NRCC: "Schrader does have a target on his back."

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In Oregon, we can be proud that all four of our Democratic members of the U.S. House voted for the health care reform bill - and against the terrible, awful, no-good, very bad Stupak amendment. There are only eight other states with a similar 100% record among their Democratic delegations (and only Connecticut and Arizona have more than our four.)

Not that it was a foregone conclusion, to be sure. I know there was all kinds of drama here at BlueOregon (and elsewhere) in particular about Congressman Kurt Schrader.

But when all was said and done, he joined the vast majority of Democrats who voted against Stupak and for the House health care bill.

And now, the GOP is coming after him. From the AP:

"Schrader does have a target on his back," Joanna Burgos of the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C. said Monday. ...

"He voted in lockstep with the farthest left elements of a very liberal Congress," Bruun said Monday.

And former legislative colleague Randy Miller had this to say in a letter to the Oregonian:

Rep. Kurt Schrader has done a nice job over the years to project the image that he is a fiscal conservative. The problem is that his voting record puts him comfortably in the camp of big spending, left-leaning liberals. ... Be it support for the job-killing, tax-raising stimulus bill or the government takeover of health care, Schrader has made it clear that he is no fiscal conservative.

Now, Congressman Schrader may not be Randy Miller's (or John Boehner's or Grover Norquist's or Sarah Palin's) idea of a fiscal conservative - seeking to "drown government in a bathtub" - but he's always been a budget hawk. And that's a good thing - we progressives ought to insist that public funds are used effectively. After all, if we don't, what's the point?

Make no mistake: The national Republicans are coming after Kurt Schrader. As pollster Tim Hibbits told the AP, it's that first re-election race when members of Congress are most vulnerable - and mid-term elections are always a struggle for the president's party.

Whether you agree with Kurt 100% of the time or not - and I certainly don't (even through I'm a friend and the guy who built his campaign website) - I hope you agree that replacing Kurt Schrader with a Republican won't be good for Oregon, won't be good for President Obama's presidency, and won't be good for progressive policy for America.

So, go beyond the drama and stay in touch with Kurt on his Facebook page, through his Twitter feed, sign up for his email newsletter, and visit his website. And, if you're so inclined, make a donation.

The election is in less than a year. And for Oregon's sake, let's make sure we don't lose this seat to the right-wingers.

Comments

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    Excellent points, it's only the conclusion I disagree with. Schrader's vulnerability is why he needs to stay with the progressive/Democratic majority, not a reason for the progressive Democrats to accept his dithering about how to vote on key bills.

  • zull (unverified)
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    Schrader has no political target on him? I seriously doubt it. He represents a district that harbors the possibility of going red, and he's the sort of Democrat that really drives a thorn into the side of the Republicans...one that puffs himself up and pretends to be a Blue Dog, but ends up voting along with the Dems most of the time anyway. Besides, what strategic value would it have for Republicans to announce well in advance who they plan to target in EVERY race? I'd think they'd just run their guy and let the other side come to that conclusion.

  • (Show?)

    Well, Bob, one person's "dithering" is another's "thoughtful consideration" and yet another's "I'm just not going to tell you."

    Not only that, but since legislative politics is a game of leverage, one shouldn't be surprised to see legislators doing whatever they think is going to provide them the maximum leverage. Sometimes that means keeping quiet, and making folks adjust the bill in a way that you like - sometimes that means loudly proclaiming your position and trying to bring others along.

    Legislative tactics are hardly a reason to support or oppose someone; it's the final policy outcome that should matter, right?

    Other than a handful of political scientists and legislative wonks, will anyone remember the various tactical maneuvers two decades from now? Heck, a year from now?

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    That's rich. Scott Bruun trying to lecture Kurt Schrader on trying to appear moderate while actually adhering to the ideological extremes of his party. Sounds like a cast-iron dutch oven calling some stainless steel cookware "tarnished."

    Seems to me that while Kurt may be thoughtful (leading some to consider the Blueness of his soul), Scott wrote the book on selling his soul (assuming he has one) to the wingnuts (the one's writing the checks, of course) and then successfully hoodwinking the voters into thinking he actually thinks for himself.

    Remember that Darlene Hooley was a long, long way from being a Blue Dog, and she could have held on to that seat for as long as she wanted to. OR 1's the same way. The days of the bulk of Oregon's population seriously considering GOP candidates are being consigned to the history books along with the likes of (and legacy of damage by) Karen Minnis and Molly Boardanaro.

    I say good riddance. Smooth operators like Bruun will hopefully find that the Oregon electorate has no more taste for a more moderate-sounding Republican than we do for the scorched-earth, drown 'em in the bathtub kind that lies just underneath the sweet-smelling sauce.

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    Kari Not only that, but since legislative politics is a game of leverage, one shouldn't be surprised to see legislators doing whatever they think is going to provide them the maximum leverage.

    So how, exactly, did Schrader's conduct serve to improve the bill, IYO? Seems to me all that happened is a handful of D's held out on the whip counts just long enough to add one more instance of making the House leadership look weak, and thereby help the R's.

    Health care reform isn't a projects bill where holding out may get funding for your district's item, it's a full-on battle within our society. If Schrader sees that battle as merely an opportunity for personal grand-standing, maybe he should form the Oregon For Schrader party.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "Rep. Kurt Schrader has done a nice job over the years to project the image that he is a fiscal conservative. The problem is that his voting record puts him comfortably in the camp of big spending, left-leaning liberals. ... Be it support for the job-killing, tax-raising stimulus bill or the government takeover of health care, Schrader has made it clear that he is no fiscal conservative."

    It would be worthwhile for right-wingers going after anyone on fiscal grounds to ask Where Are the Real Deficit Hawks?

    For the record, I'm no fan of Kurt Schrader's after his craven vote to bury the Goldstone report, but I'm almost as offended by unadulterated bullshit.

