The Party Defectors in that symbolic House vote about Wilson’s lack of decorum

We just had one of those votes in the House, that sort of meaningless message vote which aligns into two partisan camps.  The Resolution in question:

Whereas on September 9, 2009, during the joint session of Congress convened pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 179, the President of the United States, speaking at the invitation of the House and Senate, had his remarks interrupted by the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson; and

Whereas the conduct of the Representative from South Carolina was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House: Now, therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson, during the joint session of Congress held on September 9, 2009.

240 Yeas, 179 Nays, 5 Presents, 10 Absences.  The interesting ones are the party defectors.  7 Republican Yea votes, 12 Democratic Nay votes, and 5 Democratic Presents. 

Voting Present: Ike Skelton of Missouri, Carol Shea – Porter of New Hampshire, Bill Foster of Illinois, Eliot Engel NY – 17, and Barney Frank.  Barney Frank is the one getting a quote in all the news stories.

barneyfrankpoints  “I think it is bad precedent to put us in charge of deciding whether people act like jerks.”

A good answer.  He knows about decorum and kitchen tables.  (As does Pete Stark… “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg.  It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”  — Pete Stark)  A pursual of the other four Presents web pages doesn’t reveal any light of any type, and I only recognize two of the names.

A look at the twelve Democratic “No” votes starts off with two members of what I’ll refer to as the “Liberal Fringe” of the Democratic Party: Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, and Jim McDermott from Seattle, Washington.  I expect to see some odd ideological combinations with these things, and perhaps to see a couple of the most liberal Democrats joined with a few of the most conservative Democrats.  I am surprised to see three names joining in the party-line vote, but I guess Rules of Decorum prevail for the bluest of the blue dogs.  Purusing the websites, Gene Taylor of Mississippi appears to be on the conservative fringe of the Democratic Party, though I will acknowledge to taking a liking to his press release headline “Americans for Tax Reform:  Lying Sacks of Scum”.  Gwen Moore, Wisconsin 4, appears to be the only black congress member to vote against the act — an interesting item worth some consideration.  Beyond those four, nothing pops out in the others’ websites.  Thera is, for whatever reason, a heavy contingent of New York state detractors.  Michael Acuri, NY 24, loves him some Lockheed Martin.  Daniel Maffei NY 25 may well be so much of a budget hawk that he went ahead and skimped on a web designer.  Maurice Hinchey, NY 22, doesn’t have much interest beyond district lines.  Eliot Engel, NY 17 and a DOMA repealer, and Eric JJ Massa, NY 29, round out New York.  Gabrille Giffords of Arizona believes solar energy will save us all.  Harry Teague of New Mexico wants everybody to drink milk.

With the Republican “yea” voters, we knew Joseph Cao of Louisiana would be in this list.  After him, I can’t really think of any obvious heavily Democratic districts with Republican congress members — those were kind of wiped out in 2006 and 2008.  Bullet point items from Joseph Cao’s website: “Cao Defends Obama’s Right to Address School Children”, “Cao Accepts Offer to meet with Obama, announces Health Care Town Halls”, promoted as “Collaborations with Cao”, and an “interesting” Rachel Maddow Appearance.  Compare that with Dana Rohrabacher, CA 46, whose front page has a video clip from the Glenn Beck show, and appears on a real Illegal Immigration tear.  What motivated Rohrabacher from not rallying behind the “You Lie” which entailed illegal immigration, leave that up to speculation — until you google it up for yourself.

Jeff Flake, a very conservative congress-critter from Arizona, front page tagged with the ACORN scandal, lays his reasoning out here.  I’m not surprised to see Walter Jones — “Freedom Fries” turned war opponent and lunch buddies with Ron Paul — on this list.  The only thing I can say about Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri is that her webpage’s front page soliloquy to high school football causes in me a sadness toward small town life.  Thomas Petri of Wisconsin seems to have no partisan edge.  And Bob Ingliss of Wilson’s very own South Carolina has another one of those bad pages.

After all this, Jimmy Carter jumps in and provides Obama a political headache, and rolls from the tea-bag thingamajing to Representative Wilson:

jimmycarterolder“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.  I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time … and I think it’s bubbled up to the surface, because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.” 

At a town hall at his presidential center in Atlanta Tuesday, Carter also said Wilson’s outburst — the South Carolina Republican shouted “You lie!” at Obama during his health care address to Congress — was racially motivated. 

“I think it’s based on racism,” Carter said in response to an audience question. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.” 

The quotations from the “Freedom Work”s spokes-people, organizers for the teabag thingys, are interesting in their “See No Evil” approach of the 60K person Washington DC rally:

Adam Brandon, spokesman for protest organizer FreedomWorks, said Carter’s comments were “absurd.” He noted that the protest featured about a dozen black speakers. 
“To say this crowd was racist is absolutely absurd when black speakers were probably the most popular speakers,” he said. 

… Don’t make me surf about for the signs again.

Anyway, I would have preferred Carter held my breah regarding Representative Wilson, Confederate Flag notwithstanding the matters are too entangled and bunched together for effective separation and it’s best to lay Wilson himself out with no racial points, but I don’t have much problem with the statement on the movement beyond him.  On that point, I gather Carter just reminded us that there’s a reason he slid away from the other presidents in that photo-op.

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