Skip to main content

Blues with Boehner
Blue Dogs and their pal (Doug Porter)
There were three sets of Democrats in Thursday's contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder in the House of Representatives.

First—huzzah!—there were the 100+ inspired by the Congressional Black Caucus to walk out of the chambers rather than give the resolution any respect whatsoever. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer were among those who left rather than cast their votes. It's a rare, rare day that such a move is justified. But today was one of those. Because, what the Republicans did was unprecedented, unconscionable, unpardonable and unhinged. The Democrats filing out the doors were precisely the rebuke deserved by the representatives who plunked that outrageous resolution into the hopper.

Then there were the 65 Democrats who voted against the resolution. That, of course, under normal circumstances, would have been the appropriate choice. Shoot down the resolution or, at least, stand unified against whatever nonsense or worse that the GOP had cooked up to impose on us.

But it was clear when the Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the contempt resolution last week which direction the wind would blow. No way would this not pass. And no way would its passage get any traction when sent to the federal prosecutor. Such matters expire with the end of the Congress that okays them and this one is going to be on a slow six-month track to nowhere. Which the Republicans knew full well from the get-go.

In other words, it was all theater. Even more than usual. The walkout, though a principled move, was counter-theater. Treating the vote seriously, respectfully, by participating, even with a "nay," was useless and stupid. Especially given that the House leadership not only gave Democrats the stamp of approval for joining the walkout, they themselves boycotted the vote. Think of the imagery, the headlines, if those Democrats who stayed at their desks to push the "nay" button had added their numbers to the power of solidarity. Since their votes could not change the outcome anyway, what was their rationale for sticking it out? What statement were they making? Was it simple laziness? Did they decide to show solidarity with the two Republicans who broke from the jackal pack to oppose the resolution? Whatever the case, they went astray.

Finally, there were the 17 Democratic "aye" votes. What a fine crew that is. Our plague. Yes, yes, they are mostly in reddish districts and more liberal candidates could never get elected there, so we have to put up with them because better they than a Republican, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Even if one agrees that Blue Dogs and their ilk are the price of a Big Tent party, what good are they when they can't be counted upon to have the backs of fellow Democrats under a rancid assault whose only foundation is raw partisanship?

What good are they if they won't stand up against even the most extreme efforts of the National Rifle Association? That organization's grip on gun policy in Arizona and elsewhere lubricates the trafficking of tens of thousands of firearms into Mexico and makes the job of interdicting this lethal flow next to impossible. An organization whose string-pulling and budget-obstructing has frustrated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives so much that it led to experiments like "Fast and Furious" in the first place.

These 17 Democrats didn't just suck up to the NRA. They didn't just turn their backs on colleagues. They provided the GOP the okay to say that even-some-Democrats agree Eric Holder is involved in a cover-up of a program that led to the death of a brave U.S. Border Patrol agent. By unspoken implication, of course, Obama is also involved. Providing Republicans with that kind of campaign ammo goes waaaay beyond any apologies that can be made for trying to make oneself a viable incumbent Democrat in a reddish district. Being that kind of turncoat screws other Democrats by helping to mobilize the nut-jobs to turn out in greater numbers at the polls.

Despicable, pathetic, myopic.

Every Democratic Rep. who voted for the contempt resolution should be a target for replacement in the coming years until they've all been retired. If they cannot be counted on to stand with fellow Democrats on a matter of principle so fundamental, how exactly is it that they fit in the Big Tent?

