Call Congressman Wu

Steve Novick

David Wu voted for George Bush's Medicare prescription drug bill. 

But he's not sure how he'll vote on Barack Obama's health care reform bill.  

Call 503-326-2901 and tell him it ought to be a pretty simple choice. 

I think the bill is flawed. So does Dennis Kucinich. But even Dennis has now decided that we're better off with it than without it. So has Paul Krugman. So has the thoughtful New Yorker columnist Atul Gawande. And defeat of the bill would be political disaster; as a smart acquaintance observed recently, the polls are largely against the bill now because people don't really know what's in it. If it passes, the coverage might actually explain what's in it. If it fails, many voters will think Democrats tried but failed to pass something horrible.  

I might hold my fellow Dems' feet to the fire occasionally, but when it comes right down to it I'm a pretty loyal party guy.I would rarely support a primary challenge to an incumbent Democrat. And Wu generally votes right. I'm willing to cut some slack for almost anyone in Congress who voted against the war in 2001. And I'm personally grateful to the Congressman for calling me to wish me well after the 2008 primary. And I'm a Star Trek fan too. (Although someone should tell the Congressman that the space program is one of the three least popular items in the Federal budget.)

But this is a defining moment. if Congressman Wu votes with the Republicans on health care, he's courting a serious primary challenge in 2012. 

Comments

  • anon (unverified)
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    But this is a defining moment. if Congressman Wu votes with the Republicans on health care, he's courting a serious primary challenge in 2012.

    Yep. But if he doesn't, he's courting a serious challenge in the general. And all those guys know it.

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    Yep. But if he doesn't, he's courting a serious challenge in the general. And all those guys know it.

    Who?

    Are you talking about Rob Cornilles? The guy has zero name recognition in the district and Wu can easily outraise him. Not to mention that Washington County has been trending away from Republicans for years.

    Wu has no serious challenger in the general.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I think you hit it spot on that this is where politics and reform part company. The good reason not to vote for it, is that there's no reform in it! Oh, preexisting conditions. That's kind of reform- if insurance companies don't jack up the rates for it. So, basically, you have a reform bill with no reform, lotsa corp give-aways, that we should pass because if we don't everyone will know how feckless you are. Kindly remember that next time you talk about our public "servants". You serve yourself until you're good and satisfied and then give the constituents what's left over.

    Agreed, this is a must pass bill for Dem futures. It really shows the ugliness of political parties. Since 2006, Congressional Dems have demonstrated the most feckless leadership in our history, we were sold a load of crap by BHO when he took single payer off the table before a shot was fired by the other side, and their actual behavior has differed little from all the other moderates in the country.

    So, why shouldn't they suffer a disaster? You will really promote your gang regardless of their record? Oh, right. It's your job. NOW tell me that right wing radio and their TEA contingent is a problem. If Bush wasn't a crime family don, if Cheney weren't a comic book corporate stooge, if the TEA protesters could remember what they learned in pre-school, Dems would get very few votes. "We're better than them". "This bill is better than nothing". "Obama is sooo much better than Baby Bush". "Israel's policies are better than having a free for all in the Mid-East". "Mountain topping mining permits have been harder to get". All of it- every word we hear from Dems anymore- is about how they aren't as bad as some festering sore that is about to take out the body politic. Holding out for something that's positive in the absolute? That's idealistic, utopian thinking. Lower expectations, lower expectations, lower expectations...that's been the common policy of every Administration since Carter. Look at the way right wing trolls get more consideration on here than do progressives. You love 'em. Where would you be without them? If they didn't exist, you'd have to invent them. Right. Guess that's what's going on with Dem takes on Libertarians these days.

    As Harry K would have said, "Present"!

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    That there Mr. Robinson is looking better all the time.....

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    So, Steve. Did you call Wu yourself? I suspect your message might have been different if you did.

    A conversation with Defazio might help as he seems very unhappy with losing the fight to close the medicare disparity for Oregon. You are much better connected that the rest of us so call him and tell us what he says. The post below is an interesting read.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/19/health-care-whip-count-li_n_505709.html

    And, the Bob Tiernan defense of litmus tests (Oregonian guest column today) is not a good role model. I don't know Jensen or Smith but I might like to meet them now that they are no longer approved Rs.

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    Sorry Steve, this bill is a lot worse than "flawed".

    I'm not saying I oppose it, but to suggest that "the Left" should automatically be thinking about primary challenges to all opponents is silly (BTW, HuffPo reports DeFazio as saying he "can't support" the bill on medicare issues).

    Is the bill better than the status quo? Arguably, on some grounds.

    But the claims that it will reduce premiums on a broad basis, or that this isn't a massive subsidy of AHIP are simply disingenuous.

    This "negotiating" was done so poorly by the D side that it can't be taken at face value. Either they tanked, or they are beyond inept. We have the votes for Medicare expansion on a large scale (as in age 50+ buy-in). That the issue won't get an up-or-down vote makes this a tragedy of the first order.

    If we are going to start primary-ing Sens/Reps in '12, it bloody well ought to start with anyone who didn't support at least that level of public option.

