Democrats against healthcare reform

The netroots have given Larry Kissell $485,795 (via OpenLeft), over the past couple of cycles. He voted no on this healtcare reform bill. He says it was to "protect medicare" which seems like a bizzare explanation.

Here's the list of those Democrats that voted against it, and they all have their excuses.

Brian Baird's name jumps out. He represents a pretty liberal CD in SW Washington, mostly Vancouver. A CD that has consistently gotten more liberal, while Baird has turned into a conservative Democrat.

Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin were both special election netroots beneficiaries back in the day.

Artur Davis?  Yea, he says, " I'm not for a system where the private sector disappears and the government is in the business of providing health care." And yet, no doubt, Artur Davis himself is the beneficiary of a gov't run healthcare program, which I'm sure he has no problem with taking advatage of as a Rep. He's in a CD won by Obama by 48% in 2008.

Heath Shuler. I think this guy is going to make enough progressives in Ashville not turn out to vote in '10, that he'll likely lose re-election.

On and on it goes. These are the overview details:

39 Democrats opposed it, including 24 members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition. An overwhelming majority of the Democratic lawmakers who opposed the bill -- 31 of the 39 -- represent districts that were won by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in the 2008 presidential election, and a third of them were freshmen. Nearly all of the fourteen freshmen Democrats who voted "no" represent districts that were previously Republican and are considered vulnerable in 2010. Geographically, 22 lawmakers from southern states formed the largest opposition bloc.

Of course, there will be another vote, and some of these will flip to voting yes on the final bill (and some that voted yes now will flip to voting no) after the Senate votes, and on whatever form compromise the final bill takes.  

I think Kucinich is the only Dem that voted against it because it wasn't good enough, which is sorta typical of his voting record (ed., Eric Massa too).

Tags: 2010 (all tags)



Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

There was nothing wrong with supporting people like Stephanie Herseth back in 2004 or whenever it was.  With the Democrats enjoying strong majorities there's certainly no reason to spend money on them today.  If they are content to cater to moderates then let the moderates work the phones for them.

Unless you are fortunate enough to have unlimited resources there is surely someplace your dollar could be better spent in support of progressive results.

by Steve M 2009-11-08 06:55AM | 0 recs
Eric Massa another prog voting no

Massa is another single-payer advocate who said he voted no because the bill doesn't go far enough.

by jcullen 2009-11-08 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

A half a loaf is better than none at all. Surprised at Kucinich in particular because he should have that a fully socialized medical care system ala the social democracies of Europe may take time and steps. The House bill is a beginning, and that is all that it is.

by MainStreet 2009-11-08 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Kucinich and Massa both knew that the legislation would pass without their votes. This allowed them to use their vote to say that it is not a strong enough bill. IF we had needed their votes we would have gotten them; since we didn't it allowed them both, and particularly Dennis, to make a point about what they feel we need.

by JDF 2009-11-08 07:39AM | 0 recs
Are you f'ing kidding me?

This bill passed with two extra votes, one by a Republican and you want us to believe that both Kucinich and Massa knew it was a lock? Unless they were the last two people to vote that is total bullshit. Or do you believe they had some sort of green-light from leadership to cast a protest vote?

Dennis Kucinich has always been a joke since his days as Boy Mayor of Cleveland This from Time in 1978

At 31, Cleveland's Dennis Kucinich is the youngest mayor of any big American city. Aggressive, bright and ambitious, he seemed likely to make good on his campaign promise to shake up city hall and provide more efficient government when he took office last November. Since then, Kucinich has indeed shaken up Cleveland. But, for the most part, the results have bordered on the disastrous. Last week, after he fired popular Police Chief Richard Hongisto, citizen groups began a recall movement that may send Kucinich into early retirement.
Despite his youth and choirboy looks, the 5-ft. 6-in. Kucinich (pronounced Koosin-itch) is a savvy veteran of Cleveland's bruising ward politics. The son of a truck driver, he grew up on the city's ethnic, working-class West Side (his father is Croatian, his mother Irish). At 23, he won a seat on the city council and six years later was elected clerk of courts, the city's second highest elective office. A maverick Democrat with a strong anti-Establishment bias, he has built his power base among poor and working-class voters.
Yeah and 31 years after he was elected mayor Cleveland is a fucking paradise. Dennis like Ralph Nader like Lyndon LaRouche has always been more about himself than actually getting anything done, yet every new group  of young progressives seems to fall in love with one or all of these clowns. Kuchinists are just the mirrors of Randites and Moonies, wake up,  get dis-assimilated, and stop making excuses.

