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In 2010 I did something I have not done in over 30 years of voting straight Democratic ticket - I did not vote for my Democratic Congressman to have a second term. The reason is very simple - he voted AGAINST Obamacare.

I voted for him the first time around against a complete Bushite and was thrilled when he won my District.

BUT, when he stood against Obamacare, I said to myself, this guy does not represent me and I frankly don't care that he votes Democratic 95% of the time. When it came to something extremely important to me, he was my foe. I even understood that he was one of the guys given a "go-ahead" by the Dems in charge to vote against the ACA if it would help him in his usually red district (mine).

This is the lesson I am trying to make here -

Apparently, to some Democrats of a higher pay grade, his vote on a life altering issue to me was a poker chip. Sure, vote against it if it will help you hold your district and no harm no foul. Except to me, there was harm and there was foul. Why would I vote for a Democrat who voted AGAINST one of the most important progressive legislative initiatives of the last fifty years? I would expect it of a Republican, like my former Congresswoman, but I for one did not expect it of my DEMOCRATIC congressman.

So, I made the hardest decision of my life. I did not vote for him. In fact, I actually wrote in "public option" as my write-in candidate. I knew it was foolish. I knew it was a "wasted" vote. But I wanted that Congressman to know that somewhere someone wrote that in and I wanted him to know that he lost my vote because of his perfidy on healthcare.

So what happened? A Republican was elected to Congress in my district. I completely believe that in a Red District that had actually voted blue, that when given the choice again, most people will vote for an actual Republican as opposed to a fake Republican. That happened to be the fate of a lot of Blue Dogs in 2010. Their Democratic voters stayed home or wrote stupid things in the write-in slot like me.

So now I have had my Republican Congressman for 2 years and now I have another opportunity to vote. This time around I have a Democratic candidate who seems to understand that he is a Democrat. He has actually said he will vote FOR the ACA. He stands a viable chance of winning the election. If I had not voted out the Dem guy who voted against the ACA the first time around, I would not have even the opportunity of voting  for someone who will try to keep it in place this time around.

What is my point?

The actions of your politicians should count. You will only get better if you are willing to lose one round to vote them out in order to get better the next time around. I am happy that I withheld my vote last time and I am happy that I have a BETTER Democrat to vote for this time around.

BUT, in this election, I would vote for every single Democrat for every office no matter how crappy and how Blue Dog and how DINO and how Republican Lite they are.

And then I would kick out their asses the next time around.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:03:13 PM PDT

  •  Remember (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    ZackB, Demi Moaned
    Hidden by:
    durrati

    It was Blue dogs like Blanche (i'm so fucking ugly i could make  a freight train take a dirt road) Lincoln and Ben ( fuck you guys I'm really a republican) Nelson who cost us the public option. Also Obama caved as well.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain

    by GPMOAT on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:16:23 PM PDT

    •  Mitch McConnell likes your analysis nt (5+ / 0-)

      Yes Mitt, I do believe people are entitled to food.

      by Rustbelt Dem on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:19:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ...who knew that looks matter?!? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban

      ...since you apparently didn't get the memo that sexist comments are the province of the other side, I save both of us the effort of HR'ing your comment because of its very first 20 words, even though anything after that is of no value...

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

      by Jack K on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:57:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why insults her looks? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jack K, Phoebe Loosinhouse

      I've never seen a photo of her but it shoudl be very beneath anyone to turn an argument into an insult about her looks.

      You could have said anything else 'unprincipled'  'liar' 'traitor' 'turn coat'  but you instead you went after her looks?

    •  The next time Dems have Congress and POTUS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban, luckydog

      They can always add the Public Option. Most likely by adding Medicare for all those age 50 and older. If they make people have to buy in at 5% over cost they can just use reconsiliation to do it. People act like the Public Option is dead forever. The New Deal wasn't one law, Civil Rights wasn't one law, the improving situation for the LGB community isn't because of one law. I've said for a long time we won't get to universal coverage in this country with just one law either.

      Once people see that the ACA doesn't destroy healthcare in the US (just like it's father didn't destroy healthcare in Massachusetts) the next round will be easier.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hidden for general (0+ / 0-)

      assholishness...

      "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

      by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 10:41:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Contacting our Representatives by (3+ / 0-)

    phone, email, Twitter, etc is another way of getting our voices/opinions heard and making a point. They have to be told that their votes on important legislation will be remembered. Rookies especially who may not totally understand how the political difference between the Senate (6 years a vote like that might be forgotten) and the House (2 years and that vote still fresh in our memory) can impact their re-election.

  •  Phoebe, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, ban nock

    I doan know his circumstance but if his vote wasn't decisive than perhaps it was simply politic....

    95% ain't good enough?

    You'd rather back the 5 percenter?

    There are medicines you know...

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:31:37 PM PDT

    •  And perhaps her vote wasn't decisive, either (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      durrati

      By which I mean maybe it wasn't a close contest and therefore a good time to show some independence.

      The real problem in these cases is that when Democrats lose to Republicans they draw the rather reasonable inference that the public prefers the Republican policies.