  • Jake Leander (unverified)
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    "He voted in lockstep with the farthest left elements of a very liberal Congress," Bruun said Monday.

    Actually, the farthest left elements of Congress voted against the health insurance bill.

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    I think somebody in the NRCC has a crush on Kurt Schrader, and clearly he and Randy Miller need to go and have a beer together.

  • JG Hitzert (unverified)
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    The number one thing that voters in Rep. Schrader's district should consider is the amount of work he has done for his constituents in the short amount of time he has been in office. He has done a Herculean amount for the people of the 5th Congressional District. From providing case workers for those who fall through the gaps, especially veterans, to bringing staff into the district to ensure they received their share of the stimulus, Rep. Schrader has done quite a lot.

    I sometimes wonder if we give adequate consideration for sincere politicians like Schrader when they must address the broad concerns of a diverse population of constituents. I think it's time for us liberal Democrats to first consider the hard work before we go down the path of idealistic purity. Look at how well that is working for the lunatic fringe running things on the right.

  • jaybeat (unverified)
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    Wow, Bill, thanks for that link. David Sirota is a national treasure. I especially like this:

    Only professional liars could cite concern about debt as reason to oppose a health care bill reducing the debt—and then vote for debt-expanding defense budgets. Unfortunately, professional liars are the norm in today’s politics, not the exception—and they’re leading America off the fiscal cliff.

  • (Show?)

    I sometimes wonder if we give adequate consideration for sincere politicians like Schrader when they must address the broad concerns of a diverse population of constituents. I think it's time for us liberal Democrats to first consider the hard work before we go down the path of idealistic purity. Look at how well that is working for the lunatic fringe running things on the right.

    WADR, I don't think there are many people trying to hold Schrader to a standard of "ideological purity". It's certainly possible that it's happening somewhere, but I don't think its rampant here.

    The health care reform legislation was an extremely important and necessary first step. I am honestly dismayed that Congressman Schrader wasn't on board (or at least forthcoming about it if he was) with this reform. While I'm happy that he eventually voted in the affirmative, this should not have been so difficult. On the big things--like this--it should not be so much of a stretch to vote for it (Kucinich should be ashamed of himself, btw).

    The Stupak-Pitts thing was enormous bullshit and will be killed during reconciliation. It was a hail mary to kill the bill and a stupid distraction. I'm glad Schrader didn't fall for it.

    I really have no problem with Schrader voting more conservatively than the rest of the delegation on a good many issues. It's the nature of his constituency. And while I appreciate that he's doing many good things--when something this big and this important comes along its crucial that he do a much better job than what we witnessed last week. That was simply awful.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "The number one thing that voters in Rep. Schrader's district should consider is the amount of work he has done for his constituents in the short amount of time he has been in office. He has done a Herculean amount for the people of the 5th Congressional District."

    JGH: Thank you for citing good points to Kurt Schrader's credit. Sincerely. It is important that we get a complete picture of him and anyone else. However, there appear to be a couple of problems with your comment.

    1. Many people using a charge of "ideological purity" tend to trot that out to cover up some offense that shouldn't be tossed aside.

    2. You indicated how much Congressman Schrader is doing for his constituents. That's commendable. Again, sincerely. The problem here is that you are coming across as thinking only of yourself and are indifferent to the vote that Schrader and the vast majority of representatives took to bury the Goldstone report, in effect showing contempt for international law for, presumably, political convenience.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    All of you who jump to Schrader's defense obviously hope real Democrats will forget two things:

    1) Schrader, like Wyden, finally said he was for a public option, but only after being pushed hard publicly. He did absolutely nothing to fight for a strong public option but did speak out affirmatively without any such pressure for the mandate.

    2) There were two chances for Democrats to vote for Stupak and trample women's reproductive rights on this bill. The first was to vote to attach the Stupak amendment. The second was to vote for the bill rather than stand up to Pelosi. Either was a vote for Stupak. In some ways, Shrader and his ilk were morally worse because he voted for Stupak just to win one. (And Blue Oregon has bothered to investigate what the political deal really was here. Did Schrader do this because he got the message he had to to get support from Pelosi and the party machine? If so that's even worse yet.)

    So now we predictably have Kari, paid apologist for the morally bankrupt contingent of the Oregon Democratic party, taking a page right out of the Political Propaganda 101 and inflaming panic the Republicans are coming! Everyone must rally to Schrader's defense, regardless of what kind of bankrupt politics Schrader has pursued!

    No Kari, what any good Democrat will do is tell Schrader if he wants to have a chance against a Republican contender, he better have a come-to-God moment. He had better get down on his knees, and beg real Democrats for support with an apology for voting for Stupak and a promise he'll vote against a final bill if it has Stupak or a mandate without a real public option open to all. Otherwise, he needs to lose as just one clear message to the rest of the frauds and betrayers in our party.

    Kari, you want to actually do something useful to redeem yourself? (Actually I doubt it based on the utter venality you demonstrate here, but it's worth throwing a harsh spotlight on you and all who agree with you.) Why don't you help get the story and put the heat on these equally idiotic and venal supposed Democrats who claim to be "Bold Progressives" AKA the "Progressive Change Campaign Committee" and that Act Blue and Olbermann have pumped:

    http://boldprogressives.org/healthcarekill?source=CSM-Nat

    You seem to be pretty much in the same corner with them,

    These morons are targeting Baird, so there's your "defend local Democrats" angle that seems to be all you care about. They are also targeting Kucinch, that's right Kucinich who sponsored HR 676 and has FOUGHT for a strong public option, because "we can no longer elect people just because they have a 'D' next to their name". They aren't fit to carry his sweaty jockstrap when it comes to true progressive Democratic leadership.

    And by the way, Schrader also is a co-sponsor of the recently HR.3472, along with 19 other Democrats who voted for Stupak along with him. This is legislation that would undermine the supposed risk sharing aspect of health insurance reform by providing premium discounts if you conform to what these pigs define to be a "healthy lifestyle". In serious health insurance reform circles, the nicest term for this type of bill is "blame the victim" legislation, and it is not considered at all helpful. But Schrader voted for Stupak and so that his record suggest he would have a "blame the victim" mentality should not be in the least surprising.