Kucinich is a little too old to be called 'Boy Congressman'. But he still matches his old profile of 'Dennis the Menace'

by Bruce Webb 2009-11-08 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you f'ing kidding me?

The house votes electronically, there is no such thing as "last vote".  But you can see a tally of the votes so far and change your vote till the last second.  It was looking like it would be 219 for the bill for a while before voting ended. So they could tell that their votes weren't needed, although i hope their hands were glued to whatever they use to cast their votes in case of a last mnute loss of backbone among a couple of blue dogs.

by goodleh 2009-11-08 08:36AM | 0 recs
Screw that!

Suzanne Kosmas also used the "not progressive enough" excuse, and I say primary the whole lot of them! This was not a time to hold out for something "more perfect." Lots of progressives held their nose and voted yes even with the Stupek amnemdment--if Kuch, Massa, and Kosmas couldn't make the tradeoff as well, to hell with them!

by Davidsfr 2009-11-08 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Screw that!

They didn't hold out. I don't believe any of them would have voted no if their vote was needed, and because of the way House votes work (see above) there was never any danger of their votes screwing us.

by JDF 2009-11-08 05:36PM | 0 recs
This doesn't make sense

"The house votes electronically, there is no such thing as "last vote".

That you can change your vote doesn't mean there isn't a sequence from the first person who makes a selection to the last one. And obviously there are ways for the bill managers to track who voted which way during the count. Now there are two logical possibilities: one Kucinich and Massa voted 'No' prior to the count reaching 218 at which point no one could have been truly certain how the vote was going to come out except possibly Pelosi and the bill managers (who may well have had a hard tally) or they were among the eight or so 'NV' members left at that point and entered a protest vote after that point. If the former conceivably they had some understanding with Pelosi that they would change their votes if needed. But either case would need to be demonstrated before I would give them a free pass, because in theory you could exonerate any Blue Dog on the same principle.

I don't know about Massa but Kucinich is exactly the guy who would have relished being the Rep. Cao if the vote had gone the other way. In my opinion Kucinich needs to apologize to the 40,000+ per year of Americans who might have died from not having insurance if his grandstanding had  delayed progress for a year or more.

by Bruce Webb 2009-11-08 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Brian Baird (my district) has gotten more and more conservative.  There is a growing progressive group here that will not ever give him $$$$$ again, never vote for him again.  I was at his last townhall meeting-it was not reassuring to listen to his answers and then think "this guy is a Dem.?"  not!!!

We need a new GOOD candidate next election.  He should be low hanging fruit.

by lja 2009-11-08 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver?  He's a solid, great guy who used to be Clark County Commissioner.  I think he would be a great congressman.  Not sure how well he would play in the more conservative timberland parts of the district.

by lorax 2009-11-08 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

AL-7 seems like the least definsible, non-protest vote to me.  The Congressman is a self described moderate so I doubt he thought the bill didn't go far enough.  It's a D+18 minority majority district and that wasn't been won by McCain or even been in Republican hands recently.  He's also not a freshman so that elliminates another "vulnerability" excuse.

by goodleh 2009-11-08 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Arthur Davis is running for governor of Alabama.  That would be his excuse.  That doesn't excuse him but his vote wasn't about his district.

