A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nevada's Congressional Delegation a Disgrace - Primary Challenge for Berkley?

Yesterday, Congress caved in to Bush's demands and passed a war funding bill without any timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. As a little Swiss newspaper puts it: "Capitulation of the Democrats."

In the end the House passed the bill 280-142 with 86 Democrats voting for the bill and 140 against. The Senate passed Bush's war funding by an even wider margin with 80-14. Here the majority of Democrats supported the bill, with 11 Democrats voting against (including Sen. Sanders) and 36 caving to Bush (not counting Lieberman).

Now, here comes the best: every member of Nevada's congressional delegation voted for the bill and essentially against a timetable of getting out of Iraq. You'd expect this from Sen. Ensign, Rep. Porter, and Rep. Heller as they're all Republicans. But to have two Democrats, Sen. Reid and Rep. Berkley, representing Nevada who voted against ending the war is not only a disappointment but a disgrace.

Especially, when you consider that the majority of Americans want a timetable according to the latest CBS/New York Post poll (pdf!):

Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?

Should 63%
Should not 34%

And this is not just Democrats and Independents (61-34) talking here. Already, 42% of Republicans want a timetable. I'm dumbfounded to think that Reid and Berkley don't get this.

There's been talk in the blogosphere of targeting some of these Democrats, like Berkley, in primaries next time around.

That Berkley's increasingly in trouble becomes apparent in this take from MSNBC:

Will anti-war activists force Democratic incumbents to spend money to defend themselves in primaries next year — or could the party actually get stronger candidates as a result of contested primaries?


Five-term veteran Shelley Berkley, who represents Las Vegas and environs, said Thursday afternoon, “My district is pretty evenly divided. I haven’t done polling, but according to other polls it’s apparent that more than 50 percent now oppose the Iraq war in my district or in Nevada.”

So her vote for the additional finding will go against the wishes of the majority of her constituents, but she explained, “I’m on record as saying I’m not going to leave the troops stranded. As angry and dismayed as I am with the Bush administration having created a debacle, I’m not going to take it out on the troops.”

She predicted, “By September, there will be enough Republicans who will have expressed their concern to the president; it will be a bipartisan effort to moderate his position.”

She also forecast that “as we get closer to election time, more and more Republicans will see that Mr. Bush is not on the ballot, they are.”

And what about the potential threat of a Democratic primary challenger against her? “I don’t foresee that happening. I’ve been very candid about my position.”

She recalled, “I was in anti-Vietnam war protests in college.” She said the U.S. exit from Iraq, when it happens, “will be much more complex than the helicopter on the roof of the embassy” – a reference to the Saigon evacuation in 1975. “This is very complex. It is so much more complex than just ‘get out tomorrow.’”

“As we get closer to election time, more and more Republicans will see that Mr. Bush is not on the ballot, they are.” Oh, this is just hillarious! Maybe Rep. Berkley should realize she'll be on the ballot as well. I have my doubts if a primary challenge will work against the Democratic Party machinery but a serious challenger would undoubtedly have support from the netroots.

Shelley Berkley should seriously reconsider her voting pattern regarding the war (among other things).

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Blogger wolfy said...

They made their statement with the first bill. I don't think holding out on the second one would have been good for them either.


5:17 PM


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