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McNerney Responds

by: Julia Rosen

Thu May 10, 2007 at 19:25:53 PM PDT


This just in from McNerney's Chief of Staff:

I want an end to the war in Iraq.  But ending the war must be done in the most responsible way.

Today, I followed my conscience, after evaluating what I considered to be the most effective method of bringing America's involvement in this conflict to an end. That is why I voted for the supplemental bill and against the McGovern bill.

I am reminded every day of the terrible cost of this conflict.  In fact, on Tuesday, I received notice that a Marine from Manteca was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Our brave men and women in uniform serving in Iraq are caught in the middle of a religious civil war.

continues below the fold

Julia Rosen :: McNerney Responds
Hundreds of billions of dollars have already been spent.

We have been fighting in Iraq longer than it took us to win the Second World War.

I feel strongly that ending the war must be done in a way that respects our soldiers, honors our veterans, provides the best chance to reduce the violence in Iraq, and prevents the violence from spreading to neighboring countries.

That's why tonight I voted again - for the third time - for the supplemental plan, which I believe is the most responsible course to take.  It's the only way to ensure that Iraqis begin to take responsibility for Iraq.

The supplemental plan I voted for provides the framework to end this conflict by bringing about a diplomatic solution, which experts from across the political spectrum recognize is the only way to end the war responsibly. 

I could not, in good conscience, vote for legislation like the McGovern bill that included neither specific provisions to bring about a diplomatic solution nor funding for the needs of this newly created generation of veterans.  The supplemental does both.

We have to be tough but smart to bring about a responsible close to the war in Iraq.  Continuing the war any longer than necessary would be unconscionable.

This was a vote of principle and one I stand behind.

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McNerney Responds | 57 comments
Thank you. (8.00 / 3)
Hi everyone -

Thanks for your patience regarding Jerry's explanation for his votes today.

Apparently, Jerry has to go back to the floor to continue voting. I'm here to answer questions about his statement if you have any.

I can't speak to policy specifics (not my jurisdiction as a campaign staffer) but I can possibly provide some context, having worked with Jerry during and since his run for Congress in 2006.

Eden w/ McNerney for Congress


So McNerney wanted more specifics? (0.00 / 0)
Or at least, he wanted specifics when it comes to diplomacy... Is that right, Eden? And what types of "specific provisions" are McNerney looking for when it comes to bringing about a diplomatic solution in Iraq?

Thanks for spending your time here to answer our questions, Eden. And at least speaking for myself, I appreciate McNerney's fast yet thorough explanation on why he voted the way he did on the McGovern bill. : )

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )


[ Parent ]
hey Eden. (8.00 / 1)
I've got to say that i'm a little disappointed, i'm also curious as to what specifics he objected too since so many other congressfolks had no problem with it.

And i'm a little worried that Jerry is taking the "representing a somewhat red area of the state" a little too seriously and buying into right wing frames about "support the trooops".

-C.

I live in Oakland and I like talking about politics. Who'd have thunk I'd be writing here?!


[ Parent ]
I love you man (0.00 / 0)
I know you're in a tough spot tonight and I'm real pissed at your boss, but I love you and it means a lot to me that he's proud of you working for him.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
OK, I get it... (0.00 / 0)
McNerney's uncomfortable with the McGovern bill. I still disagree with his vote, but I'm glad that he gave a good explanation. And I appreciate that he voted his conscience. Good for him.

I still disagree with his vote, but I don't see why we shouldn't be satisfied with the explanation.

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )


Benefit of the doubt (5.00 / 4)
As someone who has organized with the grassroots and netroots against the war, and who feels strongly about it, I am willing to grant Jerry the benefit of the doubt as well.

While many of his closest supporters will disagree with him on the McGovern vote, I know Jerry would not have voted against it unless he had fundamental problems with the bill.

Jerry is a good and honest man. Like a scientist (he's a PhD), he judiciously examines the evidence and then, after much deliberation, follows his conscience.

I know that from personal experience.

