Liberal and gutless

The U.S. House of Representatives conducts routine votes, called “Journal votes,” on whether to approve the record of the previous day’s proceedings. On 18 occasions this year, the Journal vote has been handled through a roll call. A “nay” vote on this purely procedural matter is, of course, meaningless. But the Washington Post reports that a number of freshman Democrats routinely vote “nay” in roll call Journal votes in order to increase the percentage of times in which they fail to support the Democratic majority.
Here are the six leading culprits, along with the rate at which they vote against approving the record of House proceedings:

Jason Altmire (Pa.) = 94.4%; Joe Donnelly (Ind.) = 83.3%; Chris Carney (Pa.) = 66.7%; Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) = 66.7%; Heath Shuler (N.C.) = 61.1%; Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) = 61.1%

Each of these faux moderates votes with the liberal Democratic majority more than 80 percent of the time overall. Ellsworth is perhaps the biggest phony. He claims that his “nay” votes are “protest votes against little things I heard during the [previous] day.”
It’s understandable, of course, that Democratic freshmen from swing districts want to distance themselves from the Democratic majority. After all, Congress’ approval rating is approximately 25 percent. But it’s difficult to believe, in this political age, that “nay” Journal votes will convince constituents that these clowns are independent voters, not reliably liberal members. The ad that backs out the meaningless procedural votes and informs voters of the real extent to which a given member of this crew votes with Speaker Pelosi virtually writes itself. I’d call it “Liberal and Gutless.”


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