Last night we heard that the Graham-Lieberman detainee photo suppression amendment was pulled out of the supplemental. The situation is still in flux, but the bottom line is that it really sucks that progressive members of Congress are being forced by Rahm to vote against their principles in order to give the Blue Dogs political cover.
The supplemental appropriations bill (which I thought we were not going to have any more of, BTW) could easily pass with the votes of Blue Dogs and Republicans. But the 55 Blue Dogs would have trouble voting for a $100 billion bailout of European banks in conservative districts, so the administration bundled them together.
Howie Klein wanted to know how they were going to sell that vote to their constituents, and got this email from one of them:
Thanks for the message. Interesting thought. The Democratic leadership made a big push in a whip meeting last week for IMF support. Said it would humiliate the president if it didn’t go through, since he made a commitment at the G20. Your point is a good one, but as you may know, the IMF funds would be guarantees on loans to the poorest nations, not bailouts for banks. I suppose that might create a few ads, but on the other hand, it’s hard to imagine the Repubs attacking one for a vote on a troop bill.
Hope you are well.Hope you are well.
So despite the fact that many progressive members of Congress were among the 70 who signed the July 2007 letter committing to vote for no war funding that didn’t contain troop withdrawal, they’re all being threatened and beaten by Rahm to abandon that commitment and vote for this bill — all so the Blue Dogs can hide their supplemental vote behind "we voted for the war."
And it’s working. Only 51 Dems voted against the supplemental the first time, and since only 38 Democrats can defect without the bill failing, more will be forced to heel.
I recognize that the progressives have little power, and it’s hard to oppose a popular President. But with many of the progressive groups who usually step up on anti-war stuff sitting this one out, they have little support. These members of congress were there for us for years. So if you are a member of an organization that is usually vocal about this stuff, please think about writing to them and telling them you support these people and you hope they will too.