Politics

Congress’s Constitutional and Budgetary Train Wreck

The majority members of the Democrat-dominated 111th United States Congress have been nothing short of a national disaster.

They have been a collective deficit-seeking missile, dangerously and exponentially increasing our annual and cumulative debt.
Their solution to any and every problem we face has been: SPEND. And spend some more. And then spend again.

And to as much as possible increase the role of the federal government in every aspect of our lives. Every idea, every piece of legislation they’ve offered has been designed to dramatically increased the Leviathan’s size and price tag.

They have done all of this in willful, callous and repeated defiance of the American people. Beginning way back on Tax Day 2009 (April 15th, but you knew that), we began gathering as Tea Partiers all across the country to protest the reckless path this Congress was choosing.

The Democrats first ignored our great and growing numbers—and when we became so many they could no longer disregard us, they reviled and ridiculed us.

We insist we don’t like what they’re doing—the Democrats summarily dismiss us. We ask that they read the 2,000+ page bills they are foisting upon us—the Democrats scoff at our purported ignorance while reveling in theirs, as they tell us things like we need to pass these bills so that we can learn what is in them.

From the nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill, which stimulated nothing except the bank accounts of key Democrat constituencies like state and local government unions to the nine-month anti-will of the people slog to drag the private health sector-destroying Obamacare across the finish line.

To the productivity-demolishing financial “reform” that hamstrings private businesses but does nothing to address the actual cause of our crisis: the government-sponsored home loan entities Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

To the proposed Cap & Tax (Trade) battering of our energy sector.

And as November grew closer, and the Democrats saw the electoral damage they were going to endure grow greater with each passing day, they quickly devised the horribly mis-named DISCLOSE Act—probably the worst frontal assault on the 1st Amendment ever devised—in the name of campaign finance “reform.”

Time and again, proposal after proposal, bill after bill, we made our desires known; time and again, the Democrat-dominated 111th Congress ignored us, continuing to ramp up the spending and the size of the federal government.

So now, as we approach November 2, let us review five of the worst ideas this Democrat Congress put forward—and how each of the potentially vulnerable members of the Democrat Caucus voted on them.

Between now and Election Day, you will hear from many of these members that they are “Blue Dogs,” that they are “moderate”—“conservative” even, and that they stand opposed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.

But almost to a man and woman, their words on the campaign trail are belied by their votes on the floor of Congress. Almost to a man and woman, they are party-line Democrats who do the bidding of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid—in defiance of you, the American people.

In November, they must go.

Legislation

I chose five major bills at which to look:

1) The alleged economic “stimulus.”
2) Obamacare.
3) The supposed financial “reform.”
4) The bill to Cap & Tax energy.
5) The anti-1st Amendment DISCLOSE campaign finance “reform” Act.
(Note: The bill to Cap & Tax energy was voted on in the House, but not in the Senate.)

A vote by any one of these Democrats for any one of these five bills demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand the Constitution—and the limited, delineated role the federal government is supposed to play in our lives.

As you will soon, see, these Democrats voted for more than just one.

Senate

I looked at every one of the 12 incumbent Senate Democrats up for reelection this year.

There are in fact 13 open Democrat seats, but West Virginia’s Carte Goodwin was appointed just this July 16 to replace the late Robert Byrd, and is retiring. He voted Yes on the anti-First Amendment DISCLOSE Act—the only one of our four bills for which he had an opportunity to vote.

There is considerable attrition amongst these 12 senators. So proud are they of their records, SIX of these 12 are retiring this year rather than face their constituents.

House

For the House of Representatives, I used the estimable Charlie Cook’s Political Report rating system to identify 80 House Democrat incumbents to review. I determined said 80 based upon Mr. Cook’s deeming their district either “Lean Democrat,” “Lean Republican” or “Toss Up” as of September 15, 2010.

Amongst these 80, there is also some attrition—and there are some anomalies.

There were in fact 83 Democrat-held swing districts. But one—PA-12—was held by the late John Murtha, who passed away on February 8. A special election to replace him was held in May, won by Democrat Mark Critz. This split our data points too greatly for that seat to be tabulated here.

Two of these 83 House members voted on only three of the five bills in question, so I did not include them in the overall tabulation.

One—Eric Massa (NY-29)—resigned in disgrace on March 8; his seat has since been vacant. He only voted on three of the five bills in question, so I did not include him in the larger data set.

(For the record, Massa voted Yes on two of his three votes. Yes on the alleged “stimulus” and financial “reform,” No on the bill to Cap & Tax energy. Remember, he was incessantly called a “conservative,” “Blue Dog” Democrat.)

The other—Bill Owens (NY-23)—won a special election on November 3, 2009 (to replace Republican John McHugh, whom President Obama had nominated as Secretary of the Army). Owens was therefore only present to vote on 3 of the 5, so I did not include him in the larger data set either.

{For the record, Owens also voted Yes on two of his three. Yes on Obamacare and alleged financial “reform,” No on the free speech-killing DISCLOSE Act. You folks in his district remember this when you vote this November.)

And one—Alan Mollohan (WV-1), who voted Yes on four of five—was challenged and defeated in his primary.