by OGLiberal 2009-11-08 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform
     It only takes 218 votes to win. We don't get anything extra with 225 or 240. So the leadership could afford to let some freshmen and members from red districts vote No. It's how you win today while still having a chance to win later. And if some of them are needed for final passage of the reconciled bill, they've already established that they don't always vote with their party.
     When you look at it, it was a masterful job of winning the three winnable votes (there are simply too many pro-life Democrats to have defeated the Stupak amendment), while still giving a number of Democrats a chance to vote against the leadership once or twice. Thirteen Democrats voted for the Republican motion to recommit, but five of them--Cardoza and Costa from the Central Valley of California, Cuellar from south Texas, Ellsworth from southwest Indiana, and Pomeroy from North Dakota--then swung back to vote for passage. All of them voted for the Stupak amendment, and all are in at least their second term. Their vote for passage allowed the leadership to let faint-hearted freshmen like Adler of New Jersey, Kissell of North Carolina, Kosmas of Florida, Nye of Virginia,  Kratovil of Maryland, Markey of Colorado, and McMahon and Scott Murphy of New York to vote No on passage after voting against Stupak, the Boehner substitute, and the Republican motion to recommit (except for Murphy, who voted No on Stupak and Boehner, but Yes on the motion to recommit).
     Only children would think that every vote a member casts is reflective of his or her best judgment and most deeply-held beliefs. We're in a war against a party dominated by religious, jingoistic, chauvinistic authoritarians. We always want the best Democrat we can get in every district, but sometimes the best Democrat we can get isn't very good. In districts like Artur Davis's and Brian Baird's we can do better. In many of the others, we can't. But you'll notice how few of the Democratic "No" votes came from members with more than two terms. As they consolidate their hold on their districts, they're in a better position to vote right when they're needed.
     Patience is a virtue.
by Ron Thompson 2009-11-08 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

 The number of votes to pass the bill matters because of the negotiation with the Senate in the conference. It is a strategy ploy. Either you are ignorant or a shill since you could have researched the topic before posting and found this out.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

That's a stunningly condescending way for you to make a point that is a matter of opinion, not factual.

Those of us who have worked in the legislative process understand "catch-and-release" when you let just enough of your more vulnerable members vote no so that you can pass it.  The Senate understands this and a narrow margin of victory will not weaken the bill over there.

by lorax 2009-11-08 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Yes, only you and the other jerk posting comments comparing those who disagree with you to children understand politics:

" Only children would think that every vote a member casts is reflective of his or her best judgment and most deeply-held beliefs."

If you don't think this is a nasty comment, I have no respect for your opinion.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

It's not a nasty comment, I don't really have a problem with it. When politics is involved a lot of people do tend to act very childish.

by vecky 2009-11-08 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

His intent was to insult anyone who disagreed with him by calling them children. It does not matter whether it personally offends you. There are very real non "purity" reasons for wanting party discipline here that he glosses over by labeling people as children.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

That is absolute crap.  Clyburn knew the whip before he released democrats like Kucinich.  The whip is the number to be used in negotiations, not the actual vote numbers.

by lojasmo 2009-11-08 11:17AM | 0 recs
Wow, this is douchey, even for you

by ND22 2009-11-08 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, this is douchey, even for you

The only jerks here are you and the other hypocrites who run up  and down thread  defending each other for your asshole behavior.

The person you are defending compares people here  who disagrees with him to children:

" Only children would think that every vote a member casts is reflective of his or her best judgment and most deeply-held beliefs. "

Yet the only thing you respond to is my response to him. It says a lot about the mind set of convenient victimhood that pervades the cheerleader set.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

The only strategy ploy that matters once it goes to conference is whether or not the House will pass the bill that comes out of conference. Everything else is just cannon fodder for us to talk about.

by JDF 2009-11-08 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform
     You know, Bruh3, I've seen your comments on this site numerous times, and they are very often rude, offensive, and ignorant. But at least you're consistent.
     How many votes the bill got in the House doesn't matter a rat's ass when it comes to the conference committee. Boehner made it a point yesterday of asking a number of Democratic committee chairmen whether they would consider themselves bound to fight for the House version in the conference committee. They all laughed at him. What mattered was passing a bill, and doing so in a way that left as many Democrats as possible free to vote their own best political interest. And that's what they accomplished.
by Ron Thompson 2009-11-08 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Yes, the next step- feigned offense. Meanwhile you are calling people who disagree with you children. You are not worth much more commentary than that.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 10:50AM | 0 recs
'Children' is an insult?

