a TPM reader asked last night:
Watching the whip counts, I remain fairly optimistic that Pelosi will get the votes. But I still can't help but be bothered that this is even down to the wire. Really, this should not be a tough call for any Democrats in Congress.
Health care reform has been central to the Democratic Party since well before any Democratic member of Congress was even serving. It has been central to the Democratic agenda since before most of them were even born. That any Congressional Democrat is running away from this is a scandal. What did they expect to be voting on when they ran for Congress? Why on earth are they even a Democrat if they're not going to vote for health care?
I understand that politics is a messy business. I understand that Democrats have a big tent. I understand that ideological differences and political realities will require some Democrats to part company with their peers on many issues. But health care is different. I can forgive a vote against health care in only a handful of truly difficult districts. The rest of them have no excuse.
so via by Tim F at Balloon-Juice: Time To Reward Good Behavior
We need a list of the Representatives who took the biggest political risk to support this bill, especially Reps like Betsy Markey who stood up for the bill before Bart Stupak’s presser finally made it “safe”. These guys, plus Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler, deserve our thanks and support, via ActBlue, as much as anyone in Congress.Use this thread to work out whom you think we ought to include.
So far I have heard good arguments for Boccieri, Bean, Kilroy and Cuellar. I will not reward Kucinich or Stupak because I think that neither of these Reps were ever in any danger of losing their seat over a ‘yes’ vote. I might, might leave Stupak’s primary challenger off the list if we don’t hear from either Bart or the muskrat on top of his head until next week at the earliest, but I am definitely not ready to reward him.Also, Punish people like Jim Cooper (D-TN) who voted for the Senate Bill but against reconciliation. Why on earth?
- Jerry Nadler was the first person in Congress who shook off the Scott Brown miasma and presented a plan to finish the job. Nadler's ActBlue page
- Nancy Pelosi against Rahm's judgment pushed through with health care reform despite Scott Brown's victory as well:
In the jittery days following Scott Brown's Senate victory, Nancy Pelosi was eager to resurrect comprehensive health reform. But first, she had to get past longtime ally Rahm Emanuel, who was counseling President Barack Obama to consider a smaller, piecemeal approach.Donate to Pelosi. The cash for Pelosi is not for her re-election. God knows she hardly has to worry about that. The donations are a chance for her to increase her influence by spreading campaign cash around at her own discretion. Ditto Nadler.
- Support Reps like Betsy Markey , whose conservative district will kick her ass for doing the right thing. She didn’t put her back-and-forth in the media to a ridiculous degree, she just saw she was needed and stepped up. And she did it early.
Nate Silver writes:
The gutsiest/riskiest yes vote appears to be from Betsy Markey, who is in an R+6 district that is rated as a pure toss-up by all the forecasters, and who originally voted no before announcing her intention to switch a couple of days ago. If she loses her seat, she will probably be the most deserving of comparisons to Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who cast the deciding vote in the Clinton budget in 1994 and lost her seat soon thereafter (and says she'd gladly do the same thing again.)Here's Betsey Markey's ActBlue link. Donate!
- Rep. Melissa Bean. Of the Blue Dogs, she made the right decision and made it twice. Donateto Bean.
- Rep. May Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus) has been solid on health care reform, won by a sliver in 08, and is facing a rematch in 2010. She needs the help, and her district is very evenly matched. Donate to Kilroy
- Rep. Perriello: he’s in a very tough district he’s been supporting it consistently and not playing any games. He could have badmouthed the bill, or given it support with a backhanded, reluctant statement, but he’s demonstrated integrity throughout the process. Tom Perriello (VA-5), who barely beat out the odious Virgil Goode, has been getting hammered by the teabaggers since he took office. This is a very brave vote for him. Perriello is ranked as one of the riskiest votes out there (#5 on Silver’s list, or #4 considering that Ellsworth has his eye on a Senate seat). Gutsy move from him, in an R+5 district Donate to Perriello
- Rep. Boccieri in Ohio, both in legit swing if not red districts, and was cited by Obama yesterday for courage along with Kilroy. He’s in a R +4 district. He's a freshman representative, he committed relatively early and he voted no in the fall. Your choice. Donate to Boccieri
- Harry Mitchell (D-AZ). He wasn’t a no to yes but he’s going to have a pretty tough election and he’s going to have the socialist crap thrown at him from now till November. Mitchell was a “yes” vote the first time around. Donate to Mitchell
- Chris Carney (PA-10). He won his seat in ‘06 thanks to Don Sherwood getting caught in an affair. The R’s had held the seat for 46 years. I grew up there and never thought I’d see a D win there. Donate to Carney.