Give him some time, everyone, and examine his record over the coming weeks and months. You will find that you may not agree with him on every issue -- even one as important as this -- but you've got to respect him for voting from his own principles.

Eden w/ McNerney for Congress


[ Parent ]
i did not send money to mcnerney (7.40 / 5)
so that he could vote his "principles" along with the republican party and some of the most conservative democrats in the party., i gave it because he said he would work to get us out of iraq. he got a bill that made a clear statement on  withdrawal, and he voted against it.

raise your money from someone else next time.


[ Parent ]
OK, let's do. (0.00 / 0)
Again, I disagree with McNerney's vote on the McGovern bill. However, I wouldn't let this disagreement get in the way of supporting McNerney next year. He obviously wants to end the war, and I see that he just has a slightly different vision on how to end it.

Actually, I agree with McNerney that we need more specifics on how to get a diplomatic solution. I'd just add that as an amendment to the McGovern bill, as I also want the war to end ASAP. There's no easy way out of Iraq. We all just need to work some more on crafting the best possible exit strategy that's also feasible. And yes, I know that it's VERY TOUGH right now, as Bush still holds that pen, ready to veto.

So what does McNerney plan to do next? And what would he like to see done if Bush vetoes the legislation again? I actually think that WE ALL need to think about this, as we have to come up with an exit strategy that gets us out ASAP, yet also leaves Iraq in the least possible damage, AND that's actually politically feasible.

Had enough of the "red county" right-wing crazy-talk bulls***? Well, then come and visit us at The Liberal OC! Yes, there ARE liberals in The OC! : )


[ Parent ]
That doesn't cut it (8.00 / 1)
"He obviously wants to end the war, and I see that he just has a slightly different vision on how to end it."

So does George Bush. I'm not supporting him.

As for the rest, diplomacy and withdrawal are not mutually exclusive, nor must they coexist in the same bill to avoid one preempting the other.  I'm taking a weekend trip at the beginning of June. I don't feel as though I have to book my car, hotel and entertainment plans in a single package, and I don't worry about getting them independently of each other.


[ Parent ]
you should come to SF (0.00 / 0)
You wouldn't need to rent a car. ;)

But great illustration of how legislation can work.

Twitter: @BobBrigham


[ Parent ]
Wait. (0.00 / 0)
I think it's pretty obvious Bush does NOT want to end the war.

[ Parent ]
Sure he does (0.00 / 0)
as long as we "win"

[ Parent ]
This is about (8.00 / 1)
as good of a response as we could have hoped for.  It probably would have been a good idea to give his supporters a heads up on the vote, rather than see in an immediate "McNerney WTF?!" type response.

I don't totally buy his contention about supporting Vets and diplomacy.  Plenty of troop and diplomacy loving Democrats voted for this particular bill today.  Even if it passed, it would not have been the last piece of legislation on the Iraq War.


I guess (8.00 / 3)
I don't see what is so ideal about this response. It reads the same as would a generic response to a constituent inquiry. His language on vets, diplomacy, but also continued troop presence in Iraq are disconcertingly like Republican talking points. It does nothing to dispel the concerns that McNerney is no longer in touch with his district or the reasons that he got elected and is instead merely listening to typical consultant advice - which to my knowledge has not helped many Democrats in recent cycles, as Darcy Burner or John Edwards can sadly attest.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
I dont (0.00 / 0)
know if we would have every gotten anything that would be anything close to a satisfying explanation given the fact that we wanted the opposite vote. 

It's not like he could come out and say I only voted against this 'cause my district is conservative.  It had to be framed as a principled decision and one that somehow (kinda sorta) sounds like it makes sense to us.  The work on reconnecting with his supporters will take a lot more than one statement.


[ Parent ]
saying the words "principled" and "conscience" (7.20 / 5)
does not actually frame anything effectively, it's just a distraction away from the lack of substance in his rhetoric.

at least he could have been honest about the triangulation. if his district really is for the war or against withdrawal (which it isn't) he could have come out and said "my district wants it this way," but he can't do that because he's not really responding to pressure from his district. it's DC pressure, and he should know better than to listen to them and not the people that elected him.

the language he uses tips his hand.


