Skip to main content

Like so many others here at Daily Kos, I am totally disgusted with the abject collapse of Democratic opposition in the recent FISA reauthorization that passed both the Senate the House this weekend.  There is no way to make a silk purse out of this one.  The Democratic Party and its congressional were made into laughing stocks.  I’ve included some data in map and tabular forms for those interested in a post mortem.

Here is the House FISA vote:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Follow me below the fold for the Senate.

Follow me below the fold for the Senate.

Here is the Senate FISA Vote:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

First off - some numbers:

In total, 57 of 280 Democrats voted "Yes" - 20%.
In the House, 41 of 231 Democrats voted "Yes" - 18%.
In the Senate, 16 of 49 Democrats voted "Yes" - 33%.

But within these numbers are some interesting - better said - disturbing trends.
I think it is important to look at how the freshman class voted, how senators and representatives from different regions voted, and how various members of minority groups voted.

As for the House Democratic freshman class - the news is grim.  Of the 31-seat pick-up last November, 11 voted "Yes" - 35% - or nearly twice the House average.  Only 1 freshman that was not a pick-up voted "Yes" – 9%.  I agree, those pick-up seats may be in swing districts, but if the swing on crucial votes is usually against the Democrats what good is it?  Does it actually do harm since it undermines the Democratic leadership?

The Senate freshmen were worse.  4 of 8 voted "Yes" for a whopping 50% score – 17 percentage points above the overall average – just like the House.  Webb, McCaskill, Casey, and Klobuchar.  Klobuchar??  For gawd’s sake!  When the Democrats retain a Senate seat in Minnesota and then cannot count on its vote – something is truly the matter.

House Pick-Ups – 11 of 31 – 35%

AZ – Mitchell – Yes
AZ – Giffords – No
CA – McNerney – No
CO – Perlmutter – No
CT – Courtney – No
CT – Murphy – No
FL – Mahoney – No
FL – Klein – NV
IN – Donnelly – Yes
IN – Ellsworth – Yes
IN – Hill – Yes
IA – Braley – No
IA – Loebsack – No
KS – Boyda – No
KY – Yarmuth – No
MN – Walz – Yes
NH – Shea-Porter – No
NH – Hodes – No
NY – Hall – No
NY – Gillibrand – No
NY – Arcuri – No
NC – Shuler – Yes
OH – Space – Yes
PA – Altmire – Yes
PA – Sestak – No
PA – Murphy – No
PA – Carney – Yes
TX – Lampson – Yes
TX – Rodriguez – Yes
VT – Welch – No
WI – Kagen - No

Other House Freshmen – 1 of 11 – 9%

FL – Castor – No
GA – Johnson – No
HA – Hirono – No
IL – Hare – No
MD – Sarbanes – No
MN – Ellison – No
NJ – Sires – No
NY – Clarke – NV
OH – Sutton – No
OH – Wilson – Yes
TN – Cohen – No

Frosh Senators – 4 of 8 – 50%

MD – Cardin – No
MN – Klobuchar – Yes
MO – McCaskill – Yes
MT – Tester – No
OH – Brown – No
PA – Casey – Yes
RI – Whitehouse – No
VA – Webb – Yes

Next, consider how the regions broke down.  Go back up and look at the maps.  The House map shows how poorly the Democrats did with Southern representatives.   Representatives are fairly evenly divided, but there are only 5 Southern senators left.  Although the Senate map doesn’t seem to portray the South as any worse,  it is because most Southern states have two Republican senators.  The fact is that EVERY Southern senator voted "Yes" – 100%.

The Northeast showed the strongest support for Democratic opposition to granting President Bush additional FISA powers.  The next region was – surprisingly – the West, not the Midwest.  For those who say that senators and representatives from swing states or districts have to vote more conservatively, I offer the West as a case in point.  Western senators and representatives were far more likely to support the Democratic leadership.  The Midwest fell somewhere in the middle – certainly not great, but not as estranged from Democratic positions as the South.  What that suggests is that electing Western Democrats is far more likely to produce Democrats in the House and the Senate who support overall Democratic policies.

Southerners – 22 of 41 "Yes" Votes

Cramer – Alabama
Davis – Alabama
Ross – Arkansas
Snyder – Arkansas
Boyd – Florida
Barrow – Georgia
Marshall – Georgia
Chandler – Kentucky
Melancon – Louisiana
Taylor – Mississippi
Ethridge – North Carolina
McIntyre – North Carolina
Shuler – North Carolina
Boren – Oklahoma
Cooper – Tennessee
Davis – Tennessee
Gordon – Tennessee
Tanner – Tennessee
Cuellar – Texas
Edwards – Texas
Lampson – Texas
Rodriguez – Texas

Everybody Else – 19 of 41 "Yes" Votes

Altmire – Pennsylvania
Bean – Illinois
Boswell – Iowa
Carney – Pennsylvania
Costa – California
Donnelly – Indiana
Ellsworth – Indiana
Herseth – South Dakota
Higgins – New York
Hill – Indiana
Lipinski – Illinois
Matheson – Utah
Mitchell – Arizona
Peterson – Minnesota
Pomeroy – North Dakota
Salazar – Colorado
Space – Ohio
Walz – Minnesota
Wilson – Ohio

Finally, consider how African American, Hispanic, and Jewish senators and representatives voted.  The Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are entirely Democratic.  Although there is no Congressional Jewish Caucus, there are lists of Jewish members of Congress.  Nearly all are Democrats.  A good number of Hispanic members of Congress, especially Cuban Americans, are Republican, but do not participate in the CHC.

