From our partners at DownWithTyranny!
It’s been a dozen years but on Thursday the House finally voted to end the war in Afghanistan. By backing an amendment to a military spending bill, all but 9 Democrats and just over half the Republicans removed House Republicans’ language supporting a post-2014 military presence in Afghanistan and replaced it with a statement that the President should come back to Congress and specifically seek new authorization if he wants to keep troops there after the 2014 deadline.
The bipartisan amendment was sponsored by Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA) and Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith (D-WA) and passed 305-121, with 112 Republicans and 9 Democrats voting NO. So which 9 Democrats? Half a dozen reactionary Blue Dogs and New Dems, two conservaDems who vote with the New Dems (Bill Enyart and Dutch Ruppersberger) and one confused elderly lady (Corrine Brown). The reactionary Blue Dogs and New Dems:
• John Barrow (Blue Dog/New Dem-GA)
• Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
• Pete Gallego (Blue Dog-TX)
• Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
• Bill Owens (New Dem-NY)
• Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)
It’s worth remembering these names when the DCCC asks you for money because several are on the DCCC Frontline list. That means part of any contribution you make towards the DCCC will go to fund the reelection efforts of pro-war reactionaries John Barrow, Pete Gallego, Jim Matheson, Bill Owens, and Bill Enyart. A better way to contribute to Democrats is give support directly to candidates whose legislative agenda you agree with. Blue America offers a well-vetted bunch of candidates for House seats who would make Congress– and the congressional Democratic Party– better, not worse. Like state Rep. Carl Sciortino, who’s running for the Massachusetts seat Ed Markey is goving up to move over to the Senate.
“My father served in Vietnam,” he told us this morning. “My brother and close friends served in Afghanistan and Iraq. An entire generation has been asked to serve in two wars, and then told “good luck paying for them.” This is an issue that is close to my heart. I am glad to see a majority of Congress voting to support this combat mission coming to a close.
“Just because there is progress on ending the Afghanistan conflict, it does not excuse the members who voted for misguided hawkish policies over the past decade. The time when we really needed a principled vote was in fall of 2002– when we could have stopped a war we already knew was unnecessary. It’s easy to vote to end a war long after its popularity has faded. Remember, 82 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to authorize the war in Iraq, instead of standing with our principles and leading. We needed members of Congress to stand up and demonstrate to the American people that the War in Iraq was completely unnecessary– instead of folding and becoming pawns of the Bush foreign policy doctrine.”
Blue America is well aware that Carl and other other House candidates will be congressmembers who do stand up– and not just against bad ideas from Republican presidents, but against bad ideas from Democratic presidents as well. That’s why we’re asking our supporters to consider contributing to Carl and the other Blue America candidates.