•••

The roster of 17 (asterisk indicates a Blue Dog):

Jason Altmire (PA-04, lost primary in PA-12) *
John Barrow (GA-12) *
Dan Boren (OK-02, retiring) *
Leonard Boswell (IA-03) *
Ben Chandler (KY-06) *
Mark Critz (PA-12)
Joe Donnelly (IN-02, running for IN-Sen) *
Kathy Hochul (NY-26)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Larry Kissell (NC-08) *
Jim Matheson (UT-02, running in UT-04) *
Mike McIntyre (NC-07) *
Bill Owens (NY-23, running in NY-21)
Collin Peterson (MN-07) *
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Mike Ross (AR-04, retiring) *
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 05:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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

kimo, Alumbrados, Sylv, jillian, Bill in Portland Maine, Common Sense Mainer, hester, deben, assyrian64, Iddybud, glitterscale, native, mimi, Shockwave, byteb, ChicDemago, meg, OLinda, VetGrl, eeff, willyr, Voodoo, hnichols, bookbear, Creosote, rasbobbo, CatM, bronte17, Zinman, 714day, susakinovember, stevej, Bensdad, mrblifil, khloemi, Nate Roberts, Iberian, navajo, artebella, Quege, Lilyvt, Redfire, kharma, TexDem, NYC Sophia, 2laneIA, milton333, Jujuree, penguins4peace, Sychotic1, liberte, chickeee, RebeccaG, miss love, lcrp, riverlover, Wayward Wind, zerelda, side pocket, lonespark, KayCeSF, jcrit, lyvwyr101, Pam LaPier, Emmy, valadon, Sybil Liberty, Sassy, sawgrass727, Brecht, marina, 3goldens, caul, democracy inaction, triciawyse, basquebob, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, komogo, Overseas, blue jersey mom, Sandino, deep, Tool, coolbreeze, JanL, Indiana Bob, xanthippe2, Blue Bronc, kathny, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, 417els, Russgirl, dopper0189, tonyahky, Gorette, mooshter, AoT, KenBee, VictorLaszlo, luckydog, kck, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, TalkieToaster, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, doinaheckuvanutjob, James Kroeger, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, lynneinfla, nannyboz, kurious, Little, BentLiberal, krwheaton, Haningchadus14, ColoTim, gloriana, Proud Moonbat, Mary Mike, terabytes, suejazz, davehouck, bnasley, HCKAD, jayden, Aunt Martha, SeaTurtle, jhop7, gchaucer2, uciguy30, JML9999, dizzydean, Assaf, TomP, skymutt, rogerdaddy, kimoconnor, wayoutinthestix, Sixty Something, elwior, Sharon Wraight, monkeybrainpolitics, RandomNonviolence, catly, DavidW, squarewheel, Bule Betawi, artmartin, McGahee220, MufsMom, J M F, litoralis, ceebee7, LinSea, dharmasyd, maryabein, tweedy54, WakeUpNeo, indres, UnaSpenser, CaliSista, MKSinSA, Denise Oliver Velez, Shelley99, doc durango, sfarkash, jimmylutherking, jpmassar, citisven, Leftcandid, porchdog1961, Larsstephens, tash123, jsfox, FogCityJohn, icemilkcoffee, roadbear, NJpeach, gramofsam1, Tea and Strumpets, jethrock, Proud Mom and Grandma, Lost and Found, Simple, JoanMar, gulfgal98, tb mare, Yasuragi, sharonsz, Johnny Q, Betty Pinson, elengul, ericlewis0, Floande, Nada Lemming, science nerd, Actbriniel, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, annieli, kerflooey, meralda, sfcouple, slowbutsure, m00finsan, molunkusmol, trumpeter, Haf2Read, PorridgeGun, Kokomo for Obama, Ace Nelson, sethtriggs, thomask, evangeline135, BarackStarObama, MRA NY, worldlotus, Tyto Alba, mali muso, jolux, SoCalSal, lyta, Regina in a Sears Kit House, DEMonrat ankle biter, ParkRanger, I C Mainer, No one gets out alive, IowaBiologist, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, weatherdude, Siri, IndieGuy, foucaultspendulum, Eric Nelson, done lurking, JGibson, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, belinda ridgewood, Spirit Dancer, reginahny, pittie70, doroma, tytalus, oldpotsmuggler, Vote4Obamain2012, AverageJoe42, Glen The Plumber, Lily O Lady, nomandates, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, JayRaye, Bud Fields, goodpractice, northerntier, Icicle68, bob152

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site