List of Blue Dog Saboteurs

From a source close to the House Democratic caucus, here's a list of Blue Dogs that don't want to vote for this bill because it has a certain date for withdrawal.  

Michael Arcuri (NY-24)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Melissa Bean (IL-08)
Dan Boren (OK-02)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Bud Cramer (AL-02)
Brad Ellsworth (IN-08)
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20)
Baron Hill (IN-09)
Tim Mahoney (FL-16)
Jim Marshall (GA-08)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
John Salazar (CO-03)
Joe Sestak (PA-07)
Heath Shuler (NC-11)
Gene Taylor (MS-04)

It's sad to see some freshmen we supported on the list.  Joe Sestak, Kirsten Gillibrand and Michael Arcuri had some online support from the progressive netroots.  Tim Mahoney, Heath Shuler, Brad Ellsworth, and Baron Hill were mostly to nearly all Rahm recruits.

These people are the Democrats that held Pelosi and the progressive hostage on the language for a firm withdrawal.  They are keeping the war going.  They need to be brought over.

UPDATE: Sestak isn't a Blue Dog, and I'm told that Kirsten Gillibrand just wants to see the bill first. Mmmkay. Color me skeptical. A simple public statement would do wonders.

UPDATE AGAIN: Kirsten Gillibrand has publicly stated she will vote for the supplemental.

There's more...

Call Joe Sestak About Iraq

I don't live in Joe Sestak's district anymore, but I did for a while. Also, my state committee district still extends out into the PA-07 (although I don't technically represent that part of the district). Further, even though the election was not all that close in the end, the MyDD community gave a lot of activism and resources to help Joe Sestak defeat Curt Weldon. I would like to help him again, but there is simply no way I can do so if even a pretty thoroughly watered down compromise bill on Iraq is too stringent for him on redeployment / withdrawal.

Today, I am asking you to call Joe Sestak's offices to ask him if he will support the upcoming Democratic bill on the Iraq supplemental. Considering the work the MyDD community has done for Sestak, I think we have a right to know.

Here are the numbers to call:

Local residents
Media, PA
Phone:(610) 892-8623
Fax:(610) 892-8628

Everyone else
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 225-2011
Fax: (202) 226-0280

It greatly disappoints me that we have to take this step, but I think he needs to hear from people who helped him out.

Update: Jerome notes in the comments that Gillibrand has come out in favor of the supplemental. I've also heard much the same about Arcuri. That is good news. The thing that is so strange about Sestak is that he himself has a proposed a bill advocating withdrawal--so why isn't he more solid on the supplemental? Who knows--it could even be that he thinks the supplemental does not go far enough. The point is that we need to find out.

Iraq: Why can't Dems in Congress get a grip?

There are all sorts of reasons and excuses that could be offered for the less than stellar performance of the Dems in Congress on the Iraq question.

I've been inclined to sympathy (more, perhaps, than some in the lefty sphere) for a party that was in the minority for the last 12 years having been in the majority (in the House, at least) for forty in dealing with so intractable and politically sensitive subject, too.

Plus - we all know it's not a parliamentary system, and all that jazz.

However, I'd genuinely (really) be fascinated to learn why the Dems have fumbled the handling of the Iraq issue in the last few days.

Both the Post (here) and the Times (here (I) and here (II)) have write-ups.

There's more...

Wes Clark: Party Builder

(crossposted at dailykos)

The 2006-midterm elections presented Democrats with a historic opportunity to strengthen the party brand and retake control of both houses of congress.  Party members of all stripes helped secure an election day capped with record setting victories through the nation.  

Although Howard Dean's 50-state strategy emphasizes long run party building over the short term electoral gains, its immediate success was vitally important not only to Americans hoping to derail the Bush agenda, but also to Democratic people powered movements in general.  Would grassroots level party building strengthen the brand or would it be wasted on people picking their noses in "red America"?

There's more...

Joyful Chaos in Pennsylvania

All any of us are interested in right now are cold hard results, I know, but I hope you won't mind me jumping in before things really heat up with the view from Pennsylvania. CNN, NPR and others have just called the Pennsylvania seat for Bob Casey over Rick Santorum. Senator Bob Casey. I certainly like the sound of that. (And Governor Rendell has kept his job -- no surprise there.)

I have to say after working for five years on a dysfunctional Capitol Hill, it is amazing for me to think about how dramatically the state of things has changed there in the last several months. For a long while, things felt a bit hopeless. As of this minute:

  • There is no more Rep. Tom Delay to corrupt the soul of the U.S. House of Representatives;
  • There's no more Rep. Bob Ney to obstruct much needed election reform;
  • And thanks to the fine people of Pennsylvania, there's no more Senator Rick Santorum to exploit our worst weaknesses and fears.

And that list is only going to get longer as the night goes on. (Feel free to add 'em in the comments.) Tonight could end in a few different ways. But right now, I feel happy. That's it. Just damn happy.

We're waiting to hear about what will become of Lois Murphy, Jason Altmire, Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy, Chris Carney, and a handful of statehouse races that will tell us a lot about the political future of Pennsylvania. (The PA Secretary of State has unofficial returns here.) I'll be back later with a summary of the PA results and a wrap-up of my time on the ground here, but lemme just say now that it has been a real honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to post at MyDD this Election 2006.

On the flip, some highlights from election day in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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