  • Does It Matter With All the Goddamned Spammers? Get Validated IDs! (unverified)
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    Posted by: Shrader voted for Stupak | Nov 13, 2009 7:42:22 PM

    <h2>They aren't fit to carry his (Kucinich's) sweaty jockstrap when it comes to true progressive Democratic leadership.</h2>

    Posted by: Carla Axtman | Nov 13, 2009 3:57:43 PM

    (Kucinich should be ashamed of himself, btw).

    That first comment goes double for you.

    "Shrader voted", I feel your pain. I think Kari is trying to find a middle ground. I felt sorry for him (although I agree with you), until I read Carla's nya-nya. Ultimately that complacency has to be shaken up. It would be nice to be nice, but the Dems have made it clear that nothing short of a cold mackerel, wielded by a crazed holy man will catch their attention.

    I know how Kurtz felt. "That's right, Jack. The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad. Oh, yeah. He's dying, I think. He hates all this. He hates it!". Unfortunately the stakes are just too high to do otherwise.

    It's all true. That's why policy is hard.

  • LT (unverified)
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    SVFS:

    http://yubanet.com/usa/Stupak-Amendment-of-Health-Care-PLan---How-They-Voted.php#Y

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll884.xml

    are links saying Schrader did not vote for Stupak.

    "No Kari, what any good Democrat will do is tell Schrader if he wants to have a chance against a Republican contender, he better have a come-to-God moment. "

    Right now, the Republican contender is Scott Bruun. Residents of the 5th District (are you one?) will be making decisions about Kurt vs. Scott, not about generic partisan candidates.

    And if they don't agree with your view of things, they don't have to vote in a way you agree with.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Carla, "I am honestly dismayed that Congressman Schrader wasn't on board (or at least forthcoming about it if he was) with this reform. "

    From what I have read in the SJ, the phone call from the White House played a larger role in Schrader's decision than all the blogging and blast emails.

    If you don't think "you are supposed to support our position, in the wording we want you to use, the details we want you to use, and by the timeline we set" is not ideological purity, then it is pretty darn close.

    District 5 includes Clackamas County, Marion County and coastal regions. Not everyone in those areas thinks like people from Portland.

    Unless you live in Dist. 5, the fact that you don't like the fact that a Democrat didn't obey your bidding and instead thought for himself is less important than what residents of District 5 think.

    Marion County, Clackamas County, and the coast are different from Portland. If you don't understand that, not my problem. I don't think Earl could get elected in the 5th District or Kurt in the 3rd Dist. But that is OK. Members are supposed to represent their district.

    Or are you going to ask all candidates who run in 2010 to conform to your views, regardless of what area of the state they represent?

  • LT (unverified)
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    "Schrader's vulnerability is why he needs to stay with the progressive/Democratic majority, "

    Bob, when was the last time you attended an event involving 5th Dist. Democrats---a meeting of the District Central Comm. or of county central comm. in the district, or a fundraiser, or any other event? Do you know how different the counties in the 5th Dist. are from the rest of the state? I have worked as a volunteer in most of the elections in the life of the 5th Dist. (which began in 1982) incl. that first primary. We had much more intelligent debate in that primary than we have had here.

    Who made you the enforcer of party loyalty? It is 5th Dist. voters who will elected him and will make decisions next year. You may think like Carla, but unless you can convince actual voters that you are right and Kurt was wrong not to meet your expectations, what you say in a blog really won't matter.

  • (Show?)

    Unless you live in Dist. 5, the fact that you don't like the fact that a Democrat didn't obey your bidding and instead thought for himself is less important than what residents of District 5 think.

    Whether I live in the District or not is irrelevant, Liz. I worked to get Schrader elected. I did so based on the promises he made while campaigning.

    If holding his feet to the fire is what gets those promises kept, so be it.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    SVFS: http://yubanet.com/usa/Stupak-Amendment-of-Health-Care-PLan---How-They-Voted.php#Y http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll884.xml are links saying Schrader did not vote for Stupak.

    LT - I'll repeat and expand on the facts for the benefit of those who repeat your particular essential lie by commission or omission:

    There were two chances for Democrats to vote for Stupak and trample women's reproductive rights on this bill. The first was to vote to attach the Stupak amendment. (Roll Call Vote 884). The second was to vote for the bill (once Stupak was an integral part of it) rather than stand up to Pelosi. (Roll Call Vote 887).

    An "Aye" vote on either in fact was a vote for Stupak. There are no honorable "Ifs", "Ands" or "Buts" about it.

    At the very least, Democrats could have told Pelosi they were going to walk out rather than vote in Roll Call Vote 887 just 56 minutes after Roll Call Vote 884. It was known 24 hours earlier that this is the tactic Pelosi was going to use and these guys willing went along with it to do whatever they could to win.

    Any representative who opposed Stupak could have also just have voted "No" on Roll Call Vote 887 if Pelosi was going to arrogantly stick with her plan. In fact, if just three more dishonest Democrats, and specifically three from the obviously dishonestly named "Progressive" Caucus who all voted for Stupak, had just made that clear to Pelosi, she would have delayed the vote. Instead we have 40+ representatives now expecting us to believe them that's what they are now going to do that if the bill comes back from conference in the same form they voted for it the first time. Talk about laughably terrible poker players.

    By my count, and I may have missed some one way or the other, since a Representative can honestly claim they voted against Stupak if and only if he or she voted "No" on both Roll Call Vote 884 and Roll Call Vote 887, there were only 16 Democrats who in fact voted against Stupak:

    1) Adler (NJ), 2) Baird 3) Boucher 4) Boyd 5) Edwards (TX) 6) Herseth Sandlin 7) Kissell 8) Kosmas 9) Kratovil 10) Kucinich 11) Markey (CO) 12) Massa 13) McMahon 14) Minnick, 15) Murphy (NY) 16) Nye

    And yea, we cannot assume that all 16 voted "No" on Roll Call Vote 887 because of Stupak, but that does not change the fact these 16 are the only Democrats who voted against Stupak.