[ Parent ]
wu ming (0.00 / 0)
Please keep in mind that Jerry knew this was not going to be something his core supporters agreed with -- the people who have contributed both time and money to his campaign.

That said, he made the decision to vote against the bill anyway.

As I said below to Eugene, you are going to have to take him at his word or not. I would encourage you to give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.

Eden w/ McNerney for Congress


[ Parent ]
You nailed it, as usual (8.00 / 3)
I think it's the language that tips his hand as well, as I argued in my longer comment below.

I also think it's important to push back - and HARD - against the idea that CA-11 is somehow against a withdrawal. That sort of idea was precisely what was used to dismiss McNerney's chances against Pombo, almost up to the eve of the election last fall. One would hope that certainly McNerney and his staff understand that the district they represent is opposed to this war. If this was truly a conscience vote of McNerney's alone, that's one thing. If this was a calculation based on an assumption that vote for the McGovern bill was necessary because of the district, then that suggests someone is not giving McNerney very good advising.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


[ Parent ]
if you can't beat the left in a primary (8.00 / 2)
coopt their candidates once they hit DC.

[ Parent ]
Bingo (8.00 / 1)
The DC Dem establishment knows well how to accomplish this.

And when they're criticized there's always the foolproof response: "well you can't be TOO critical, otherwise we might lose the seat! you've got to support these folks no matter how often they screw up."

It's such a shame watching the mid-1970s repeat themselves.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


[ Parent ]
this DC consultant thing doesn't fly (0.00 / 0)
we got 171 votes for this bill, pretty stunning, and I don't believe that the vast majority of those BUCKED the so-called DC establishment to vote that way. if anything, the DC establishment told Jerry "don't piss off the people who raised you $3,000 in small donations in one night because if you vote the way they want you to, they'll do it again and again and again before next fall because they can." But I'm torn. On one hand I can see Eden's point that the fact that he was willing to buck us (and by us I mean the grassroots and the netroots who, he has acknowledged, got him where he is) may in fact signal that this was truly a vote of conscience. But on the other I have issues with the wording of his statement -- it  reads like a series of talking points and feels a bit distanced, detached. So for me, I guess I'm still unclear what it was about the bill that was so hard to swallow. So, while I appreciate the statement and, of course, Eden for sticking around to answer questions (although I'm late to this thread) I do still feel unresolved on this.

[ Parent ]
Or... (8.00 / 1)
Or trust that he did what he thought was right.

It's your choice, wu ming. You can write Jerry off based on this one vote (a very important one, I know), or you can give him an opportunity to prove himself as a Congressman who not only wants to serve his constituents but NOT compromise his conscience in the process.

Imagine, for example, how difficult this vote must have been for Jerry, given that he didn't feel he could support it -- and he knew full well that many of his core supporters felt the opposite. And strongly.

If you accept his vote as one he made with difficulty, but with integrity, then you might also accept it as courageous (given the heat he is getting from his friends in the grassroots and netroots).

Again, good people will disagree. As I hope know, Jerry is one of them.

Eden w/ McNerney for Congress.


[ Parent ]
it is just like Hillary for McNerney now (0.00 / 0)
He needs to admit he made a mistake and make amends. I mean, he voted against ending the war -- that is a huge mistake. I'm looking forward to the mostly irrelevant Perata initiative because I dream of the opportunity to vote to end the war and McNerney had a real vote and he screwed it up.

Don't be like Hillary, admit the mistake and fire the losers who suggested this.

Twitter: @BobBrigham


[ Parent ]
The problem is the Central Valley media (0.00 / 0)
The Stockton Record and the Tracy Press are quite conservative.
I've been working with local folks to grow the antiwar movement in Stockton.  It takes a concerted effort to change the public dialogue, but that's what's needed for these kind of votes.
Republicans understand this intuitively, and always try to crank up their media machine before controversial votes.

