Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chet Edwards: The Texas Turncoat

One thing that didn’t pass my notice in yesterday’s posting on the Democrats who voted against their party and President on Healthcare Reform is that one of the Southern Gentlemen who voted against Healthcare Reform was one of Texas’ own congressman, Congressman Chet Edwards.

Curious I said to myself. I don’t recall Chet Edwards as being a Blue Dog. So I checked again and lo and behold, he isn’t.

But if you compare the membership list of Blue Dog Democrats to the list of the Troubled Thirty-Four, you do see another trend. Twenty-one of these terribly troubled thirty-four are Blue Dog Democrats. Fiscal conservatives who vote like Republicans when their economic feelings get hurt.

Now I usually don’t have words with Blue Dogs because they usually can’t help it. They have a firm belief that if it wasn’t for them we’d be spending money like a drunken sailor – or like the Republicans when they were in power. But really, this bill, now the law of the land, was paid for. It wasn’t unfunded. And if you believe the Congressional Budget Office report, and I do, this bill, now the law of the land, REDUCES the deficit.

So quite frankly, I am more than a little confused about their stance, particularly because 32 of the 53 Blue Dogs had no problem with the bill, now the law of the land, and voted for Health Care Reform.

But again, that doesn’t help resolve the Chet Edwards problem. By the way, this video found on his congressional website, contains his explanation for his vote.

That’s right. He cites all of the expense, but at the end of the day, the reason he voted against Health Care For All is that he thought his constituents didn’t want it.

No, duh.

When the Republican Spin Doctors won the whisper campaign spreading lies and innuendo about the bill, it is doubtless that the whackos in Waco were well-convinced that this bill, now the law of the land, was a tool of Satan.

And then you have to take a long look at TX-17. Since 2002 when Chet Edwards was redistricted out of his safe TX-11 district to TX-17 he has every two years fended off a Republican challenge by just a few percentage points. He has won his elections, yes, but usually with a 3 to 5 percentage point advantage.

So this vote wasn’t about his bending to the will of his constituents, it was all about saving jobs.



jaye Sutter said...

It is damned impossible to do anything for your district if you don't get re-elected. The Democrats had the votes, they didn't need Chet's and he get reelected and lives to fight another day for something else.

This very logic --the purist in Democratic politics--is the very reason I can't stomach party politics and blogging anymore. If you aren't a political virgin no one wants to be seen with you. We run good people out of the primaries with this, "you voted for a Republican," nonsense and we act like Chet turned Jesus in to the Romans because he didn't vote with the Democrats.

I used to live in Chet's district. I can assure you he is fighting up hill the entire way. A Democrat can't get elected there. If he wasn't doing a good job in constituent service he would be out of a job and no Democrat could then unseat the next Republican to hold that seat.

He did fine.

Hal said...

Ordinarily, Jaye, I would agree with you. In the end, his vote wasn't needed. What I failed to mention in the posting, though, is that he announced his No vote on March 16th, at a time well before it was a foregone conclusion that the bill would pass.

He could have at least waited, like my former Blue Dog Democrat congressman, Nick Lampson to decide whether to vote with Republicans, until it was known how the bill would fare. Lampson learned that Republicans, when given the choice between voting for a Republican and a Democrat who votes like a Republican, will opt for the Republican every time.

That's not me. Harry Truman said that.

Anonymous said...

What a principled men Chet and Nick are? Not motivated by what's right, but motivated by what will keep their paychecks coming in.

They are no different than conservatives that questio the legitimacy of our Presodent because such lunacy appeals to quacks that will vote for them.