    Funny thing about that list and the "Bold Democrats"/"Progressive Change Campaign Committee". They put these people who voted against the Stupak Amendment with a "No" on Roll Call Vote 884 on the list along with those who voted for the Stupak Amendment with a "Yes" on Roll Call Vote 884. Which is pretty damning evidence the dirtbags with the exceedingly dishonestly named "Progressive Change Campaign Committee" have no problem trampling on women's reproductive rights if that is what it takes to win. So much for smug lie by so many of those who call themselves "progressives" that they are the ones who have lofty values and live in a "fact-based" culture. Those false progressives don't even tell the truth to themselves about themselves.

    Well I for one am here as just one voice to testify to the left, right, and center that that low standard of personal and political integrity is not what real Democrats and progressives are about. This health care reform effort has thrown a well deserved spotlight on the dark corners of our side's house and it hasn't been pretty what has scurried out so far like so many cockroaches.

    So DIMWATGSGVI!, I agree with you on what I think is your bottom line, although you may not want to endorse the uncompromising and unforgiving tone. I see it as an obligation of any thinking Democrat in fact to expose and root out the hypocrisy in our Party because that is what has cost us our leadership role in this country. I personally don't have any respect for political hacks like Kari who don't stand for much except selfish power. I honestly believe Carla has some serious personal issues, so I just feel sorry for her when she acts out like that. Of course, she still has to be publicly held accountable for her deficiencies since she seeks to be admired and influence people's political decisions.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    LT - I'm in the 5th District so shove it.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Anyone in the 5th Dist. has the right to an opinion in Schrader, but one would think someone who has seen his name on a ballot would know the first 3 letters in his name are Sch, not Shr.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    LT, I heartily encourage you to make your case by including comments about the mis-spellng of a politician's name in a "nom de plume", which is then maintained for consistencies sake once the mistake was noticed, rather than by engaging the substance of the politician's actions. Of course, it is spelled correctly in the body of the comments (except for just one instance that wasn't caught).

  • (Show?)

    For all of the comments made about the 5th district, it should be noted that OR-4 and OR-5 have almost identical PVI's (D+2 and D+1 respectively) but nobody ever seems to argue that DeFazio needs to become more moderate or he will be in danger of losing a swing district.

  • JG Hitzert (unverified)
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    I hit about 1600 doors in the 5th district in the last election. This perspective I guess makes me a bit more understanding about his approach than I would be otherwise.

    I see many of the points made here, by Carla and others, and understand them. Pushing our leaders on votes and agitating is important. I guess living in the 1st Congressional District my wish is that our member of Congress worked as hard as Schrader. Conversely I'd say that it would be nice if Rep. Schrader voted more like Rep. Wu on some things. Maybe someone with a little influence around here could get them to swap notes.

    PS. Go look at how much money Kucinich gets from big healthcare and start wondering a little more about the explanation he gave for HIS vote. I really don't like that guy.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    And Kari, while you're trying to make the case it's more important to defend D's rather than defend what is right, all the while attacking the few D's who actually do justice to our party along with the ignorant pinheads who call themselves the "Progressive Campaign Change Committee", why don't you trolls at Blue Oregon give us your most disgusting defense of this:

    Secretary Gates signs order barring release of torture photos

    Our "progressive" executive Blue Oregonians support so wholeheartedly not only re-appointed Bush war criminal co-conspirator Gates (so much for "be afraid, be very afraid" we have to have D's because just imagine what R's will do.) He also agreed in the first round of litigation to release the photos because he supposedly was going to stand up against the crimes against humanity of the Bush administration.

    For those who care about actually being part of the "fact-based culture", that provision was introduced by none other than Sen. Patty Murray --- for Senator Lieberman --- as S. Amdt. 1456 to H.R. 2892 in the Senate on 7/9/2009. It was agreed to by unanimous consent so none one had to actually be recorded as voting for aiding and abetting in a conspiracy to cover up war crimes.

    How sadly fitting it was a NW Democrat who did the dirty work for a guy who has done nothing but act out his explicitly stated intent is to undermine the party whose primary he lost in a fair election, including saying he was going to support R's in 2010. And in this very health care reform battle in which every NW Democrat voted to trash women's reproductive rights while mandating we all be forced to bailout the private health insurance industry. And oh yeah, including some like Schrader who sponsored "blame the victim" legislation on top of it.

    What we are seeing right now is something quite different from the "sausage making" of policy making because this is about choosing to embrace good or evil.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Anyone who thinks Congressional elections in Oregon are determined by the "Partisan Voting Index" needs to get out more. 5th Dist. is a district where the individuals win or lose a race.

    Thank you for your comment Posted by: JG Hitzert | Nov 14, 2009 9:56:26 AM

    Perhaps since you actually campaigned for him, Carla might get a clue that you might have some idea of what he "promised" if elected.

    So far what I have seen in Kurt is what I elected him to be. Sorry if that disappoints people who don't live in the district!

  • Eugene Carpet (unverified)
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    It will be interesting if in a year he will be able to get re elected.

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    LT It is 5th Dist. voters who will elected him and will make decisions next year.

    I look forward to seeing Schrader reject all financial support except that from registered 5th District voters. Or, if he wants support from state-wide and national organizations, he can bloody well listen to our opinions. My union (AFT-Oregon at the state level) does represent 5th District voters, and he certainly did want our support in the past. Perhaps that has changed.

    You may think like Carla, On a good day, maybe. ;-)

    but unless you can convince actual voters that you are right and Kurt was wrong not to meet your expectations, what you say in a blog really won't matter.