There are 11 House Democrats retiring this year. Four of them are actually looking for promotions—they are running for the U.S. Senate.

House Democrat Senate candidates

Rep. Joe Sestak—now running for the Senate in swing-state Pennsylvania—voted for ALL FIVE of these leftist bills.

Rep. Paul Hodes—now running for the Senate in red state to swing-state New Hampshire—also voted for ALL FIVE of these leftist bills.

Rep. Brad Ellsworth—now running for the Senate in red state Indiana—voted for three of the five leftist bills in question—Obamacare, alleged financial “reform” and the free speech-killing DISCLOSE Act.

Rep. Charlie Melancon—now running for the Senate in swing-state Louisiana—also voted for three of the five leftist bills in question—the alleged “stimulus,” the unreformed financial “reform” and the First Amendment assaulting DISCLOSE Act.

I included the votes of every one of the retiring members of Congress in the broader tally to make a fundamentally important point.

Nearly every one of the 95 congressional Democrats we examined claimed they were—and were called by the media—“conservative,” “Blue Dog” and/or “moderate” Democrats. This was for the most part nothing more than disingenuous political tripe.

At the end of the day most were typical Democrats, more often than not voting the will of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

Keep that in mind this fall when these Democrats—or the Democrats trying to succeed the retired or resigned—lay these same claims to “conservative,” “moderate” or “Blue Dog” Democrat status.

Forget all the adjectives that precede their party affiliation, these people are first and foremost Democrats. And they repeatedly vote the party-line.

The Democrat Party doesn’t even pretend to represent you anymore. In November, you should vote them OUT.

To demonstrate this doublespeak—and the imperative of their electoral defeat—all you have to do is look at the numbers.

The Bills and the Votes

The 95 congressional members examined, out of a total of 447 votes cast, voted Yes 357 times—a very un-moderate 80%.

Senate

The 12 Senate Democrats whose votes we examined were in near unanimous lockstep on the four examined Senate bills.

Of 47 total votes cast—45 of them (95.75%) were Yes.

Alleged “moderate” Democrat Blanche Lincoln of way red-state Arkansas voted Yes on all four bills.

Supposed “moderate” Michael Bennet of swing-state Colorado voted Yes on all four bills.

Majority Leader Harry Reid voted Yes on 3 of 4—and was 4 of 4, until at the last minute switching his free speech-killing DISCLOSE Act vote to No as a procedural move to keep the bill alive for possible future votes.

Alleged “conservative” Democrat Byron Dorgan of way red-state North Dakota also voted Yes on all four bills.

The poster child for “conservative” Democrat in the Senate—Evan Bayh of red-state Indiana—also voted Yes on all four bills.

House votes

36 of the 80 House Democrats we reviewed (45%) voted Yes on all five of these anti-constitutional bills.

16 voted Yes on four of the five. 17 voted for Yes on three.

That means an overwhelming majority of these 80 House Democrats—69 out of 80 (86.25%)—voted Yes on a majority of these overwhelmingly leftist bills.

Out of the 400 total votes cast, 312 (78%) were a Yes.

ONLY ONE Democrat—Bobby Bright of Alabama—voted No on all five.

The Democrat Party is now unreservedly a Leftist Party.

So-Called “Stimulus”

Result:  Law of the land.

House vote: Passed 244-188 (1 not voting).

Senate vote:  Passed 61-37 (1 not voting).

Notes:  Every Senate Democrat up for reelection in 2010 voted Yes.

Of the 80 rated House Democrats, 72 (90%) voted Yes.

Obamacare

Result: Law of the land.

House vote:Passed 219-212.

Senate vote: Passed 60-39 (1 not voting).

Notes: Every Senate Democrat in a seat up in 2010 voted Yes.

Of the 80 rated House Democrats, 57 (71.25%) voted Yes.

And the House No’s were only that high because the nearly nine months it took them to pass it demonstrated clearly the American people didn’t want it—so House Democrats were given permission to vote No once passage was assured.

Alleged Financial “Reform”

Result:  Law of the land.

House vote: Passed 223-202 (9 not voting).

Senate vote: Passed 59-39 (2 not voting).

Notes: Every Senate Democrat in a seat up in 2010 voted Yes—except Feingold (Wis.)

Of the 80 rated House Democrats, 64 (80%) voted Yes.

The Cap & Tax of Energy

Result: Passed the House, not voted on in the Senate.

House vote: Passed 219-212 (3 not voting).

Senate vote: N/A.

Notes: Of the 80 rated House Democrats, 54 (67.5%) voted Yes.

Anti-1st Amendment DISCLOSE Act

Result: Passed House, failed cloture motion (60 votes required) in the Senate.

House vote: 219-206 (8 not voting).

Senate vote: 57-41 (2 not voting).

Notes: Every Senate Democrat in a seat up in 2010 voted Yes—except Reid (Nev.) who changed his Yes to a No as a procedural move to keep the bill alive for possible future votes.

Of the 80 rated House Democrats, 65 (81.25%) voted Yes.

To see the break down of the votes, please click here.

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