[ Parent ]
Eugene (8.00 / 1)
Despite your disagreement with his stance, you can be confident that his explanation was not some "generic response to constituent inquiry." It was from him. And it was in direct response to Juls' request on Calitics.

I know Jerry personally.

I've seen him struggle with issues -- specifically the war -- for over a year now.

You are either going to have to take him at his word or not.

I would encourage you to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Thanks for your consideration.

Eden w/ McNerney for Congress


[ Parent ]
Fair enough (0.00 / 0)
I trust what you say about the reply. I do not believe it is as specific as we might like but I do appreciate the response to juls' inquiry.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Fool me once... (5.00 / 2)
You are either going to have to take him at his word or not.

That's EXACTLY the problem. A lot of us did take him at his word.

But don't worry; it won't happen again.


[ Parent ]
I chose: .... or not! (8.00 / 2)
For me, respecting and honoring the troops and veterans means bringing them home immediately.  It is hard for me to understand how, with the ever increasing violence in Iraq over the past months, anyone can believe that extending our occupation in there will result in less civilian or military bloodshed.

I am also concerned that McNerney's conscience is so disconnected from his grassroots support.  I suspect a large number of his (probably former) doners and volunteers thought he was one of us.


[ Parent ]
I am concerned (7.40 / 5)
By the language of "responsible course" and similar things in McNerney's nonspecific statement.

How exactly was the McGovern bill irresponsible? The redeployment out of Iraq was *fully funded.* So the redeployment plan then was clearly responsible.

I am then left wondering about the "reduce the violence in Iraq" and "prevents the violence from spreading to other countries" language. Those are direct echoes of Republican talking points about our presence in Iraq, and we would rightly expect that someone like McNerney understands their falsity. US troops there are not reducing the violence in Iraq and our presence there does nothing to stop it from spreading to other countries - and the assumption he uses seems to indicate that he believes continued US troop presences DOES either reduce violence or provide regional stability...which are Republican talking points.

I would have more respect for McNerney and his staff if they explained the true reasons for this cowardly vote - that they were suddenly afraid that a strong stance against the Iraq War would hurt them in 2008 (when McNerney and his team should know better, given the reasons for their 2006 victory) or that they knuckled under to pressure from higher up.

McNerney failed us today. Once again we are reminded that even though we must work with them for the moment, we cannot trust the Democrats to protect our values or pursue the policies we elected them to enact.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


if you read the bill text (8.00 / 4)
it explicitly says:

CONTINUATION OF DIPLOMATIC, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ

Nothing in this section will be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict the use of funds available to anydepartment or agency of the United States (other tha the Department of Defense) to carry out diplomatic, social and economic reconstruction in Iraq at the request of the government of Iraq

besides, it's not as if the lack of specificity on diplomacy here stopped the vast majority of democrats from voting for the supplemental as well. this strikes me as an excuse.

if mcnerney wants to raise funds for 2008, let him turn to the shrinking pro-war minority in his district. while he's talking about veteran's care, national guard troops from his district are being shipped off to iraq to become new wounded veterans.

i do not buy the explanation. mcnerney should listen to the people who sent him there, not the wormtongues like hoyer. the company he keeps on this vote does not reflect well upon him.


[ Parent ]
I think I'm in wu ming's camp here (7.25 / 4)
and I'm trying not to be angry.  But I'm really disappointed.  I would like to think that we wouldn't have to ride herd on this issue on someone who campaigned explicitly on Iraq, got a lot of his volunteer and netroots support on that basis, and got a lot of money (including some of mine, not that it matters all that much whose money it was) on that basis.

Honestly, the explanation doesn't help very much -- as wu ming and eugene are saying, it doesn't seem to square with the bill or the supplemental, and it's largely content-free. 

McNerney is demoralizing his base.