    Again, perhaps Schrader lo longer wants support from AFT-Oregon, Oregon AFL-CIO, etc., etc.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    For what it's worth, any incumbent who has repeatedly voted in favor of unpopular legislation has a target on his/her back.

    Just sayin.

    Geoff

  • Zarathustra and His Amazing Kantian Lobotomy (unverified)
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    For those who care about actually being part of the "fact-based culture",

    Uh-oh! Speaking of a target on your back, "fact-based culture" is the fastest way to do it here!

    Do stick around though. True progressives hang out as long as they can, they duck out for a barf, and come back. It's nice to be able to pass the bucket to a fresh face. (BTW, I think LT is on our side, so maybe a little less of the spelling Nazi routine?).

    So, no one has mentioned, what if the Dems continue to be terminally feckless, and have nothing substantive to show next year? Could that be Shrader's reason for foot dragging? Not that he's less progressive, rather that he is more, and doesn't want to be tarred with the Congress and administration's record, next year?

    FWIW, Gates, imho, is no longer relevant. That was a test if core constituents would swallow, "hope and change...Gates!". When they did, he moved on to make that reprehensible Shrubbery from the past his own. Gates was a continuation. Obama isn't continuing renditions. He's changed the terms and made it his own policy. This is what identity politics gets you. I'll bet few of those that Carla photographed buying Obama plates and various paraphernalia back in January give a fig about this. Bluntly put, they are more interested that he is phenotypically black, than that he illegally puts freemen in chains. In fact, most of us are more "black" than Obama. He is a millionaire Chicago politician. This is the behavior we expected. Those that ignored this talk back during, then said give him more time, and now are still treating us as dismissively as ever, have shown their hand. It's little better than central party spam. No wonder the link spammers have increased in lock step with that tendency.

    Of course future history will be shaking its head at Shrub, then come across Gates again, and keep flipping back and forth to make sure that's what they're seeing. We're going to have primary school children laughing at us right along with the flat earthers for centuries. Their question is worth answering in real time. "How could you be that stupid"?

    I know my answer. Primate social behavior uber alles. The opposite of fact-based. Boomers were bad enough- the most anti-intellectual generation in world history-, but gen X culture seems to be totally based on "what have you done (fraudulently) for me lately". When the population gets past a certain density, humans' traditional struggle with nature turns to be a struggle with each other. Probably why Outward Bound works.

    A crude sketch. I'll be quiet and let the pros demonstrate the concept.

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    Geoff,

    What unpopular legislation are you making reference to specifically? Congress has such low approval ratings, what can they do that would be popular? Seriously. Blue or Red.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The problem with the vote on the house health care? bill is more a case of why instead of for or against. My initial thought was to go along with the approval on the basis that it would give coverage to some (a few) who don't have coverage, but on reflection this bill is so flawed perhaps it would have been better if it had gone down; although, there are reports that insurance corporations are happy with it because they will have more policy holders to collect money from.

  • (Show?)

    For what it's worth, any incumbent who has repeatedly voted in favor of unpopular legislation has a target on his/her back.

    Just sayin.

    Geoff

    That's why we sent Gordon Smith packing and why conservatives have been out of power in Oregon for quite some time.

    Just sayin.

  • Fireslayer (unverified)
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    As a minority of one who believes Roe v Wade was rightly decided although wrong in dicta (a simple freedom of religion 1st Amendment item, when does life begin- depends on who you ask issue turned into a big semantic hair splitter privacy, woman and doctor psychedellic deal.) Well I don't fault Schrader one way or the other.

    I often lament the fact that the vast majotity of women who support full legal abortion got off easy and need to take to the streets to support reproductive rights.

    If civil rights activism was good enough for us you know whos, it is high time women and us thinking men got our shoes dirty.

    Schrader ain't nothin' but a thang. Better than red or dead.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    What we are seeing right now is something quite different from the "sausage making" of policy making because this is about choosing to embrace good or evil.

    Has anyone noticed that Jason Wurster's name means "sausage maker"?

    Agreed tho. Gratuitous cynicism is a Dem specialty.

  • Huge Deeny, the Obese Escapologist (unverified)
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    So, did he have a ghost writer?

    "Present".

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    Kari, today's NY Times brings us another example of how the "D's" you and the pinheads with the "Progressive Change Campaign Committee" going after the few D's who actually voted against Stupak to defend women's reproductive rights, cynically screwed up this health care reform for the sake of corrupt corporate interests. And remember, they did it without ANY help from equally corrupt Republicans.

    A lot of people complain here that we should sidestep a Republican filibuster (well actually it's a Democrat filibuster since we do have the 60 votes competently handled, but that's another matter) by passing using the budget reconciliation tactic. A tactic I wholeheartedly support IF it just were possible under the rules of the Senate. Unfortunately, that can only honestly be done for a budget bill (and ethics DO matter). We could have used reconciliation without legitimate question if this reform effort had been just about reforming the health insurance system that is how Repubilcans and Democrats alike have agreed over the years is how we will pay for health care in America. Such as in the truly progressive position that some of us real D's advocated of keeping this to fighting to create a real public option in the form of allowing everyone to buy into Medicare.

    Instead Kari, Carla, a whole lot of other Blue Oregon D-before-all-else boosters, and false progressives and NW Democratic elected officials have had to make this about all manner of irrelevant (and seriously misguided) pet health care agendas at the national and state level. Well the NY Times tells us how many D's who voted for this cocked-up bill that our incompetent House Speaker Pelosi sold her soul and every woman's reproductive rights just so she would win are mouthpieces for big pharma pushing for parts of this bill that have nothing to do with "bending the cost curve" and fixing what needs to be fixed first.

