No, Seriously, What The Hell???

July 30th, 2007at 07:19pm Posted by Eli

How the hell did Jerry McNerney go from grassroots hero to Blue Dog asshole?

Back in 2006, when Jerry McNerney was running for Congress in CA-11, he would appear at forums, meetings and fundraisers where he would often be called upon to speak. One of the lines he used often, usually to thundering applause, was “I am a Barbara Boxer Democrat!” Never once did he say, “I am a Dennis Cardoza Democrat!” I suspect his audiences might have reacted a little more coolly if he had.

And yet his stance on the issues to date has more closely mirrored that of Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18), who is well known for his conservative Blue Dog associations. Why is McNerney making this rightward shift?


After voting last Thursday against the Hinchey amendment to H.R. 3093, an amendment that would have prevented federal prosecution for medical marijuana usage in the twelve states which have legalized it, he offered this explanation in today’s Sacramento Bee:

McNerney insists he is not a Pelosi clone. Last week, for example, he broke ranks with most California Democrats by voting against an amendment to ban use of federal money to prosecute growers of medicinal marijuana.”I’m a moderate,” he said.

Well, I hate to break it to the Congressman, but that was not a “moderate” vote. The amendment was co-sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) — yes, you heard me. Jerry McNerney is to the right of Crazy Dana Rohrabacher. If McNerney had bothered to look at the´┐Ż Field poll done back in 2004, he would realize that Californians statewide support the legalization of medical marijuana by close to a three-quarters majority. Even two-thirds of Republicans support it. Here’s a newsflash to Jerry McNerney. When only 24% of the residents of your state support your position, it’s not moderate. It’s extreme… extreme right-wing.

But almost as bad as his Hinchey vote is the news coming from Germany today. Rep. McNerney led a bi-partisan delegation of Congressional freshmen to Iraq over the weekend. On his way home from Iraq, McNerney participated in a conference call with reporters during a layover.


And from the Contra Costa Times:

Leading the delegation was Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., who said he saw signs of progress in Ramadi in Anbar province and was impressed by Gen. David Petraeus, President Bush’s top military commander in Iraq, who argued in favor of giving Bush’s troop surge strategy time to work.McNerney said he still favors a timeline to get troops out of Iraq — something House leaders may bring to the floor again this week as part of a defense spending bill — but is open to being flexible “in terms of when it might end.”

I have a hard time figuring out how Jerry McNerney’s latest words and deeds have anything to do with being a “Barbara Boxer Democrat.” I know, I know, it’s better than Richard Pombo. But is this what we all really put our sweat and blood into? How has the reality of Congressman Jerry McNerney differed from what we might have expected from his primary opponent, the DLC-anointed Steve Filson? How do we, as a progressive movement, demand accountability from the candidates that we support? When they turn their backs on us and our issues, do we just shrug our shoulders and settle for scraps? I’m genuinely at a loss. What do you think?

It’s like Karl Rove or Joe Lieberman snuck up behind him with a needle full of Republican Kool-Aid.

I don’t really have a good answer to babaloo’s question, unfortunately. Sure, you can try to shame them, but if they cared what we thought they wouldn’t have betrayed us in the first place. I think wankers like McNerney and Carney are running a very straightforward con on us. They know that they can’t get corporate backing against their Republican opponent, so they use the netroots/grassroots to bootstrap themselves into a position where they can get corporate backing, and no longer have to depend on the people who got them elected.

Sure, we can (and will) sit on our hands when they run for re-election, but they really won’t need our support; besides, if they lose we’re stuck with Republicans again. The only truly satisfying and just remedy is to primary their sorry asses, but that’s easier said than done.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Wankers

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