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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is It 'Party Treason' To Listen To Constituents?

Ridiculous item of the day comes from FireDogLake, where blogger Jane Hamsher accuses any Democrat that would support a Republican filibuster on a vote over the public option, of being guilty of "party treason."

The background:

Two Senators offered up two different measures to have the public option added into the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill aka Obamacare and both measures were rejected, one by a vote of 15 to 8 and the other by a vote of 13 to 10.

Chuck Schumer and Max Baucus both underscored the lack of being able to obtain 60 votes for the public option in the Senate, 60 being needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

So, Hamsher states:

The Public Option doesn't need 60 votes. It needs 51. That is, unless the GOP filibusters it. What Baucus and Schumer are saying -- explicitly -- is that there are Democrats who would support a GOP filibuster to keep the public option from having an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate. They are saying that there are Democrats who would vote with the GOP to block a vote on something that the President says he supports -- a public option.

That is a very serious charge. It's tantamount to party treason. Schumer and Baucus need to say who these members are immediately.

After the spectacle of townhalls across America in August, where constituents trudged down to their townhall meetings and made their voices heard, moderate Democrats have a hard choice in front of them.

Listen to the constituents that put them in office and have the power to vote them out in 2010 or toe the party line and do what the Democratic leaders want and the hell with the voters as well as their own political careers.

What people like Hamsher seem to forget is the politicians work for us, our state Senators as well as congress men and women are there to do what their constituents want, not what party leaders or Barack Obama wants.

Via Wapo:

The votes are likely to deepen fissures in the Democratic Party over the shape of the legislation, and they proved what critics have long argued: Moderate Democrats are reluctant to expand the federal health-care role beyond the current boundaries of the Medicare, Medicaid and Department of Veterans Affairs programs. Even President Obama, who has repeatedly supported a government-run plan in public statements, has indicated that the idea is not worth the price of failing to enact his biggest domestic policy goal.

So, are politicians supposed to toe the "party line" or do what their constituents want?

Calling a vote to better represent the people that put you in office, party treason, is the ridiculous item of the day.