[ Parent ]
That's an important find (8.00 / 2)
It bolsters my own point that McNerney's explanation does not satisfy, especially with regard to the situation on the ground as well as the details of this resolution.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
The Iraqi Parliament is also working on a "timetable" bill (0.00 / 0)
The rhetoric over the bills in Congress has gotten so heated that we've largely ignored the battle in the Iraqi government over setting a timetable.

Last month, six Cabinet ministers loyal to Muqtada Al-Sadr left the government after the Prime Minister refused to set a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Just today, "A majority of Iraqi lawmakers have endorsed a bill calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and demanding a freeze on the number of foreign troops already in the country.."

http://news.yahoo.co...

I'm starting to see the paths in the US Congress and the Iraqi legislature converging on a timetable for the troops to withdraw, which seems like the best way to end the occupation.

Let's all keep our eye on the ultimate goal, which is to wind down the occupation in a way that doesn't start a huge civil war that engulfs the region.

This political process is slow and frustrating but I think it's getting some traction.


[ Parent ]
Do tell (8.00 / 1)
Let's all keep our eye on the ultimate goal, which is to wind down the occupation in a way that doesn't start a huge civil war that engulfs the region.

I would love to hear exactly how that happens.  I have yet to hear a plan that involves US troops and isn't "clap harder".


[ Parent ]
While we're at it (8.00 / 1)
I'd like to know the ways in which there isn't a civil war and it has NOT engulfed the entire region, aside from the rest of the region sending all its combatants to Iraq to fight because they can.

[ Parent ]
they missed that opportunity (8.00 / 2)
when they went in, when they did not listen to the left who was screaming to get out ASAP, when they continued to fund this president's reckless divide-and-conquer "guatamala solution" death squad strategy of destabilizing the country to keep us in there perpetually.

every one of these bills that prolongs the war while asking meekly for bush to leave has thrown gas on the fire that will explode when we leave. don't say we didn't warn you all, we've been saying it since 2003.

civil war is inevitable, given what we've done to date. anyone who says we have to stay so that it doesn't get worse is setting up the dominoes to make it worse down the line.

this is extremely predictable.


[ Parent ]
Read the Iraq Study Group Report (8.00 / 1)
The problem is that the civil institutions in the country have fallen apart, and it's basically just warring militias. We have to disengage, but there are ways to do it that are more or less destabilizing. 

Having the Iraqi parliament involved in setting the timetable for withdrawal is probably one of the better options.


[ Parent ]
unstable (0.00 / 0)
there's not much room for further destablization. Just because there's a nominal government doesn't mean it has any actual function. Don't listen to Bush.

[ Parent ]
Actually, I was listening to Leon Panetta (0.00 / 0)
He lives in Monterey, and was on the Iraq Study Group panel.

[ Parent ]
may he never run for office again (0.00 / 0)
He is a DLC dipshit.

Twitter: @BobBrigham

[ Parent ]
I started to really respect Panetta (0.00 / 0)
When I was looking at coverage of the antiwar rallies we organized in Monterey and Salinas.  The newspapers also carried his responses to Bush's escalation of the war, which were always interesting and well informed.

The Iraq Study Group recommendations were by no means a rubber stamp of Bush's policies.  They made clear that "the primary mission of the U.S. forces should be to transition from combat to support of the Iraqi Army" and called for withdrawing most of the troops from the country by the first quarter of 2008.


[ Parent ]
that's been almost totally ignored (8.00 / 1)
By the media establishment.  There's an Iraqi Out-of-Iraq caucus too.  I wonder if Bush will veto their withdrawal bill. The problem is that there will be pressure on the Iraqi Parliament by the US not to honor the petition even though they have to by law.  And the other problem is that Bush has stated that we're not leaving so long as he's President (just a small monkey in the wrench).

While symbolic, I think what has touched people off about this is that the numbers on this vote, even in a loss, are really encouraging, and McNerney's voice would have added to that.  No one vote is going to end the war (and therefore this response, talking about the veterans benefits that could obviously be put in an additional bill, leaves me a bit wanting) but every time a vote like this comes up the momentum continues forward.  As a Representative, you can either help that momentum or help stall it.


