Oh, you've been hearing it everytime you tune into politics: Democrats in Washington saying they are serious about taking back the House. And yes, we would all like to believe them. But there is, after all, one essential, minimal, base-level indicator to seriousness - whether Democrats will even bother to show up to vote on the most critical legislation. And all you had to do was look at the most critical vote of the year early yesterday morning to suddenly realize that Democrats might still be oh so comfy in the minority.Perhaps Mr. Emanuel was busy rehabbing his knee in preparation for the celebrity touch-football playoffs.
The vote was on the GOP budget bill - you remember, the one that newspapers note "cuts $39.7 billion from social-welfare programs like Medicare, Medicaid and child-support collection." It passed by 6 votes. What's so outrageous about that? Well take a look at the official roll call and you'll see that 6 Democrats didn't show up to vote. They are:
Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA)
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Yes, you read that right - one of those missing six was Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) - the guy who heads up the Democrat's House campaign committee. You know, the committee that is supposed to be most seriously focused on developing a message and a record that helps Democrats win back the House in 2006.
Before we rush to full judgment, let's remember that it is possible that some of these 6 House members had really good reasons for not being there. But boy, they better be good reasons - and at the very least, we at least deserve to hear from these 6 Democrats exactly why they missed the vote.
Because ask yourself this question: do you think Tom DeLay and the Republicans would allow themselves to lose a critical vote because their own members didn't show up? And do you think if they did lose a vote, they wouldn't demand an explanation too? That answer to those questions - and the different answer might get from Democrats - - is the difference between a party that is really serious about winning, and a party that perhaps is not.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Rahm: AWOL or just MIA?
David Sirota has questions:
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