      Yet it's a real problem-- finding a way to exert pressure on our party to move to the left. It's just that withholding your vote is not a very effective tool for sending that message.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:39:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need another voting system. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        While under our current voting system, I want to promote better Democrats, we need a voting system that allows third parties to have a fair shot at getting elected. I believe Approval Voting would be the best replacement for our current Plurality Voting system.

        What is Approval Voting?

        Approval Voting simply means that voters can vote for as many candidates as they choose... Approval Voting is more expressive than the typical way we vote — Plurality Voting. That's because Plurality Voting limits voter expression to only one candidate...

        How will Approval Voting affect spoiled ballots?

        Without a doubt, using Approval Voting will drastically decrease the number of spoiled ballots... If a voter approves anywhere between zero to all candidates (all combinations), then they've submitted a valid vote. To spoil an Approval ballot, a voter has to make the ballot unreadable — rather difficult. In fact, in the French and German studies referenced above, under 0.5% of voters managed to accomplish this folly (that's less than one in two hundred).

        Plurality Voting ballots are treated as spoiled whenever voters mark more than one candidate. The fact that voters do this tells us that they have more to say than Plurality Voting permits. Consequently, in the 2000 U.S. elections, nearly two million ballots were spoiled — almost 2%.

        Plurality Voting's spoilage rate of around one in fifty is almost four times more than Approval Voting. Had Approval Voting been used in 2000, not only would there have been no spoiler effect, but poll workers could have counted around one and a half million more voters' ballots.

        Does Approval Voting help major parties or minor parties?

        While this may sound impossible, we contend that Approval Voting is fairer to both major parties and minor parties. More importantly, Approval Voting is fairer to voters.

        Doesn't Approval Voting violate "one person one vote"?

        No. The term "one person one vote" refers to the weight of votes, not to how votes are expressed. And in Approval Voting, all ballots have the same weight.

        "Progress is possible. Don't give up on voting. Don't give up on advocacy. Don't give up on activism. There are too many needs to be met, too much work to be done." - Barack Obama

        by eaglekid85va on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:52:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The time to exert Pressure is in the primary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew F Cockburn

        but only if your candidate can beat the 'thuglican...

        "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

        by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:06:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't completely agree (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, a primary is a time to exert pressure, but I disagree that you are bound to vote only for a candidate that can beat the Republican. I think that calculation can often lead to choosing inferior candidates who then go on to lose the election. We heard a lot of talk back in '07 about John Kerry being more electable than Howard Dean. I don't know that Dean could have beaten Bush, but the assessment that Kerry was more electable was pure CW mongering.

          Also, pressure can also be exerted on specific issues as they arise through messages and other avenues of public discussion.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:42:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If someone isn't willing to stand up for the hard (4+ / 0-)

      votes, the important votes, the major votes, the life altering votes, then what the f good are they?

       If healthcare was your longstanding personal issue for both individual and societal reasons, is a someone who is "politic" with the literal LIVES of his constituents worth a vote? Not in my opinion.

      Thanks for letting me know 'there are medicines'. If I discover one for smugness I'll let you know.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:47:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "someone who is "politic" with the literal LIVES" (0+ / 0-)

        but perhaps that wasn't the case, and, I'm betting that wasn't the case.

        I live in McCaskill land and am watching a pro-choice, pro civil rights, pro labor Senator fight for her political life because she had to vote for Obamacare... if she had been the 65th vote for it I would have earnestly begged her to vote no.

        I want the 95% more than the Pyrrhic extra vote.

        But I am just sane smug that way...  

        "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

        by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:04:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think every person of conscience HAD to vote for (0+ / 0-)

          the ACA. There was and is literally no alternative.

          Anyone who was politic, and crass and unconscionable enough to vote against it should not be in office. I believe that about Democrats and I believe that about Republicans.

          To vote against it is to vote for Americans dying due to Lack of Care.

          I can't imagine any circumstance when I would have "earnestly begged" any Democrat to vote against it, regardless of the voting demographics of their district. It's called having a conscience and a backbone.

          Give the Deval Patrick speech from the convention a listen - that's what I'm talking about.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:20:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I loved the (0+ / 0-)

            Deval Patrick speech but he speaks from safe harbor. I want not only the safe harbor but the difficult one. That is the difference between you and me unless the difference is that you are just a sapper... which I suspect.

            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

            by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:26:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So Deval Patrick is a paper tiger because he (0+ / 0-)

              'speaks from a safe harbor"? Really?

              We can only have the courage of our convictions if it requires no actual courage?

              I am "just a sapper"? I haven't heard that term, so why not explain it to me. It can't be flattering since you 'suspect' me of it.

              “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

              by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:38:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In Vietnam, (0+ / 0-)

                the enemy would sneak through the wires or come into the bases under false pretense such as being civilian employees like barbers or maids.

                We called them sappers.

                And Deval is not a "Paper Tiger" just one who does not fear being trampled by an elephant.  

                Even Mitt "teaparty" Bomney bot had to run to the left of FDR to win in Mass.  

