate donors. But not only could every word be applied to the betrayal grassroots Democrats feel towards Thursday's votes, from my conversations with Darcy, I am certain that that is exactly how she feels and why she first came up with the phrase "More and Better Democrats. We've dropped the "more" and are just concentrating of the "better." Watch Darcy's latest video: