Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jane Harman & This Solid Blue District, What a Mismatch

Harman's DCCC Dues Unpaid, from The Hill. You see, she's apparently angered that she was passed over by Nance Pelosi for the House Intelligence Committee, so she's taking it out on the DCCC.

But that doesn't mean she isn't supporting Democrats. According to The Hill, she's donating to Dems who fit her mold - Bush Dogs - namely, Heath Shuler and Melissa Bean:

The campaigns of Reps. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have received the most from Harman as of March 31, each taking in $4,000.
This is the same Heath Shuler who sponsored anti-immigrant legislation, pushed by anti-immigrant Republicans like Tom Tancredo. I wonder how well represented all the first and second generation immigrants in the country would feel about Harman giving all that dough to Shuler after that.

If you recall (use the Tags for Jane Harman on my previous points if you don't), Harman was the first Dem out of the box to argue for retroactive immunity for telcos for spying on us illegally, weakening the Democratic push against such a move by the administration. Well, she backed off when the winds were blowing against her. But low and behold, she's working in the background here, and it kind of sounds like she's still angling to give Bush what he wants.

While Pelosi is wisely in no hurry to "compromise" with the Senate, which has passed a version of the FISA bill that gives retro immunity...
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stepped back from the FISA talks and let Hoyer spearhead House talks with the Senate and executive branch. Some Democrats say privately that she has not shown much urgency to reach agreement with the White House.
...Harman says she doesn't want to give "blank check" immunity, but is pushing forward with Hoyer on getting a reconciled bill with the Senate nonetheless, instead of insisting on a clean bill that only has the technical things that supposedly need to be fixed:
“A number of Blue Dogs are working on a compromise between the House and the Senate,” said Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the former ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “I’m working with Hoyer and working with others.

“Some other Blue Dogs are involved,” she added. “Blue Dogs are 47 votes; 47 votes will determine how this comes out.”

Harman acknowledged, however, that there is a split in the Blue Dog Coalition and that some members support a Senate-crafted overhaul of FISA while she and others say it gives “blank check” immunity to telecommunications companies that turned over customer data to intelligence authorities.
That last sentence is misleading, because in her mind, you can put nice-sounding but meaningless language to protect civil liberties in the bill as a fig leaf, and that prevents it from being a "blank check".

And note that she's thrilled that the Blue Dogs get to dictate what happens in the House. She so often runs to the press to brag about how the Blue Dogs can force Democratic leadership in the House to do what they want. Sadly for Democrats and the nation, what she says is true.

Getting more Democrats into the House and Senate is not enough. They need to be solid Democrats who will vote with the party when it really counts.



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