  • Nick (unverified)
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    Just called Wu's office- one of his staffers says that he's leaning yes and just going over some of the provisions.

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    Steve, I am with you all the way on this one. I will work my heart out to defeat David if he votes no. There is simply no excuse. Frankly there is no excuse for him to be playing coy now and making this vote any more difficult than it is.

  • Bob Baldwin (unverified)
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    Frankly, the more I think about this, the more absurd it sounds.

    We have "progressives" who won't draw a line on the public option, but will turn around and advocate primary challenges against reps like Kucinich and DeFazio? Seriously? That's a progressive position?

  • Christian (unverified)
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    I think this release means he's a yes?

    WU: HEALTH CARE REFORM WILL BENEFIT ALL AMERICANS

    WASHINGTON, DC — Today Congressman David Wu released the following statement on the final health care reform negotiations:

    “The American people have been waiting 98 years for health care reform and they should not have to wait much longer. The status quo is simply untenable. The bill that the House is working to pass this weekend will benefit all Americans.

    “This legislation extends health care coverage to 32 million more Americans, but even more importantly, it provides security and stability for the more than 200 million people who already have insurance.

    “Under this bill, pre-existing conditions will no longer be used by insurance companies to deny you coverage. Families will be protected from the devious practice of rescission, where insurance companies take your money for years and then yank your coverage when you get sick. Under this bill, annual limits or lifetime limits will be banned, so you won’t go bankrupt if you get a serious illness like cancer or diabetes.

    “We are in the final stages of putting into writing an agreement that would begin to move the American health care system away from paying doctors for the number of procedures and toward rewarding quality and results. I am strongly leaning toward voting for health care reform and am looking forward to final agreement about this important improvement to American health care. I expect that the overall legislative package will make a real difference for families in Oregon and across the country.”

  • Chumley (unverified)
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    and what about DeFazio?

  • Orestar (unverified)
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    I think Baird needs a nudge from our Washington State friends, too, yes?

  • Orestar (unverified)
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    And this from the NYT...

    "Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Democratic of Oregon, who voted in favor of the bill in November, warned on Friday that he would not support the current measure unless it increased Medicare payments to states like his that provide high-quality care and comparatively lower cost.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged the concerns at a news conference on Friday morning, and said party leaders would work to address them. Lawmakers from Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, have been meeting with Ms. Pelosi in the hopes of reaching an accord"

  • jj (unverified)
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    Wu will get a challenge and deserves one anyway. He's seriously mediocre.

  • Joshua Welch (unverified)
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    David Sirota had an excellent piece on this issue in the O. Well worth the read.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/03/whats_the_matter_with_democrat.html

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I'm with jj on Wu.

    And Wu generally votes right.

    That's the problem.

  • Cunningham (unverified)
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    I just watched David Robinson's video on health care reform and he was right on. I am with you Pat, I am looking forward to someone new in this position and Mr. Robinson looks ready for the job.

  • joe d. (unverified)
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    "I think the bill is flawed. "

    If hard-core Dems like Novick are admitting this healthcare thing is flawed, you can bet it's a huge steaming pile of crap.

    So Dems, why not put Amerika before party and start over?

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Thank you Joe D.

    We need to do the right things for the right reason.

    Put the people before the party.

    Please read the great freedom fighter quote-

    "We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose. We cannot afford to use methods of which we will be ashamed when we look back, when we say, '...we shouldn't have done that.' We must remember, my friends, that we have been given a wonderful cause. The cause of freedom! And you and I must be those who will walk with heads held high. We will say, 'We used methods that can stand the harsh scrutiny of history.' -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    I beleive his quote is more truthful today then when he was fighting for his cause.

  • Joel (unverified)
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    We have been saying Wu has to go for years and this is just another display of his irrelevance.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    The dems in the house are faced with a horrible situation. Should we fail in passing this healthcare juggernaut our left will be ticked off and may run against us in primaries (oops too late for Oregon). If we vote for this hulking behomouth of a bill the righties will run someone against us.

    A true lady or tiger conundrum.

  • glen moore (unverified)
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    vote (no)

  • James Frank (unverified)
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    Wow beats stables!

  • Kyle (unverified)
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    So,

    I guess all you Blue Oregon Socialists will be buying mandatory health insurance, right? Or will the rich have to pay for your policies while you blog in your underwear?

  • Scrivener5 (unverified)
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    The leadership of the various groups who (mistakenly) voted for and funded the campaign of Prez Obama need to be held accountable. It is not Prez Obama's fault that he is in the pocket of the big money crooks...he would not be in the Oval Office if not for the fools like us who voted for his unworthy self.

    Time to not be fooled again...lest there be shame on US.

    Accountability is necessary in order to hold people to specific goals and outcomes.

    It is clear that Prez Obama is a "trojan horse." Prez Obama is a gifted orator.

    That is about all that he is.

    He can talk the talk. He cannot/will not/is too incompetent to...WALK THE WALK. It is high time for the leadership of various interests to QUICKLY identify a viable candidate who is serious and who means business.

    Campaigns are expensive. Campaigns cost MILLIONS of dollars.

    Competent leadership will act QUICKLY.

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