[ Parent ]
although his new line... (0.00 / 0)
is that he doesn't want to pass this on to the next president, qualifying it, of course, with "especially a Democratic president."

[ Parent ]
Maybe I need to sleep on it, but (8.00 / 4)
"I feel strongly that ending the war must be done in a way that respects our soldiers, honors our veterans, provides the best chance to reduce the violence in Iraq, and prevents the violence from spreading to neighboring countries."

I have a hard time seeing how the supplemental ends the war, respects our soldiers, honors our veterans, reduces the violence in Iraq, or prevents violence from spreading.

Anyways..."Continuing the war any longer than necessary would be unconscionable." We're WAY past that point.  One bill doesn't end this war, no matter what bill it is.  You want to talk about details, that's great. But we're way past unconscionable.  Even looking past the fact that the McGovern amendment was a symbolic vote anyways, what would happen if withdrawal was passed? Would people have gone home and not discussed the next step? It didn't establish the budget for 2043 either, but I bet that'll come up at some point.

Always vote your conscience, I don't object to that.  But presumably a large portion of the people who have planned, voted for, and perpetrated this war were motivated at least in part by conscience. A lot of people follow their conscience to places I can't follow. This is one of those times. I'm not angry, but I'm very much disappointed.


Lucas (0.00 / 0)
does a good job of summing up what I feel right now.  I am not happy, but I am not angry.  This statement doesn't totally add up.

Tomorrow is a new day.


[ Parent ]
It sounds like McNerney already has Potomic Fever (7.00 / 3)
I cringe when I hear "most responsible way" from a Washington, DC politician who just voted against ending the war. He used 'responsible' three times with bonus points for using 'responsibly' one more. I'm glad he offered a rationalization, but......

I could not, in good conscience, vote for legislation like the McGovern bill that included neither specific provisions to bring about a diplomatic solution nor funding for the needs of this newly created generation of veterans.

First of all, I don't know anyone who is "responsible" in the reality-based, non beltway meaning of the word who doesn't think the time for diplomacy was 4 1/2 to 5 years ago and that there will be no diplomatic solution while Bush is President and Condi Rice is SecState.

Second, while I want to fund the veterans, the ones I trust think the most important task is to end the war. There should be a serious push to repair the damage we've cause, but ending the war is the only way to keep the problem from a continued growth curve.

In the end, I'm disappointed. I know some people think the problem in McNerney's office is the new staff yet my gut tells me it is the losers advising the DCCC front-line candidates (who seem to think that voters want to re-elect wimps). I don't know, but I hope the Congressman publicly freezes out the voices who contributed to his major blunder today.

I mean, he voted against ending the war. Almost every single national blog ripped on his disastrous vote. Sure, Howie hasn't yet kicked him off the Blue America list like he did to Sherrod Brown, but how many new lists do you think he'll end up on after this vote? I'd be shocked if he makes the netroots list after this. Which means, when all the bonus donations are added to the growth curve, he might have left a quarter to half a million on the table because he is getting crappy advice on Iraq.

The policy is ass-backwards and the politics are historic. I don't know who his Wolfowitz is, but a shit-canning is in order.

Twitter: @BobBrigham


A familiar scenario (7.25 / 4)
This episode reminds me of when Paul Wellstone got an attack of "conscience" and voted for DOMA -- voted to outlaw gay marriage!

Bullshit. We work to get these guys up there to be progressive and they decide when their "cosncience" says they should weasel on us. Iraq is the central conscientious issue of the present period and Jerry has put himself on the wrong side of it.

Nobody is going to remember this vote in 2008 -- except us. Can he do without us? Don't know.

Can It Happen Here?


Great point (8.00 / 1)
Had he voted for the McGovern bill he would have incurred much less wrath than he has for voting against it.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
You know what's really troubling about this to me? (8.00 / 2)
Not only does this make me very unhappy with McNerney, it's shaking my faith in other candidates.  That's what really bothering me the most.  I know it's not rational.  But this vote by McNerney makes me question how much of my time I want to invest in Charlie Brown or any other candidate.

