|Only care about how the 2008 presidential candidates voted?|
Republicans: Hagel, McCain and Tancredo voted for at least four more months of the Iraq War; Paul voted against the war; Brownback abstained.
Democrats: Clinton, Dodd, Kucinich, and Obama voted against funding four more months of the Iraq War; Biden voted for the war yet again.
And of course so did every Republican except John Duncan (Knoxville TN) and Ron Paul (Surfside TX). There were 11 abstentions, 6 of them by Democrats. The final vote count was 280 to 142 in favor of four more months of US involvement in the Iraqi civil war.
The following Democrats voted the same way in the Senate, where the damned thing passed by a nearly unanimous 80 to 14: Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Max Baucus (Montana), Evan Bayh (Indiana), Joe Biden (Delaware), Jeff Bingaman (New Mexico), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Maria Cantwell (Washington), Benjamin Cardin (Maryland), Thomas Carper (Delaware), Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), Kent Conrad (North Dakota), Byron Dorgan (North Dakota), Richard Durbin (Illinois), Diane Feinstein (California), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Herb Kohl (Wisconsin), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), Carl Levin (Michigan), Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Robert Menendez (New Jersey), Barbara Mikulski (Maryland), Patty Murray (Washington), Bill Nelson (Florida), Ben Nelson (Nebraska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Jack Reed (Rhode Island), Harry Reid (Nevada), John Rockefeller IV (West Virginia), Ken Salazar (Colorado), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), Jon Tester (Montana), Jim Webb (Virginia). That's right, 37 out of the 60 of Senate Democrats. More than half. I expected a few Democrats to vote for it, but this many? I haven't been this disgusted in ages.
As of course did all but 3 Republicans, not counting abstentions: Richard Burr (North Carolina), Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), and Michael Enzi (Wyoming). And, equally unsurprisingly, Joe Liebermann also voted to support George Bush, no big shock there. There were 6 abstentions, including (interestingly enough) Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback (Kansas).
So what do we do now?
Look for your home state in the list above, starting with the US House of Representatives. If you live in one of those districts, see if there's a Democratic state representative, state senator, or minor elected statewide official who lives in your district who can be counted on to show some backbone and stand up to the Republicans. If so, encourage that person to run against the incumbent in the next Democratic primary in your district; remind them that MoveOn.org's political action committee has pledged to raise money for primary opponents of anybody who voted for this bill, and that's free money. And quite a few of those who voted for it are freshman or near-freshman representatives, perfectly vulnerable. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to have a lot of success trying to defeat any permanent incumbents like John Dingell or John Murtha or Steny Hoyer in their next primaries, but it is absolutely worth trying. And remember, if you want to have a say in who gets nominated in such races, and want to meet the big donors and the institutional donors and get listened to when you tell them who you think is a viable candidate, the way to do that is to spend one night a month at your local precinct or township Democratic Party club, and to put in an evening a week or so volunteering for the party in the fall of '08.
As for doing something about the senators on that list, good luck. It's nigh impossible to displace a sitting senator in America. That being said, I will say that I'm very disappointed that Claire McCaskill, who I endorsed and who I voted for, is on that list of shame, and I absolutely will be backing almost any primary opponent who runs against her next time. Maybe we can show her what happens in Missouri when a freshman senator won't listen to her own constituents, not even the ones in her own party, not even the ones who campaigned for her. (It's even more disgusting considering that promising to end the war in Iraq was one of her top campaign issues. How does she live with herself after this?) It's absolutely worth trying. If nothing else, next time Jeff Smith won't have a blank resumé. Oh, and from now on when you hear Joe Biden or Diane Feinstein claim to oppose the Iraq war? Keep asking them why they continue funding it, then.
And remember this and never forget: if today's vote had gone differently, the Pentagon by its own admission would have had enough money to operate even at current levels through the end of June. So a refusal to pass a supplemental Iraq War funding bill would have resulted in an American troop withdrawal by that date. So every American soldier who dies over there after that date, while defending the right of Hezbollah and Kurdish terrorists to oppress the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq and to attack Turkey and Israel, who dies defending the right of Ayatollah Sistani to tell the Iraqi government how to vote, that soldier's blood is on the hands of these 123 Democrats who could have saved that soldier but chose not to. And, of course, pretty much the whole Republican Party, but that goes without saying. I mean cripes, a little more blood on the Republicans' hands, who'll notice? With 3400 dead Americans' blood on their hands and the blood of hundreds of thousand Iraqis civilians including women and children, what's a few hundred more dead to them? If they got more blood on their hands, how could you tell?