- Props to Kucinich. He's a principled guy even though it can be a pain in the ass for the more pragmatic wing of the party. But you can't say he's a hypocrite. Ineffective in the eyes of some, but the guy has been substantive and consistent in his criticisms. Unlike Rep. Lynch (D-MA) who refused to support the Public Option and then voted against this bill because there was no public option. Lynch didn't even offer anything meaningful to the process in committee. Lynch must be punished. But Kucinich voted Yes and even when he was undecided he didn't build a coalition to kill the bill like Bart Stupak (D-MI) did. Kucinich whipped aggressively on behalf of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. That should redeem him even for the anti-Kucinich group (of which i consider myself a part of) Donate to Kucinich if you want. But he's not in danger of losing his seat.
- Back to Stephen Lynch (D-MA) who was against the public option and also voted against this bill because...there was no public option. He has a primary challenger named Harmony Wu. Here is her facebook page Here is her website HarmonyWu.com. You can donate to Harmony Wu from her website, or at this ActBlue page Adam B, a longstanding kossack says he knows Harmony. I know nothing of Wu or if she's electable so ask Adam, or if you know any primary challengers list them in comments.
Obama won Lynch's district by 22+ points. It's a district that Ted Kennedy carried. There's just excuse. The Boston Globe reported in that same story where Lynch would be voting no, whether it was due to the rumors that he would be running for Scott Brown's seat. Lynch refused to answer. The guy is a hack.
- Artur Davis must also be punished. His district is one of the most in need of this legislation with tends of thousands of uninsured, yet he wants to run for Governor of Alabama to do what? Help his state?
- Punish Mike Arcuri and Michael McMahon (D-NY).
TPM: New York Dems
it's hard for me to understand why any Democrat is opposing this bill, but the ones I really have trouble understanding are the two NY Dems in opposition: Michael McMahon (NY-13) and Arcuri (NY-24). The laws in NY are such that a challenge from the left doesn't simply mean having to survive a tough primary, which may be eminently doable, it means a third party challenge on the Working Families ballot line that would sink any Democrat in a swing district, which would describe both McMahon and Arcuri's districts. What am I missing here? It seems to me that both of these guys just signed their guaranteed political death warrants, and in Arcuri's case, he's already voted for a very similar bill. What could these two possibly be thinking?
I live in Arcuri's district and attended one of his town hall meetings last summer at the community center down the street. The room was packed with angry wingers holding protest signs, and I was sure there would be a lot of screaming. But there was none. Arcuri seemed passionate, engaged, and well-informed, and people really listened to him. And while he was clearly not entirely happy with the HC options on the floor, he was very persuasive about the need to pass at least a half-decent bill.- Joseph Cao. Democrats should put him out of his misery. He is my rep and this area is about 90%-95% democratic. He voted for the first version, but said he wouldn't for this one because "it open the road for more abortions," whatever that means. Lots of people are quite angry with him. After 50,000 nuns, the major catholic newspapers, the major catholic hospitals came out in support of this he couldn't take what he knew was a principled vote.
Eight months later, and he's not making any sense at all. When you look at his official statement on the bill, it's just gobbledygook--it reads as though he's looking for excuses to say no. I wrote him quite a long email, trying to convince him, among other things, that this palette of little tiny bills he'd prefer to pass will never get to the floor if the dems cave now. And I'm sure many of his other constituents are writing him the same email. But for the first time in my entire history of writing to elected officials, I received no response at all, not even a form letter.
I find his position completely mystifying.
- Bart Stupak. There is no Earthly reason not to primary Stupak. Despite his vote, he held the entire process hostage by launching an assault on one of the Party’s fundamental planks, and forced Obama into reaffirming Henry Hyde’s odious legacy (however inconsequential the short-term impact might be).
Primary his fucking ass.
This list obviously isn't finished. but please use the comments to suggest who really deserves reward and who really deserves to be primaried. We have to show these representatives that progressives are really a force to be reckoned with, and demonstrate that we will have the backs of those who take risks to make the right vote, or what incentive do they or future seatholders have to follow through on progressive initiatives? None.
Add your two cents in the thread and donate to these guys campaigns.