by Chris Bowers, Thu Jul 28, 2005 at 02:30:18 PM EDT
A disgusting development on the CAFTA vote is that it appears the vote was actually 217-217, which would have resulted in its defeat. However, apparently, the clerk did not record one or two of the "no" votes, thus stealing passage of the legislation. If we can prove this, it is is 100% grounds of impeachment for both Hastert and DeLay, even aside from DeLay's other ethical troubles. Fixing a vote in the House is without question a high crime against the Constitution. Of course, if this isn't true, then Charles Taylor is lying, lying, lying.
Update: OK, apparently Jo Ann Davis really wasn't there, maing the final 217-216 vote tally accurate, as she was stuck in traffic coming from a memorial service. That just puts more blame on the 15 sell-outs.
Of course, if the fifteen Democrats hadn't defected, such theft would not have been possible. In response to these defections, it looks like Pelosi is finally going to take out the trashRoll Call has a new report up about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) holding an emergency meeting of the House Democratic Steering Committee tonight to discuss formal sanctions against the 15 Democrats who sold out their party and voted for the corporate-written Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Pelosi raised "the likelihood that defectors' committee assignments would be reviewed at tonight's meeting of the Steering Committee." That's absolutely necessary - why should Democrats who undermine their party be given plum committee assignments over other, far more loyal and principled Democrats? Pelosi should be commended for her courage - and now she needs to back up her words with action.
The story goes on to note that "Several Democratic sources said Pelosi and other House leaders are particularly upset with New York Reps. Greg Meeks and Ed Towns, members of exclusive committees with safe seats, who voted for CAFTA."
Meeks had the nerve to say that he "voted my conscience" on CAFTA, despite his long history selling off his votes on trade to the highest corporate bidder.Good for Pelosi. I can only imagine that this will result in more whining from the sell-outs: The need for such healing became clear after a blow-up in last week's whip meeting over a vote on bankruptcy legislation. Accusations flew and tensions flared at the session when Pelosi sided with liberal Members angry over Democratic defections, and Hoyer defended the moderates who supported the measure [...]
The bankruptcy split underscored a larger divide over the competing interests of liberals and centrists in the Caucus. Moderate Members have long felt slighted by the progressive wing of the party, and their recent successes on the campaign trail have emboldened them to flex their muscle within the Caucus.Recent successes on the campaign trail? Are they referring to these? For example, look at Democratic candidates for Senate in 2004 that came from the House: Bard Carson (Oklahoma), Chris John (Louisiana), Joe Hoeffel (Pennsylvania), and Denise Majette (Georgia). All four of these candidates were members of the House New Democratic Coalition during their time in Congress, and none of them were members of the Progressive caucus. Maybe I need to be reminded which of these candidates came within ten points. As for the New Democrats, they picked up one seat outside of special elections, Brian Higgins in the NY-27, where Bush won only 41.1% of the vote in 2000, making it the second least Republican seat held by a Republican in the nation (only CT-02 is more Democratic). Besides all that, someone needs to remind me how going from 205 seats in December, 2003 to 202 seats in July, 2005, with all of the net losses coming from Blue Dogs and New Democrats, can somehow be defined as success on the campaign trail.
CAFTA and the bankruptcy bill are not good for the nation. If one of the two major political parties does not oppose things like CAFTA and the bankruptcy bill, then no one will be able to stop them. These fifteen Democrats thus nearly removed any protection the country has from these odious pieces of legislation. Pelosi has every justification to enact some very serious sanctions against these members, including stripping them of their committee seats. You can urge Pelosi to take action here.