In case you missed it, Representative Louise Slaughter wrote a diary today explaining the decision in the rules committee that she chairs to allow a vote on the funding for the Iraq war. She entitled it, A Difficult Day for All of Us
Her diary was recommended, although the comments expressed universal rejection of her explanation. A little later another diary (which may still be on the recommended list) was written that refuted her diary point by point. This unleashed a torrent of comments against her original diary along with many harsh criticisms of her personally. I wrote a rebuttal comment not so much to support her diary, but to make a larger meta point, that no matter how angry we feel we should appreciate someone in her position taking the time to explain her point of view.
Louise Slaughter is no marginal blue dog Democrat, or light weight newcomer fighting to keep her seat. Wikipediahas this to say about her twenty year record.
Despite representing a historically Republican area, Slaughter is one of the most liberal members of the New York congressional delegation from upstate New York. Indeed, among Congressmen from upstate, only one has a lower lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union.
When the Republicans ran the house, Slaughter, the ranking member of the rules committee, was the one who was shut out, even on bills where Democrats would have had the votes if it got to the floor . They would not have let this get to a vote. Democrats and moderate Republicans (the few) felt, rightly, that this was unjust as it certainly did not reflect the will of the people.
If we had done the same thing, by controlling the rules not to allow a vote, we would be repeating what we abhorred in the Republicans. We seem to have forgotten our anger that Republican extreme partisanship ignored the will of the people. This principle was in play when she allowed the vote on the funding bill.
This is not a trivial issue, since this one of the qualities that the public rejected when they voted against the Republicans in 2006. All Slaughter did was allow a vote by the elected Representatives of the people to decide this issue. She wants this war to end as much as any of us, as she demonstrated by voting against this bill today