Totally agree (8.00 / 1)
I touched on this right after the convention when Carl Manaster wrote about his disinterest in being a delegate again.  If the people who I put my faith in to make change cave give up easily, what am I working for?  Blind faith is the crutch of fools, but I would really like to trust at least a few people.

[ Parent ]
indeed (8.00 / 1)
That's why I think the problem is him listening to people in DC.

Charlie Brown would have forced his way to the floor to push this bill, McNerney is getting crappy advice.

Twitter: @BobBrigham


[ Parent ]
It should (8.00 / 2)
honestly, this is the problem with the "party loyalty at all costs" ideas that have taken over the blogosphere. I don't completely disagree with them, but they're hugely problematic on stuff like this -- we can still lose big on a lot of things that matter, policy wise, by having more people with (D) after their name.

On the balance, it's important to get (and keep) the republicans out -- we are making gains, at least, even if they're slow, and we're getting some oversight. But moments like this make it hard sometimes to remember why. Until we get a real progressive powerbase to infiltrate the dem party system, we're going to face a lot of these disappointments, IMO.

It bothers the hell out of me, too, but I try to filter that into reminding myself to fight harder inside the party as well as outside of it. Your mileage may vary.


[ Parent ]
The true destructiveness... (8.00 / 1)
...of the "party loyalty at all costs" approach is how effectively it gets deployed to deflect criticism and anger at Democratic failures and sellouts. It's the ultimate fig leaf. Which is why I never could stand it, even way back in 2004.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
It's not a question of party loyalty (0.00 / 0)
But of cutting off support for a candidate that a lot of people worked their *sses off to get into office -- over ONE lousy vote for a symbolic bill, that had no chance of passage.

There are going to be quite a few more Out of Iraq bills up for a vote over coming months. I personally plan to withhold judgement until we have a more complete record.


[ Parent ]
Yes. (6.50 / 2)
As I wrote in blogswarm's newest diary, this is a very disillusioning moment for a lot of folks because there is no explanation that salves the wound. Either his conscience is not with us on the war, or he listened to consultants and sold us out on their advice.

So for many folks, if they can't trust McNerney, someone who fought Rahm and the DCCC's candidate in the primary, fought Pombo when the DC establishment didn't give him a snowball's chance, who seemed so strongly and authentically a netrooter, to do this to us...it is a stark reminder of just how easily we can be sold out.

We still face many of the same questions that have been dogging us since 2000 - how do we "fix" the Democrats? How do we get them to not only win elections, but do the right things once they get into office? This moment is a reminder that we really have not answered those fundamental questions yet.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave


[ Parent ]
Yeah -- Even Rahm voted for McGovern bill n/t (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
Two things (7.50 / 6)
For one, this statement buys lock, stock, barrel into the idea that this was the only "responsible path". That screws us over in the net. There are many "responsible paths", many of which get us the hell out of Iraq. Continuing the mythology that the troops' wellbeing depends on congress letting bush have his way on everything that actually matters is problematic for the movement against the war as a whole, not just any given specific political battle, and our politicians need to knock that the fuck off.

Secondly, I am sick and bloody tired of this "Iraqis need to stand up" crap that's been coming out of the Dem party for quite a while. We walked in, we removed their entire power structure, and now that we want to leave we find it convenient to blame the problem on them. I realize it's politically useful because Americans don't like to admit that we fucked things up, that it is, in fact, our fault in this case that things are as bad as they are. But you know, it just drives me insane nonetheless, and while I know they're not going to stop anytime soon, I have to be vocal about the disagreement.

And the veterans could've been funded in a seperate bill, BTW; that's a lame excuse.

I'm angry; I'll probably get over it, because I know that the vast majority of the time I'm not going to agree with legislators' votes, that's a price I pay for being left enough to be represented by no viable party. But it's a hard goddamned pill to swallow.


McNerney Responds | 57 comments
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