African Americans and Jews have been victimized by repressive governments and are, not surprisingly, extremely reluctant to give secret extraconstitutional powers of surveillance to the government.  Only one member, Artur Davis of Alabama, of the CBC’s 41 members voted "Yes" – 2%.  Similarly, only one Jewish Democrat of 38, Dianne Feinstein of California, voted "Yes" – 3%.  Feinstein’s "Yes" voted defies logic, party, and heritage.  There is plenty of opportunity for a good reporter, here.

The Hispanic vote is more in line with Democratic voting patterns overall.  Of the 23 CHC members, 4 representatives voted "Yes" – 17%.  This is almost the same percentage as for all Democrats in the House.  The voting patterns of members of Congress from minority groups confirm that African American  and Jews remain some of the strongest supporters of core Democratic values.  Hispanic members of Congress parallel overall Democratic patterns, but are clearly not at odds with Democratic goals.

Congressional Black Caucus – 1 of 41 – 2%

41 voting members – 40 House, 1 Senate – All Democrats
Senator Obama voted "No"
Only one member of the CBC voted "Yes" – Artur Davis, AL
Two "Not Voting" – Yvette Clarke, NY and Lacy Clay, Jr., MO

Congressional Hispanic Caucus – 4 of 23 – 17%

23 members – 22 House, 1 Senate – All Democrats
Senator Robert Menendez voted "No"
Four voted "Yes" – Jim Costa, CA, Henry Cuellar, TX, Ciro Rodriguez, TX, John Salazar. CO
"Not Voting" – Xavier Becerra, CA and Ruben Hinojosa, TX

Jewish Members of Congress – Dem. 1 of 38 – 3%; All 5 of 43 – 12%

43 members – 30 House  (29D, 1R), 13 Senate (9D, 2R, 2I)
Of the Democrats
Only one senator voted "Yes" – Dianne Feinstein, CA
(Both Republicans and Lieberman, CFL voted "Yes")
No Dem Representative voted "Yes"
Two "Not Voting" – Ronald Klein, FL and Tom Lantos, CA
(Cantor, R-VA voted "Yes")


I am, at best, circumspect about the prospects for the 2006 class of Democrats.  Rather than a great electoral victory for the Democratic Party, I fear that many of these new Democratic members of Congress will work at odds with larger Democratic goals and, in actuality, weaken the party in the long run.  I am forced to conclude from this vote and from other critical votes in the past half-dozen years that the South remains a region that is extremely problematic for the Democratic Party.  If the Democrats wish to win in the South, they end up electing Blue Dog Democrats who scuttle party policy at the national level. The West and, to a lesser degree, the Midwest offer greater opportunities for creating a Democratic majority that supports overall Democratic goals.  Lastly, Democratic support for the aspirations of minority groups in American society remains an essential component of our message.  If we listen to them - we receive their support.

Originally posted to johnnygunn on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 03:09 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the stats and the maps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, johnnygunn, JVolvo
  •  Excellent work - Recommended (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is alot of information here to absorb. Like many I am deeply saddened by our Congress. It is helpfull to analyze the post mortem facts.

  •  Put the heat on them now! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let the House members know that their actions will have consequences for them.  It can begin in just two days, when candidate petitions can begin to be circulated for Illinois' February 5th Primary Elections.  (Are you paying attention now, Melissa Bean?  What about you, Dan Lipinski?)

  •  I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yes votes as a percentage of the state's Democratic delegation.  A single yes from California is less meaningful, perhaps than a lack of yesses from Idaho.

    •  That's Why - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago jeff, collegekid318

      I have the regions broken down on the map.
      There ain't no Dems in the Idaho delegation -
      So there's no way to compare Idaho to Mississippi.
      But the West, as a whole, has 56 representatives in the House and only 4 of them voted "Yes" - while the South has 57 representatives and 22 of them voted "Yes".

  •  Netroots? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't know if there is an official classification of "netroots candidates", but I'd be interested in knowing which of these 57 were candidates that we strongly supported in 2006.  Anyone want to do the breakdown?

    If Democrats have a pre-911 view of the world, Republicans have a pre-July 4th view of the world.

    by chadlupkes on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 03:56:33 PM PDT

  •  The South Is Useless! (0+ / 0-)

    The South is useless and has been for over 100 years. They are the most backward, atavistic region of the country and have been holding the rest back back ever since the Civil War. No reason to expect any change. They hate us because they hate our freedoms, pure and simple.

