Saturday, February 14, 2009

So Much For Cao's "Nuanced" Vote

I read the article in the Times-Picayune that Brad at Letters in Bottles pointed to this morning and the only part of the piece that was at all believable was Norm Orenstein's assessment of Cao's vote:
Ornstein said he assumed that Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Cantor "talked to all of the wavering members -- and clearly eight to 10 wanted to vote for it -- and said it was real important to have a unified position and leave the Democrats to rise or fall on this. I find it really kind of astonishing, because it was a Republican strategy that is taken from Nancy Reagan -- 'just say no' -- which is one thing when you are talking about stopping drugs and another thing when you are talking about stopping an economic recovery."
Cao's claim that he received the "freedom to vote for the needs of my district and this bill does not address the needs of the district" seemed like utter bullshit.

And apparently it was just that. From the Politico via Think Progress:

Beforehand, Cao acknowledged that Republican leaders had put “pressure” on him to oppose the package, and the party’s chief deputy whip, California Rep. Kevin O. McCarthy, stood near Cao during the entire vote.
Jesus, that line does not take it's reader to a visual place that does Cao any good at all.

Looking at the bigger picture, one has to wonder how often the best interests of districts with Republican representation are deferred for the sake of "party unity" or what have you.

Cao may not have had a prayer of ever being re-elected -- and he certainly has none now -- but this episode seems indicative of deeper issues with the Republican caucus in Congress. The GOP needs all the seats in Congress it can find these days, and to start giving them away for the sake f standing united in the face of complete and total legislative failure seems remarkably foolish.

Oh, and speaking of bullshit, this needs to stop and soon...

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