Sources on the Hill say they’ve never seen anything like it coming out of the White House. Rahm is dealing as furiously as he did during NAFTA, and will stuff everyone with so much pork that they have to vote for the supplemental.
They will evidently try to jam Cash for Clunkers into the conference report – a $4 billion bid to buy votes from progressives in auto manufacturing states:
|Marcy Kaptur (committed to voting "no")||(202) 225-4146|
|Dennis Kucinich (committed to voting "no")||(202) 225-5871|
|Marcia Fudge||(202) 225-7032|
|John Conyers (committed to voting "no")||(202) 225-5126|
|Luis Gutierrez (committed to voting "no")||(202) 225-8203|
|Jan Schakowsky||(202) 225-2111|
|Jerry Costello||(202) 225-5661|
|Phil Hare||(202) 225-5905|
|James Oberstar||(202) 225-6211|
|Keith Ellison (told people he’s voting "no," but now wobbling)||(202) 225-4755|
John Conyers is taking a very brave stand as a committee chair in voting his conscience against leadership. He deserves big props. So does everyone on the list who has made the commitment to vote against the bill. They deserve calls of thanks and support.
The one person on the list I have to say I am confounded by is Jan Schakowsky. I have easily heard from a dozen people that she won’t commit. I guess times have changed:
“The only reason I ever voted for the first supplemental was because it had timelines and deadlines,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) “I don’t know how I could get there” if they were dropped, he said.
But others acknowledged there might be room for another approach.
“It could be in a timeline, or in how long we give him the money,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). “There are a lot of factors that could be changed in some way without sacrificing principles.”
Dropping timelines could help Pelosi pick up support among moderates. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), for one, said such deadlines were “the major part of my heartburn” that led him to vote against the first bill.
Democrats are also hoping that moderate Republicans will soon begin turning against the war, a development that would lessen pressure on liberal Democrats to stick with the party line.
“With every day that passes… the position of ending it is getting more powerful,’’ Schakowsky said. “I think Republicans are really weary of this war.”
Schakowsky hosted Pelosi at a Democratic fundraiser Friday in Chicago, where the speaker showed no sign on of softening her opposition to Bush on Iraq, again calling the conflict "the biggest ethical issue facing our country.”
That was two years ago. Republicans haven’t grown weary of their war, they just gifted it to the Democrats. But Schakowsky’s still right — it’s still the "biggest ethical issue facing the country."
I really, really hope that after all the fundraising she’s done among anti-war activists that she’s not going to now use that cred to lead a progressive exodus.
Update: Schakowsky says that she’s "get-able no votes." I really don’t know how to interpret that as anything other than her anti-war principles are up for sale.
If anyone wants to ask for a clarification, her office numbers are (773) 506-7100, (847) 328-3409 and (202) 225-2111.