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Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Earl the Pearl true to his word?

Apparently somebody out there remembers what he promised, and wants him to make good on it. Good luck with that -- members of Progressive, Inc. have a short memory these days.

Comments (6)

Here's a good argument from a libertarian for passing the senate bill. The most important sentiment is:

"the reform contains a pathway to sanity. No one can say that about the status quo."


There's another link on the page that Sherwood points to that is just hilarious:


Earl Blumenauer is NO progressive "stalwart." Despite representing one of the safest Democratic districts in the country, my Representative has screwed the progressive community on some of the most important issues of our day. Blumenauer voted YES on the "Defense of Marriage Act" which remains law to this day. As a result, my partner and I pay thousands of dollars a year in extra taxes.

Contradictory rhetoric aside, Blumenauer marched in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi when she took Impeachment "off the table." He blocked efforts to bring Bush, Cheney & Co. to justice and still has no plans to hold the previous administration accountable.

Back in September 2007, in a classic attempt at bait and switch, Earl Blumenauer tried to mollify impeachment supporters by offering a belated "Forum on Peace and Accountability." In the course of the show, Blum signed a 5 foot pledge in which he touted his anti-war cred, standing shoulder to shoulder with the community declaring "Not One More Dollar" for this war and occupation.

Or so we thought... Blumenauer broke his pledge a month later voting to appropriate $50 billion for military operations in Iraq. In fact, Blumenauer voted for the most recent $120 Billion needed to continue the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan.

I was glad to be involved with a primary challenge to Blumenauer in 2008 and would welcome an alternative to his empty suit in 2010.


The current health care predicament makes my head hurt, but I'm not sure I want our representatives to vote against the Senate bill, or not vote for it, or whatever. Consider:
1. While some MA voters may be unhappy with the prospect of health care reform, they have their own state plan to fall back on, so the immediate consequences to them of failure of the national effort are different from those of the rest of us. It would be simplistic to interpret the vote as a referendum on health care, though of course everyone who is opposed to the current reform efforts is eager to have it seen that way.
2. In our bizarro world, the Republicans, who have voted as a bloc against reform and against helping voters in general by making repairs to our inadequate and dysfunctional health care system, stand to gain from the failure of reform, and Democrats stand to lose. You could say, with a straight face, that all the flaws and deficiencies in the Senate bill are the result of Republicans refusing to support any kind of reform, with the ostensible purpose of bringing about a failure of the Obama administration and a return to power. With a handful of Republican support, concessions to Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu and the like would not have been necessary. (Sure, the Democrats made tactical mistakes, but there was no room for error and no recovery from error on their part.)

Now we are at a point where a failure to pass the Senate bill, unless there is something else lined up to take its place, will be a public relations nightmare for the Democrats, and will mark the end of our best opportunity in my lifetime to fix an outrageously expensive, unfair and ineffective health care system. That is a prospect that, to me, is much worse than almost anything I can imagine as being in the Senate bill.

The landscape has changed dramatically since Blumenauer made his commitment to oppose reform that doesn't contain a public option. Even if such a commitment had meaning (it lacks meaning at least to the extent that the concept of "public option" lacks definition), I would not equate it with a campaign promise. Voters have no reliance injury if he changes course now — there hasn't been an election, and when there is one, voters can express themselves based on what Earl has said and done to that point. Personally, I don't want my elected representatives painted into a corner. I give importance to campaign promises as such, because as a voter I rely on them in deciding how to vote. But when an elected office holder makes a statement of intent in the course of doing his job, it should be taken together with the context in which it is made, and there should be latitude to change course when that context changes.

I think you have it exactly right, Allan.

I hope the Senate healthcare bill comes to a vote in the House, and I hope Blumenauer votes in favor of it.

Of course this famous bike rider actually drives a SUV:

More at: http://www.portlandfacts.com/earl/earlinsuv.htm

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