Wednesday, December 21, 2005


David Sirota has been combing your local paper for clues as to why Rep. Rahm Emanuel missed the most important budget vote of the year:
In the Sun Times' story about how Emanuel encouraged Democrats to vote for the GOP's disgusting immigration bill, reporter Lynn Sweet reports that she called Emanuel's office for a comment on Tuesday, and was told that Emanuel is "on vacation." The budget vote, remember, was very early in the morning on Monday - so it is technically possible that Emanuel started his vacation afterwards - but then, why did he miss the vote? And more interestingly, why did he miss every House roll call vote on that Monday? Was he on vacation?

The Washington Post reports that when asked, Emanuel's spokeswoman said "Emanuel had a family obligation." Is that code for "on vacation?"

This is a really important question that Emanuel needs to answer - and I should say, it is still possible he had a good reason, and if he does, then I will stand down (though it better be a pretty compelling reason considering Republican Rep. Joe Barton managed to make the vote 4 days after being hospitalized for a heart attack). Democrats should know whether the guy who is supposed to be leading the charge to take back the House was loafing around on vacation when the most important votes of the year were being cast - votes where, the more Democrats who vote for against the bills, the more vulnerable Republicans have to vote for it and potentially open themselves up to criticism on the campaign trail.

So we're waiting, Congressman Emanuel, for a real explanation. Because it's time to know whether vacation is more important than stopping a bill that slashed an incredible $40 billion out of Medicaid, child care assistance, and other key priorities. It's time to know, in short, whether Democrats are serious about taking back the majority, or just playing lip service to the concept.
Can either of this blogs readers answer Sirota's question about Rahms whereabouts in the wee small hours of Monday morning?

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