                "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:52:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Incredible. (0+ / 0-)

                  “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

                  by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 10:18:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

                    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                    by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 10:39:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  sapper: (noun) a military engineer who lays... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...or detects and disarms mines. Link...

                      p.s. that 95%er or 5%er choice you mentioned above? that's a pretty false choice considering the context of the diary, which context you seem to maybe not have considered...

                      Cheers.

                      •  I an well aware of curtain number One (0+ / 0-)

                        and two and three, thankee...sapper and saboteur can be synonymous...

                        "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                        by durrati on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 11:47:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  not really... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...tho' proceed onward if it's your inclination...

                          Cheers.

                          •  O.K. (0+ / 0-)

                            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                            by durrati on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 12:12:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "dungeons and dragons"-based evidence... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...can be less than convincing.

                            Cheers.

                          •  Perhaps this Viet Vet (0+ / 0-)

                            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                            by durrati on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:32:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you're simply using the word incorrectly... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...perhaps more individuals than you alone made the same error in reference to your personal experiences. 'Course, perhaps that's your own Viet Nam tale that you linked, in which case you'd have used the term incorrectly twice.

                            Me? I think I'm pretty clear on the subject. Afterall, I've worked around real-life sappers a bit. Matter of fact, I carry a scar on my face from shrapnel that exploded out of an anti-personnel device that was planted by a real-life sapper. And I've called in the real-life sappers to clear UXO in more than one circumstance, in more than one war, in more than one country.

                            So, in a certain sense, while your comments don't really clear things up, I guess you could easily say that sappers sometimes do.

                            Cheers.

                          •  I know this is useless (0+ / 0-)

                            but I'll give it one more go...

                            I have read extensively of military history and have come across this usage several times. Actually I think this usage of the word derives from the tactic of sappers burrowing beneath a city's wall to either gain access or destroy them, or "undermine".

                            Here a former senior editor for National Review, a graduate of Columbia University and former CEO of St. Martin's Press employs this usage in his first para and though I can't vouch for his politics, I think I can rely on his vocabulary.

                            I'm sure I could find other examples but I would think this one should suffice...still, I will be polite enough not to tell you you are wrong, but rather still learning.

                            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                            by durrati on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 05:39:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  stick to your reading... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...tho' you might want to read more closely when someone with direct experience more broad and deep than your own happens along and  offers a comment or two.

                            Cheers.

                          •  I do not dispute your understanding of the term (0+ / 0-)

                            which is generic, or your experience, and I salute your service; but you discount my own five years in the military, I guess, and damning evidence of your...incorrectness (I did promise I would not say wrong).... perhaps something saps your acuity.  

                            Jeers.

                            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                            by durrati on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 08:40:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well, I've extended no discount... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...and tho' you seem to feel slighted, it seems solely by your own continued insistence. Which you are, of course, welcome to...

                            Cheers.

                          •  O.K. you are just wrong (0+ / 0-)

                            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

                            by durrati on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:39:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well, no, not so much... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...tho' you are, of course, welcome to your opinion...

                            Cheers.

                    •  What is incredible (0+ / 0-)

                      is that you come into my diary and make an insulting suggestion that I "need medication",  and  follow that up by accusing me of being a a saboteur - completely missing the entire point of my whole diary, which was that no matter how let down one may feel towards any particular Democrat, that in my opinion, this is not the election to show it and that every single Democrat should be elected or re-elected.

                      I guess you are one of the self-appointed classroom monitors who determines what is allowable discussion.

                      I have made over 1600 comments and 90 diaries and I'll let each and every one of them speak for themselves.

                      I choose not to engage with you further since you are limited to insults or aspersions.

                      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

                      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 04:25:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Every time you think of bad mouthing a blue dog (5+ / 0-)

    Remember that they are fellow Dems, who might not agree with you on every issue, but probably do on the important ones. Remember that some of them, many of them, voted for health care reform knowing that it would cost them their job. Some blue dogs such as Gabby Giffords are a true inspiration.

    I personally am not a big fan of the public option, single provider not single payer is how we take the profit out of medicine. We got a great health care bill.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 08:52:07 PM PDT

  •  I did the same thing once. (2+ / 0-)

    I was represented by a terrible Blue Dog. I voted for a Republican goofball (sort of Jesse Ventura-ish) who won and then lost to a decent Democrat two years later. So it can work.

    I don't think that I will do it again, but who knows?

  •  he stood against obamacare because the local RW (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    durrati

    local radio stations that helped the national radio gods piss all over any rep who went for commie canadian health care never got protested and boycotted by their communities for being tools for the megacorps

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 09:29:59 PM PDT

  •  In this election, sure, fine, vote a straight Dem (0+ / 0-)

    ticket even if it means we end up witha few BDs. But on Nov 7 we need to start a party-wide conversation about this issue.

    There are times we end up having to settle for a BD not becasue a genuine progressive is necessarily unelectable, but becasue BDs/ConservaDems within party leadership have a preference for BDs over genuine progressives. They are working to shift the party to the new false center, which is in reality considerably right of the old true center. Fuck that.

    The new true center, which was once left of center, is being characterized as far left. We need to be fighting to pull the Overton Window back into proper perspective. Tolerating BDs one inch beyond what is actually necessary only works against that effort.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 05:29:37 AM PDT

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