    Of the five Democrats outed by name in the article:

    1) Parcell 2) Hare 3) Brady 4) Clarke 5) Payne

    everyone of them voted "No" in Roll Call Vote 884, but in the end voted for big pharma and for Stupak to trample women's reproductive rights by voting "Aye" in Roll Call Vote 887 to pass the bill. That's what Schrader and every Oregon Democrat chose to side with when they didn't demand Pelosi but off the vote once the Stupak amendment was attached but instead rushed ahead just 42 minutes after Roll Call Vote 884 without any further discussion to vote in Roll Call Vote 887 and then came out with a bunch of propaganda patting themselves on the back about what a great job they did.

    All the evidence continues to support that a big reason was all the goodies actually in the bill for the powerful interests they work for instead of us. Not the least of which is a mandate that would make us all do business with the private health insurance industry (thereby actually doing the dirty work to economically disempower working people in the way a whole lot of Republicans really love), instead of using our money to buy into Medicare which would save the system for all of us.

    But with Schrader's surprising "blame-the-victim" attitude towards health care reform he revealed when he co-sponsored H.R. 3472, an attitude that in fact is popular with not at all progressive Blue Oregon types, I guess we once again should accept what the people who have stolen our party in Oregon are really all about. We have as big a problem as Republicans when it comes to a political party that has become a venal force against average people and indeed anything decent, moral, and honorable.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Common Dreams has this NYT article at In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    And by the way all, 4 of those 5 mouthpieces: Hare, Brady, Clarke, and Payne, are actually official members of the Congressional "Progressive" Caucus. Just exactly what are the values people trying to steal that label in the NW and Oregon actually stand for? I'd like to know.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "(well actually it's a Democrat filibuster since we do have the 60 votes competently handled, but that's another matter)"

    There are only 58 Democrats in the Senate. Of the two independents carelessly considered in the Democratic fold, Bernie Sanders might go along with the Democrats, but Joe Lieberman will do whatever is in his own interest and the dictates of the insurance corporations he represents - the Democratic Party and the people be damned.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    And by the way all, 4 of those 5 mouthpieces: Hare, Brady, Clarke, and Payne, are actually official members of the Congressional "Progressive" Caucus. Just exactly what are the values people trying to steal that label in the NW and Oregon actually stand for? I'd like to know. They're "Judas Progressives". You know like the kind that say, "BlueOregon is a place for progressive Oregonians to gather 'round the water cooler and share news, commentary, and gossip"?

    The point is to get you into the room so that they can a) practice rebuttal arguments, b) discourage you from trying, c) set an example to other progressives how you will be treated, d) learn the rhetoric so that they can parrot it to impress the moderates.

    But where there's life there's hope and we ain't dead yet. Was very heartened to see Steve Mauer acknowledge, in these virtual pages, that "some wouldn't consider me a progressive". Doesn't sound like much, but coming from a Dem broker, without added invective, I must say I found it heartening. We DO grub after such meager crumbs.

    Bottom line, it's like a merit badge or certification for those folks. Another label that gets you closer to that magical one vote over 50% that allows you to dismiss every other position. What do you expect when you have the only non-parliamentary democracy left in the industrialized world?

    Likely a very sensitive statment at the moment. The favorite rebuttal is, "they never get anything done". Hard to make even that fly, when you have a supermajority in the Congress and are wittering on about what you don't have the votes for...but it's critical to the nation's future.

  • (Show?)

    "A tactic I wholeheartedly support IF it just were possible under the rules of the Senate. Unfortunately, that can only honestly be done for a budget bill (and ethics DO matter)."

    Not just budget bills per se, but those with significant budget impact. The PO part can be reconciled, definitely. Other parts can't though, that's true--but almost all of them are actually pretty well agreed upon.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    If the real progressives here want to do something useful, here's something you can do.

    Today I noticed that Adam Green, the "brains" behind the "Progressive" Change Campaign Committee has as his last active Twitter post a plug for the "Send A Coathanger to Pro-Choice Dems" web campaign.

    Now, before anyone misunderstands what this means, Adam Green and the equally brain-dead clowns behind that effort are actually supporting a far larger set of "pro-choice" Dems who voted FOR Stupak. They are just too stupid or too dishonest to admit it. As already noted, this is any Dem who voted "Aye" on Roll Call Vote 887.

    While Green, a HuffPo figure no less (of course the HuffPo has become a joke too), is calling for people to do a stupid stunt, he's also defending a far larger number of "progressive" Democrats he apparently buddies with who actually voted for Stupak, he's also taking out ads on Raw Story and elsewhere attacking the only Democrats (Adler, Baird, Boucher, Boyd, Edwards (TX), Herseth Sandlin, Kissell, Kosmas, Kratovil, Kucinich, Markey (CO), Massa, McMahon, Minnick, Murphy (NY), and Nye) who actually voted against Stupak. As already noted, theyvwere the only Democrats who voted "No" on Roll Call Vote 884 and Roll Call Vote 887, which in truth was the only way to vote "No" on Stupak.

    So if you want to stand up as a real progressive, and truly stand up for women's reproductive rights as something more than a bargaining chip the "progressive" Democrats he's supporting already played once, here is the filing at the FEC for the "Progressive" Campaign Change Committee:

    http://images.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00458000

    If you pull up their filing documents, inside is the contact info:

    1630 R Street NW #703 Washington, DC 20009 202-518-1234

    My suggestion is not that you contact these idiots yourselves, because my first guess would be this guy is a smarmy idiot who is full of himself. Contact the Oregonian and every other media person you know and give them a story. He's attacking the only NW Democrat how actually voted against Stupak, after all, whatever Baird's reason. They can put this guy on the spot for the record to try to explain the hypocrisy of his position, and maybe that will shake up this whole health care reform debate to get it back on a legitimately progressive track. Like no mandate and allowing everyone to buy into Medicare at their choice.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    I ended my post too quickly:

    Like no mandate and allowing everyone to buy into Medicare at their choice, and covering the full range of medical services that allow women to fully exercise their reproductive rights in privacy between them and their care providers.