While 'ignorant' is just okay?

I think someone needs to take a big draft of self-awareness, What part of "Don't call me an asshole, fuck-wit!" are you missing here?

by Bruce Webb 2009-11-08 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: 'Children' is an insult?

I like the one sided responses to my comments. It typifies a certain mindset amongst people who probably describe themeselves as progressives. Someone says something nasty like comparing progressive to children while ignoring or not knowing about other choices for why what progressives are saying matters, and your response is why didn't you play nice with him?  I have a better view- why should anyone play nice with him?

by bruh3 2009-11-08 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: 'Children' is an insult?
     I did not compare progressives to children. Progressives are smart enough to realize that sometimes elected officials must bend when the wind in their constituency is against them, if they want to survive. Children, on the other hand, often think that everything is good or evil, and that people who agree with us only 70% of the time are to be hated and feared.
     Thank you to the people who posted supportive comments.
by Ron Thompson 2009-11-08 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: 'Children' is an insult?

" Only children would think that every vote a member casts is reflective of his or her best judgment and most deeply-held beliefs. "

And now the shell game of I was not talking about progressives only those other "progressives." Meaning those who disagree with you or see a strategy that you either don't see or do not want to admit  matters.

There are reasons for them to push for the best or strongest position possible coming out of the House other than the simplistic straw men you set up. But, your position requires those straw men to call people children. I call your description of people debating strategy one of someone who argues from ignorance. It takes nothing for you to dismiss disagreement by calling us children. That you get our motivations and thought processes wrong does not seem to matter to you.

And, heaven forbid someone responds in kind to your behavior by calling a duck, a duck. Then, I got to read three other commentors rushing to your defense despite your own behavior in the matter. It is a little like someone being kicked being told "hey, why did you hit them back? that was wrong!"

It is only wrong if we pretend you are not offensive in your formulation of us, your strawmen version of what our arguments are and your decision to call those who disagree with you children. In reality however, I am giving you what you are putting out.

by bruh3 2009-11-08 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

That is all true, but there does come a point where Democrats must stand united. HCR is signature Democrats Legislation - far more so than Energy, Wars, etc. If your not for that, then why are you a democrat?

In reality the Democrats don't have a 40 vote majority or a filibuster proof margin. They have rough parity with the Republicans and the the rest of the 'D's are actually independents, who caucus with the Democrats solely because that's where they get money or committee posts or power from. Nonetheless that's not the public perception, so as real Democrats struggle to get votes the Democratic party comes off looking incompetent and generally stupid.

by vecky 2009-11-08 02:37PM | 0 recs
Eric Massa

I think Kucinich is the only Dem that voted against it because it wasn't good enough, which is sorta typical of his voting record.

Eric Massa of New York claimed to have voted no because it's wasn't progressive enough.

by ND22 2009-11-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats against healthcare reform

Herseth-Sandlin has to vote that way..period.  South Dakota is almost the most anti-abortion state in the union, so I do not see them liking health insurance reform in any stripe as there is AALWAYS a way to make a connection between Govt. money and abortion.  They would rather suffer than supprt it.  Not that I agreed when i lived there, but that is the view of the people who matter there.

As for Collins in MN, well, he shot his mouth off earlier this year and so he needs to settle his district down.  Stupid, but then again, we Americans love to spite our faces for cutting off our noses...  <rolleyes>

by Hammer1001 2009-11-08 12:56PM | 0 recs


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