    We cannot count on the South for anything except numbers. We can't have any progressive policies until we can count on a majority of the rest of the country, and let the Southerners do their corn-bread self-flagellating reactionary thing.

    Except when it comes time to vote for Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate. That's all we can expect out of them, they're a bunch of useless Joe Liebermans!

    When we have the votes to advance policy without them we will succeed and not until.

  •  In other words, Mudcat Saunders... (0+ / 0-)

    ...can go fuck himself with an old civil war cannon.

  •  Heath Shuler never read the US Constitution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If he had he wouldn't have voted the way he did.  Guess he was too busy playing futball.

    The Fourth Estate is now a gated community.

    by djohnutk on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 04:55:04 PM PDT

  •  Dianne Feinstein of California voted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My favorite comment:

    Dianne Feinstein of California, voted "Yes" – 3%.  Feinstein’s "Yes" voted defies logic, party, and heritage.  There is plenty of opportunity for a good reporter, here.

    Not so subtle hint here!

    Peace is a family value.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 05:14:20 PM PDT

  •  Authoritarianism that runs so deep? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is an underlying difference even among Democrats here in the South.

    There is a concept that all people are NOT created equal.  Some of our members do NOT envision nor will they ever work for true equality and the commons.  

    Rule by fear and harsh discipline are the order of the day.

    Anyway, we do need to examine the differences so we know where to spend our time and money.

    BTD has revisited one of his earlier posts here at dkos.  He has this concept he calls "Political Space Time Curvature."  It's a work in progress and a good concept.

    Determining the political gravity of progressivism in each state/region and where to push.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 05:51:45 PM PDT

  •  Nothing surprising (0+ / 0-)

    Many, if not all, pickups last year were in Republican leaninig or even rather strong republican districts. In some of these districts Bush got more then 60% of vote in 2004. Do you really expect the Democratic representatives frome these districts vote as Jerry Nadler or Barney Frank do???. Then they will be one-termers. The real alternative in these districts is not "Progressive democrat" vs "Reactionary republican", but "Moderate democrat" vs. "Conservative or Reactionary republican". Moderate Democrat, by definition, will NOT vote lockstep with liberal majority of Democratic party. On the contrary, on some or substantial number on issues, he (she) will vote differently. Nevertheless, he (she) will have much "better" overall democratic record then ANY Republican, which is the ONLY alternative in xuch districs..

    •  So - - (0+ / 0-)

      It's no longer moderate to defend constitutional rights, eh?

      And you have missed the entire argument - -
      If our pick-ups end us costing the Dems every major vote, how much value are they after all?

      BTW - Our Iowa pick-ups voted with the party, so did the New Hampshire and Connecticut pick-ups.  My argument is that we should target those districts that offer long-term, not Republican Lite, Democratic gains.

      •  I absolutely didn't missed (0+ / 0-)

        the argument - not EVERY major vote, but SOME major votes

        Your Iowa pickups came from districts that voted Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. The same is true for Connecticut, the same - for 1 of 2 New Hampshire districts and you will surely get a very serious fight in another one. So, it's easy for THEM to vote with party. Say the same thing to Lampson (district is about 65% for Bush in 2004) or Ellsworth (more then 60%) or Carney (the same) or many others...  Primary them - and you will get Delay-2 in Lampson district, Hochstettler-2 in Ellworth's and so on. These districts will gladly spurn your "Progressive alternative" and happily elect ultraconservative Republicans in place of Blue Dogs. You want THAT??? Fine, you will get it then...

  •  Asian Pacific American Caucus (0+ / 0-)

    The members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus mostly voted the right way.

    CAPAC Executive Board

    The Hon. Michael Honda (CA-15)

    The Hon. Eni Faleomavaega  (AS-Delegate)
    Vice Chair

    The Hon. Madeleine Bordallo (GU-Delegate)

    The Hon. Daniel Akaka (HI-Senator)
    The Hon. Daniel Inouye (HI-Senator)
    The Hon. Neil Abercrombie (HI-01)
    The Hon. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
    The Hon. Doris Matsui (CA-05)
    The Hon. Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
    The Hon. Al Green (TX-09)
    The Hon. Robert Scott (VA-03)
    The Hon. David Wu (OR-01)

    Associate Members

    Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA)
    Rep. Gary Ackerman (NY-05)
    Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
    Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-07)
    Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
    Rep. Danny Davis (IL-07)
    Rep. Susan A. Davis (CA-53)
    Rep. Sam Farr (CA-17)
    Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-07)
    Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
    Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01)
    Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)
    Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
    Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04)
    Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
    Rep. George Miller (CA-07)
    Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-38)
    Rep. Solomon Ortiz (TX-27)
    Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06)
    Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
    Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
    Rep. Bobby L. Rush (IL-01)
    Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-39)
    Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
    Rep. Jose Serrano (NY-16)
    Rep. Joseph Sestak (PA-07)
    Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09)
    Rep. Hilda Solis (CA-32)
    Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13)
    Rep. Gene Taylor (MS-04)
    Rep. Mark Udall (CO-02)
    Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-30)

    Only Rep. Taylor and Sen. Inouye voted the wrong way.

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 08:21:17 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site