  • LT (unverified)
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    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-884

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-887

    show the votes of Oregon members of Congress.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    While anyone is at it asking their favorite news source to look into the "Progressive" Change Campaign Committee, I for one would be interested to read an examination of the last disclosure report for 2/12/2009 to 06/30/2009. Before that time, they had $8,730 and change cash on hand. In their two months of existence before that time they had raised and spent very little.

    In that 4-month period though, they raised $232,406.95 and spent $41,572.91. A good reporter should be able to go through the reports and explain how donors' contributions are being use to support "Progressive" change and why that includes attacking the few Democrats who actually voted against Stupak while support a passel of them how voted for Stupak as explained earlier.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    For those who want the summary:

    Name                         RCV-884   RCV-887  Vote effect on women
    OR
    Wu, David [D]                  Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Walden, Greg [R]               Yay       No       FOR Stupak
    Blumenauer, Earl [D]           Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    DeFazio, Peter [D]             Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Schrader, Kurt [D]             Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    WA
    Inslee, Jay [D]                Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Larsen, Rick [D]               Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Baird, Brian [D]               Nay       No       AGAINST Stupak
    Hastings, Doc [R]              Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R]    Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    Dicks, Norman [D]              Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    McDermott, James [D]           Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Reichert, Dave [R]             Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    Smith, Adam [D]                Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    

    One more thing to think hard about just how ludicrous NW Democrats and their defenders here like Kari and Carla have become.

    As bad as the Republicans are, in reality by their vote on RCV-887:

    Name                         RCV-884   RCV-887  Vote effect on women
    OR
    Walden, Greg [R]               Yay       No       FOR Stupak
    WA
    Hastings, Doc [R]              Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R]    Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    Reichert, Dave [R]             Yea       No       FOR Stupak
    

    they would not actually enact Stupak into law. Therefore, they would not change the current law as bad as it already is.

    Exactly the opposite is the case for Democrats. By their vote on RCV-887

    Name                         RCV-884   RCV-887  Vote effect on women
    OR
    Wu, David [D]                  Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Blumenauer, Earl [D]           Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    DeFazio, Peter [D]             Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Schrader, Kurt [D]             Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    WA
    Inslee, Jay [D]                Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Larsen, Rick [D]               Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Dicks, Norman [D]              Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    McDermott, James [D]           Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    Smith, Adam [D]                Nay       Aye      FOR Stupak
    

    they would enact Stupak into law. That is they would be the lawmakers actually responsible for making the situation much worse. That's why they are one's actually actively trampling women's reproductive rights.

    They made a bargain with the devil just to win when they rushed to Roll Call Vote 847 just 42 minutes after Roll Call Vote 844. They should have just refused to go along with Pelosi that Saturday and voted another day (as well as fix the bill in the meantime.) Because they sold their souls for that quick win in several ways including supporting Stupak and a mandate, we are left with the mess they made. Our only choice is to either stand firm that they have to fix it by dumping Stupak, and either dumping the mandate or giving us a true public option, or we have to clean them and their mess out of Congress.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I was at one of Pelosi's 2006 appearances in SF, and I distinctly remember her going on at length about "the methods used by the Republican Congress...their underhanded managing of voting with midnight votes, back to back voting, voting without having a draft of the leg., etc." I know I heard her say that if we elected a Democratic Congress that those kinds of methods would never, ever be used.

    Since her ascension to the speakership I've followed that closely. My scorecard says she took notes on everything Tom DeLay and his henchmen ever did, and has repeated those things without even cosmetic alteration. Just out and out said what we wanted to hear and then gave no further thought to it. Question is, if she gets our POV enough to address it, just what is she saying to her own party when she so flagrantly does the opposite?

    I still say that Reid and Pelosi were slipped into the Congress before it and the executive became Dem to make sure that gridlock continued. The Paul Cox hypothesis that "Dems are just Reps that talk different for their constituency" comes to mind. Conservatives want no change. The Dems have found a way to do exactly that. They think they can talk well with no change in the bottom line, and people will continue to buy it. Nevada. Isn't it pretty much a given that a Dem Senator from Nevada has learned how to sound Dem while giving conservatives everything they want? I love the party faithful. "We trust you to lead us to a better tomorrow, to make the US better. Of course, none of us would care to live in your district, but we trust, nonetheless".

    It's working so far. This is where one really has to think that Dems are behind conservative talk radio. If the Reps weren't making such spectacular bufoons of themselves, who would re-elect the current Congressional leadership?

    Keep at 'em "Shrader voted...". What will you use in other threads as a nom de plume? Maybe something like "Water Wins". I like your steady drip, drip, drip approach to the facts. No doubt party loyalists see it more as Chinese water torture. I might choose, "Time for your 12:00 Waterboarding!". (183 times. How are we going to put a guy on trial in a regular criminal court, a capitol case, when we waterboarded him 183 times?)

  • (Show?)

    Bob Baldwin asked "So how, exactly, did Schrader's conduct serve to improve the bill, IYO?"

    Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. I don't know, and we may never know. But that wasn't my point. My point was that it should be no surprise that he'd try to improve the bill using leverage. Whether he was successful or not (or won future concessions) is entirely irrelevant.

    Carla said "when something this big and this important comes along its crucial that he do a much better job than what we witnessed last week."

    Other than the thing with the phones, in what way did Schrader do a poor job? He wasn't telling how he was going to vote, but he voted for it in the end. What was the actual negative outcome?

    SVFS wrote "There were two chances for Democrats to vote for Stupak and trample women's reproductive rights on this bill."

    SVFS seems to be really upset. I guess the point of all those thousands of words is this: Once the Stupak amendment was unfortunately agreed-to, then voting for the bill was voting for that amendment. Technically, I suppose that's true. I oppose the Stupak amendment and think it's an outrage.

    However, I share Carla's view that it's going to get pulled over on the Senate side - and killed off in conference committee. (And given Stupak's pronouncements since the vote, it seems he thinks so, too.) Regardless, members of the House will have another chance to vote for or against the bill in final passage. While I share SVFS's concern about the Stupak amendment, I'm less inclined to burn down the house on health reform over a provision that won't likely be in the final product.

