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This place, it seems, has been consumed as of late about the internal debates of the Democratic party.  We seem to be more interested in criticizing members of this faction or that faction because they failed to vote the right way on some issue that will pass anyway.  

Yet there has been almost no discussion about the vote last night on the GOP budget, which passed by a mere three votes -- with seven Democrats deciding to leave early for the weekend.  If you are looking for a reason to be outraged, I think this one is a bit more deserving.

Here's what the GOP Budget, which EVERY Democrat voted against, does

-- uses every dollar of the Social Security trust fund surplus,

-- the deficit bigger,

-- makes room for expensive new tax cuts likely to be targeted largely to the most fortunate Americans,

-- Cuts Medicaid By $10 Billion, and By Possibly Up To $14.7 Billion,

-- Cuts Pensions and Student Loan Programs,

-- Cuts conservation programs and food stamps,

--- Funds Veterans' Health Care $13.5 billion below the level CBO estimates is needed to keep pace with inflation,

-- Cuts 2006 appropriations for education, training, and social services by $1.5 billion,

-- Cuts environmental protection funding by $25.6 billion below the amount needed to maintain purchasing power,

-- Cuts Public Health programs by $22.4 billion below the amount needed to maintain purchasing power over the next five years,

-- and includes tax cuts, that overwhelingly favor the rich, of $106 billion over the next five years.

The fact is, every single Democrat in the House voted against this atrocious budget, and so did 15 Republicans.  Like I said, seven Democrats didn't make it for the vote.  Had they been there, we would have won.

This place is, in this long time dkos contributor's opinion, getting way too obsessed with which faction of our own party we should try to kick out, and is completely losing sight of the real impacts of the politics we purport to care about.  A lot of Americans are going to be hurt by this budget... and it didn't have to happen.  All we needed were a few more Democrats to show up and vote, but the only outrage I see here towards Democrats are the F-'em crowd.

If you want Democrats to be pissed at, start with these seven.  They actually impacted people's lives last night.  Where's the outrage?

Originally posted to sdindc on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 01:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Seven... (4.00)
    The seven are, Rep's Clyburn, Doggett, Filner, Ford, Jefferson, Rothman and Towns.  

    Some of them may have had valid excuses, but we only needed four of the seven.

    •  I'm Disappointed in Doggett (none)
      He was my rep for a good long time (I am a victim of redistricting and didn't get to vote for him last time) -- he is usually on top of these things and on the right side...this budget sucks big time and I cannot believe they let it get by them.

      Who were the 15rs?

      Reality is the fantasy you believe in.

      by deepintheheartoftx on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:02:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The 15 Repubs... (none)
        Bass, Boehlert, Castle, Goode, Green (WI), Gutknecht, Johnson (CT), Johnson (IL), Jones (NC), Leach, LoBiondo, Ramstad, Saxton, Shays, and Simmons.

        But this bill is so awful, I wouldn't give them a ton of courage points for voting no...

    •  I don't agree, I think (3.66)
      If they didn't have the votes, they wouldn't have held the vote on the bill.  If we had enough opposition there, the vote would not have been held, it would have just been delayed until they had the right count/people in town/people out of town to pass it.  They control the agenda and they bring the bills to vote when they know they can win them, right?

      Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

      by Pennsylvanian on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:23:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree... (none)
        They had 214 yes votes, and it takes 218 to pass something assuming everyone shows up.  If three of the seven would have voted, there would be a tie, and it would have failed.

        From what I hear, the GOP was surprised (as were the Dems) at how close this was.

        However, even if some of those 15 GOP'ers would have switched and voted in favor, we'd have a solid issue to hit them with in 2006.  At a minimum, we let seven Republicans cast an easy vote and avoid having to defend this budget.

        We didn't even make it hard for them to win.

      •  I agree. (none)
        It's an old trick, if you're sure you've got the votes for an unpopular bill to pass, to let moderate party members vote against it to please their constituents. If Ford et al. had shown up, then Simmons and Leach etc. would never have been allowed to oppose this bill. As it is, they're allowed to look big by opposing it, and no harm done.
  •  Sorry... (none)
    ...I blew my outrage quota starting Novemer 2nd, 2004 and it was gone by January 20th, 2005.

    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything" - Joseph Stalin

    by Blue Shark on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:02:18 PM PDT

  •  Good Post on Budget... (none)
    ...by demburns at MyDD, if you're interested in more the specifics of this awful piece of legislation.
  •  I've got some... (none)
    I've been keeping a bit of extra outrage in my closet, trying to save it up for 2006. But if anyone needs to borrow some outrage over this, I could open up one of the boxes early. I just don't want to use it all up before I really need it.
  •  The two people to be pissed at too are Moran (none)
    & Pelosi.  If the minority leader and the whip can't keep their members in line and on the floor for a vote like this then they are USELESS

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:09:57 PM PDT

  •  Well (4.00)
    First of all, this diary complains that we spend too much time arguing about which faction to go after, and then identifies a 7-member faction that we should supposedly go after.  That's a little odd.

    I also don't see any evidence that these 7 people actually "left early for the weekend."  There are a lot of legitimate reasons to miss a vote, even an important vote.

    Additionally, I think it's a little naive to say "4 more votes and we would have won!"  This vote was just the latest in a string of cases where the Republicans didn't have enough votes, so they held the voting open long enough to twist arms.  In this case, it only took them 15 minutes to convince enough holdouts to vote in favor.  If we had more votes, they might have had to twist arms for an extra hour or two, but I have a funny feeling they would have gotten it done.

    My ultimate point is that I don't really want to defeat this budget.  To me, this is the kind of irresponsible governance the voters chose in November.  I don't want to rewrite their legislation to help them appear more moderate and responsible; I want them to show their true face to everyone so we can throw them out of office as soon as possible.  That's where I stand.

