Saturday, December 22, 2007

Matheson's Complaints

Before everyone comes down on me for criticizing Utah's only Democrat, let me say that I like Matheson. Most of the time.

In the wake of the Alternative Minimum Tax debate, Jim has been a vocal critic of his peers for not fighting more aggressively in the senate for the "pay-as-you-go" rule. From the Tribune:

Matheson called the parties "gutless" in a statement released after the House gave its final approval to a "patch" on the alternative minimum tax, or AMT.
[...]
The tax affected 4 million people in 2006, and an estimated 20 million families were facing the average $2,000 extra tax hit.

Democrats had pledged to vote against any bill that violates the House's pay-as-you-go rule, known as PayGo. The AMT bill is the first time the House bypassed the rule, which Democrats put in place after they took control last year.

"The day of reckoning will come if we continue to live beyond our means," Matheson warned.

But the president and congressional Republicans refused to pass an AMT bill that raised taxes.
He's right. It was a gutless vote. But it is difficult to rally behind Matheson and the Bush Dogs as the bold warriors of principle he paints them as in his criticism.

His Blue Dog Coalition of Capitulation is responsible for the Protect America Act, failing to end the war, aiding the obstruction of conservatives, and effectively creating a "conservative majority" in giving Bush whatever he wants.
The polls show that this is a very bad political move for Democrats. Congress has an 18% approval rating, from Democrats, and 60% of all voters strongly disapprove of Bush's new wiretapping authority. Democrats haven't stopped the war, haven't stopped torture, haven't curbed corporate abuses, and haven't really done anything except raise the minimum wage as part of a package to send $100B of taxpayer into the sands of Iraq.
So while he may be correct in his criticism this go round, the Bush Dogs have not shown leadership in any way meaningful to the wishes of a majority of voters, nor the effectiveness of Democratic congress, nor congressional Democrat's chances in 2008.

3 comments:

  1. Obi wan liberali12/22/2007 9:51 PM

    JFK wrote "Profiles of Courage." I'm tempted to write a book called "Profiles of enabling."

    Whether Jim Matheson fits within the description may define his legacy. Bush has attacked our Republic's very core, and what has Jim done? It is true, that he is elected in a very Republican district, but I also think people respect courage. People in his distict respect Ron Paul.

    Our fundamental rights are not negotiable as political considerations. I want Jim to stand up loud and clear as an opponent to tyranny from the Bush neocon executive branch. Until I see that, Jim shall have none of my dinero, regardless how many letters he sends me.

    Now is the time for a profile of courage. Until I see it, my money and support is being withheld.

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  2. Ok I Understand Why You are Mad at Matheson. You Should read what a liberal mormon said: http://aliberalmormon.wordpress.com/2007/12/22/matheson-is-right-on/
    But in My opinion if Jim Matheson would Run For President instead of Mitt "I'm Going to Trash my Church to get Votes" Romney. I Would Vote for him in a heart beat. You Might Not Like Matheson But I Can Say he is the best thing utah has right now, Besides Jon " I'm A Republican that's for the Enviroment" Huntsman.

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  3. obi wan: I agree that people (and voters!) are drawn to courage, and I too am disappointed. Matheson obviously has to be careful in this state, but there is much to be said for standing on principle and courage. It would probably help him more than hurt.

    Randy: I appreciate your thoughts. My objection to Matheson's statements over the AMT vote is not that he is wrong (he happens to be right) but rather that his sudden "stand" on an issue is disingenuous when so often before he and the Blue (Bush) Dogs have rolled over so quickly for Bush and the Republican "minority." It's hard to stomach such hypocrisy.

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