  • Shrader voted for Stupak (unverified)
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    Technically, I suppose that's true

    No Kari, it's hard, cold reality.

    And given your and Carla's less than solid relationship with reality and the truth, and the fact you are a paid to do the online campaign propaganda, i.e. websites, for several of the Oregon Democrats who voted for Stupak including Schrader, that kind of arrogant, dismissive handwaving why a final bill won't have something equivalent to Stupak (including your laughable assertion you KNOW what Stupak himself is thinking) is hardly something on which I would bet MY lunch money right now.

    If anyone needs another reason to suspect Kari's relationship with honesty and whether to bet their lunch money on the basis of his assurances:

    I'm less inclined to burn down the house on health reform over a provision that won't likely be in the final product.

    No one is "burn(ing) down the house on health care reform" here. Kari demonstrates how he is little more than a modestly skilled propagandist for inviting that false implicature here.

    This is about a bad bill that is about forcing us to buy private health insurance to bailout the industry, without offering us a real public option as an alternative, and for which false Democrats (most of how are Kari's clients) went so far as to cynically use women's reproductive rights as nothing more than a bargaining chip to get a quick win in 42 minutes.

    For Kari to dismiss that ugly reality with an imperious hand wave that "Technically, I suppose that's true", is stark factual evidence just how much something is really wrong with Democratic Party politics here in Oregon.

    But I guess Kari already was inclined to try to whip up panic that "Schrader does have a target on his back." as he tries to dismissively talk away what his client and other Oregon Democrats have actually done.

  • Greg D. (unverified)
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    We had a right wing conservative friend at our house for dinner last night and although he and I never agree on anything, this year we both agreed that the current efforts on "health care reform" should be abandoned. Of course, his reason for dropping the whole things is because he believes that the current proposals are "socialism". My reason for dropping the whole thing is that the "reform" appears to be pointless and a hopeless giveaway to the health care and health insurance industries which will be financed on the backs of current Medicare recipients. I believe we need a few more years of pain in order to convince the middle class doubters that single payer is the only solution.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    "We had a right wing conservative friend at our house for dinner last night and although he and I never agree on anything, this year we both agreed that the current efforts on "health care reform" should be abandoned."

    Greg: I'm in general agreement with your post but believe that Congress should continue with this charade that will very likely end without any meaningful reform. That will reveal the corruption and other sins inherent in most members of Congress that should be obvious to all but the dullest wits in the nation - of which there appears to be a multitude.

    The United States has the worst overall health care system in the industrialized world. Regardless of what Congress delivers the U.S. will still have that ignoble distinction.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thank you, Kari!

    Carla said "when something this big and this important comes along its crucial that he do a much better job than what we witnessed last week."

    Other than the thing with the phones, in what way did Schrader do a poor job? He wasn't telling how he was going to vote, but he voted for it in the end. What was the actual negative outcome?

    Much of rhetoric is about whether something is a special case or a general principle and whether someone can state their objections in the affirmative.

    It seems there are those who believe a member of Congress should always announce their vote on major legislation in advance, and give in to peer pressure over specific language---as if we didn't elect them to use their best judgement.

    This morning on KPOJ, I heard reference to this:

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/16-2

    Legislation is hardly ever perfect, and major legislation is hardly ever simple.

    I can remember a candidate getting flak one year in a Congressional primary when being asked "would you vote for...". A Congressional reporter, the candidate said, "Well, if it was a straight up or down vote on that alone, of course I would vote the way you ask. But Congressional votes are rarely simple, and if it were worded so that......"

    I thought that was intelligent, but someone else who was at that event later told me "I was going to vote for your candidate until he said he would vote for...."

    I can remember people here being angry at Darlene Hooley because they didn't like every vote she cast. But gee, 5th Dist. voters kept electing her anyway, even when she had a primary challenger.

    This is a case of someone voting against Stupak and FOR the bill, but that wasn't good enough because he didn't announce it in advance?

  • (Show?)

    SFVS --

    You said you wouldn't "bet your lunch money" on Stupak getting pulled. But I will.

    In fact, let's make a bet. I think the Stupak amendment will be substantially removed. If I'm right, you buy me lunch at Kell's Irish Pub downtown. If I'm wrong, I'll buy you lunch.

    How do we define "substantially removed"? If Planned Parenthood's executive director is outraged, the Stupak amendment lives; if not, the Stupak amendment is dead.

    Of course, you'll have to disclose your identity - and spend a half-hour in the same room as me - but hey, if you're right, you can spend that 30 minutes crowing.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Yo, punters! The "progressive's hypothesis" is that it was meant to be pulled out, as that would allow for "compromise" where some major meat comes out with it. It was stated before that we can expect to see some kind of "we gave, now you give", even though what "we gave" is worthless (legislatively).

    I mean, the language of that bet conjures up an image of the same bill going to the Senate, out of committee, with only "Stupak" removed. As that never happens, its a pretty hard bet to quantify. A judgment at best, how about "'Stupak' gets pulled out without collateral damage"?

    You know, technically, without the quotes, you've been talking about the man. Not that I object.

    Let's not get so focused on the turd in the water dish that we let the nasties take the food bowl away, as rebels dogs are want to say.

    Rebel dogs. The antidote to blue dogs.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Perhaps a note of clarification on that second word. I guess in cricket it has a common meaning that is otherwise obscure. Didn't know. Everyone I know uses it as (I meant it) 3b, below, from the Urban Dictionary. No double entendre was intended!

    Sorry. Now I need to go see if Desenex comes in lozenge form.

    1. London slang for costumer, may also be used for "johns" (among prostitutes and police agents), people who watch porn movies or go to strip joints regularly.

    1. Also a customer in a shop/establishment.

    3 a. One who visits brothels.

    b. However in polite company, one who bets (on horce races), or visits your retail establishment.

    <hr/>

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