    •  That's true. (none)
      Things just don't work that way. If those seven Democrats had been there and had voted no, seven Republicans who voted no would have lost their "permission" to stray.

      That said, it's, uh... best to show up for votes.

    •  And this is the problem... (none)
      "My ultimate point is that I don't really want to defeat this budget" -- even when we have a chance to win, and we definitely had a chance to win, we should assume the minority mentality and assume we're going to lose.

      The issue is going to be there, regardless.  But to say that you really don't want to defeat a budget that cuts Medicaid by $20 BILLION dollars so we can have a political issue is, if I may say so, just flat out wrong.

      My point is that we're so obsessed with strategy, with elections, with positioning ourselves, that we don't even notice when real opportunities to impact legislation is present.  My point is that we spend too much time on weird analysis of DLC vs. NDC vs. Blue Dogs, etc. that we didn't even notice when the caucus dropped the ball on an extremely important piece of legislation.  

      Too many at dKos have lost their perspective, I think.  And saying that we're glad that poor kids, seniors, and families will lose access to health care so we can have a good issue in 2006, is a perfect example of that.

      Sorry.

      •  Like I said (none)
        This is what the people voted for.  You have to show them why it's bad if you hope for them to vote differently in the future.

        If we had defeated this particular budget resolution, with this President, with this Congress, what exactly do you suspect we would have ended up with in its place?  You seem to think that all we have to do is win one vote and bang, we're in a position to do away with the Bush tax cuts or to insist that Medicare not be cut a dollar.  That's not realistic.

        Your suggestion that I want poor families to suffer just so we can have a political issue is hysterical, and not the funny kind of hysterical.  No, I don't want one dime to be cut from Medicaid.  (How the cuts grew from $10 million at the time you posted your diary to $20 million in the above comment is unclear, by the way.)  I also don't want George Bush to be President, and I don't want a Republican majority in Congress, but it turns out that "wanting" doesn't always make it so.  Considering what the R's wanted to do to Medicare BEFORE a united Democratic caucus made this happen, it could have been a lot worse.

        There is no reason to believe that we could have fundamentally altered the negative aspects of this budget just by getting a few more Congressmen to show up, but if you want to argue to the contrary, you will have to find a more convincing argument than telling me that I want poor families to lose their health care.

  •  I'm too tired to be outraged anymore (none)
    Everyday there is just so much to be outraged about I burn out before 9am.  Today it was the 12 coordinated carbombs in Baghdad--but according to our dear leader last night things are going swimmingly, just swimmingly in Iraq.
    Yes the budget is an outrage and soon the people who voted for this moron will begin to understand that the rug has been pulled out from under them.  Maybe then they can take over the outrage watch...probably not though because somehow it will be blamed on the democrats. Sigh.

    "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

    by dmac on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:15:23 PM PDT

  •  Well (none)
    Although it would have been nice to see congresscritters actually do their job as opposed to sneaking out of town before the rush hour, this budget is so awful, reprehensible, insupportable, and ugly that its passage can only bode well for our party come 2006.

    Give them enough rope...

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:15:43 PM PDT

  •  Please. (none)
    You ought to know damn well that had they been there the GOP would have kept voting open long enough to twist the arms of the few GOP dissenters they would've needed, and eventually they would've won their bill.

    Your diary starts with the point that we should be outraged at republican policies and not squabbling amongst ourselves -- then ends with the thought that we ought to single out 7 members -- democrats -- and blame them for the fiasco occuring in D.C.

    And the fact is, if this bill had been defeated it's likely a WORSE one would've been enacted.

    Real outrage should be directed at the 214 members who DID vote and voted IN FAVOR of this bill, and our energies would be better spent targeting the vulnerable GOPers so that we can get them out of the majority. Anyone who expects the democratic agenda to prosper while democrats are in the minority (and blames democrats for it not prospering) is loony. (IMHO).

    It hurts when I do this...

    by PBJ Diddy on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:36:55 PM PDT

  •  If it's any consolation (none)
    I'm outraged.
  •  Silver lining time? (none)

    Well, the Republicans would have passed a P.O.S. budget no matter what.  If not this one, then one only slightly less odious.

    At least this way it can be used as a guilt-free campaign issue.  No Dems agreed to this one.

    We lost the vote, but we drew a line in the sand declaring what we stand for -- and we did it united.

    It ain't everything, but I'll gladly take that much.

    You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. --James D. Miles

    by Yaright on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:40:25 PM PDT

  •  A pet issue of mine... (none)
    "Funds Veterans' Health Care $13.5 billion below the level CBO estimates is needed to keep pace with inflation"

    Every person reading this thread has to pass this one thing on to two vets/active duty.  Spread this around in order to try to wean the military vote away from this abusive relationship that the military has with the Republican party.  

    But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.

    by calipygian on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 02:56:15 PM PDT

    •  Not to mention (4.00)
      Here are the two amendments authored by John Kerry to provide better housing and death benefits to military families who lose a loved one.  You remember John Kerry, the one who is weak on national defense and hates our troops.  Go figure.

      Here is the Senate vote on the Kennedy-Bayh amendment to provide armored Humvees for the protection of our troops.  Just look at all those Republicans voting against.

      What you said is absolutely true.  The Republicans talk about making sacrifice in a time of war, but the only thing they want to sacrifice is the troops and their safety.

      •  The Kennedy-Bayh amendment (none)
        I just cant wrap my head around.  I am beating my head against the wall trying to figure out how voting against this amendment benefits the republicans.  Inexplicable.  

        But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.

        by calipygian on Fri Apr 29, 2005 at 04:03:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Better Idea (none)
    Let's get hold of the 15 Republicans who voted "nay" and get them to come over from the dark side.

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