Monday, May 23, 2005

We Must Do a Better Job of Getting the Message Out

If the Ds are ever going to regain power, they must hang these things around the neck of the GOP like an albatross!

Check out democracyarsenal.org: Now Who's Strong on Defense?
- Senator Murray (D-OR) introduced an amendment to give an additional $1.98 billion in additional funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs, including over $600 million to help address a health care crisis in the VA system. The measure was defeated by Republicans.

- Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) introduced an amendment to research the current need for heavily-armored Humvees, and to provide $213 million to procure more of them. The amendment passed, despite the opposition of dozens of Republicans.

- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) passed an amendment to require the federal government to equalize the gap between civilian and active duty salaries for federal employees mobilized for duty. The amendment passed the Senate -- then, guess what, Republicans removed the amendment in the final budget report.

- Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a successful Senate amendment to extend housing allowances for families of deceased service members, and another amendment to increase President Bush's paltry death gratuity of $12,000 to $100,000.

OK -- those are the weenies. Look at them, sniffling and wiping their noses with their sleeves. Now, check out how the Daddy Party flexes its big muscles:

- On the four amendments above, no fewer than 25 conservatives voted against each.

- And seventeen of them -- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM FROM A RED STATE -- voted against every single one of the four amendments above.

- Who were they? Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senators Wayne Allard(R-CO), Robert Bennett (R-UT), Kit Bond (R-MO), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ted Stevens (R-AK), and George Voinovich (R-OH).

So what's going on here? Most likely, a combination of blind partisanship -- anything to deny a Dem a win -- and chicken-hawkism -- only war sells, not taking care of the people who actually have to fight.

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