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.