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This diary is short contrast piece between NC Congressman Bob Etheridge and NC Congressman Larry Kissell.  Let's start with the latter...

This diary is short contrast piece between NC Congressman Bob Etheridge and NC Congressman Larry Kissell.  Let's start with the latter.

After being supported by the netroots two times in a row, Larry Kissell sold out his core supporters this week because he thinks his constituents are dumb and that he can use that cynical worldview to get re-elected.

Kissell voted "NO" last night, with an ostensible reason being that the health reform bill guts medicare.  

Luckily, we have had this nonsense debunked numerous times, particularly notably by AARP and the American Medical Association.

Larry believes that with eight months to explain the bill to his constituents through detailed argument and persuasion, they are not smart enough to figure out that this bill is good for his district and their neighbors, and that they will be more easily swayed by right-wing disinformation.  

With his "NO" vote, Kissell thinks he can avoid campaigning for re-election on substance and can instead cynically say on the stump that he didn't "vote to cut medicare" as a soundbite, and can therefore avoid this being a wedge issue in the fall campaign.

Larry could have run for re-election from a position of strength, having been part of the party that gets things done.  Instead, he'll run from a position of apologizing for the letter before his name and saying "I'm not really like those other Democrats."  Unfortunately for Larry, in NC, when given a choice between a Democrat pretending to be a Republican and the real thing, they choose the real thing every time.  Doubt it?  Ask Erskine Bowles, non-Senator from NC.

In contrast to Kissell, Bob Etheridge, facing a tough vote and a considerable majority against reform in his district, stood up and voted for history.  His quote:

This vote is about getting past the campaign of misinformation and distortion and fear and doing right by the people of North Carolina. I've listened to the voices from all points of view, and I'm voting yes for this plan that will save lives and save money for our families, our businesses and our nation. (Raleigh News and Observer)

I live in David Price's district, and my father-in-law has kidney disease and is routinely mistreated and gouged by Blue Cross of NC.  I have feared for years that I would be forced to choose one day between paying his medical bills and sending our son to college.  Today, that fear is waning for the first time, and I have people like Bob Etheridge to thank.

I gave money to Larry Kissell before, and I will not waste another dime on him.  Any money I had available to give this fall for the Kissell campaign is going to support Bob Etheridge, a courageous American and proud Democrat.

Originally posted to Common Sense in NC on Mon Mar 22, 2010 at 04:54 AM PDT.

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