Tuesday, September 15, 2009

House (Democrats) Disapprove of Wilson

The House of Representatives has passed, mostly along party lines, a resolution formally "disapproving" of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's (R) "you lie!" outburst towards Barack Obama at his recent address to Congress. The 240-179 vote came after Wilson refused a last ditch plea by Democratic leaders to apologize himself on the House floor.

As usual, I'm less interested in the vote than in the folks who broke from form:
Even though the vote was largely partisan, there were a few departures from party loyalty. Seven Republicans voted to rebuke Wilson: Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, Joanne Emerson of Missouri, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Tom Petri of Wisconsin, Dana Rohrabacher of California and fellow South Carolinian Bob Inglis.

But 12 Democrats voted no on the resolution: Michael Arcuri of New York, Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, Maurice Hinchey of New York, Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Dan Maffei of New York, Eric Massa of New York, James McDermott of Washington, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Gene Taylor of Mississippi and Harry Teague of Arizona.

Odd list, on both sides. Rep. Cao is a gimme for Republicans, and Rep. Inglis was one of the first to say that Rep. Wilson should have apologized. Rep. Flake has also periodically demonstrated an ability to stand on principle, so good for him. Rep. Jones may be eying another tough re-election fight. [UPDATE: Definitely got Walter Jones confused with Robin Hayes, who already lost his "another tough re-election fight". Whoops!] Rep. Emerson has been trending more moderate for some time now, Rep. Petri is also reasonably centrist, and Rep. Rohrabacher has always been a bit of a wild card.

The Democratic list is, if anything, more eclectic still. You have staunch progressives like Reps. Kucinich, Delahunt, and McDermott, some random back-benches like Rep. Hinchey, some folks with higher ambitions like Rep. Hodes, and some folks from reasonbly marginal districts like Reps. Maffei, Taylor, Giffords, and Teague. Rep. Moore appears to be the only African-American Representative to vote against the resolution (you wonder if some weren't holding out for a harsher censure motion).


PG said...

I like to run the list against a historical incident:

In 2007 House Republicans unsuccessfully introduced a censure resolution against Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., for saying during debate that U.S. troops were being sent to Iraq "to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." Stark later apologized to his colleagues.

Rep. Wilson voted against the motion to table the censure resolution (in other words, he voted for censuring Stark).

Rebecca said...

Maurice Hinchey voted against? He's my Rep and is one of the most liberal members of the House. Arcuri I suspect voted that way because he's in a district that until very recently has been electing Republicans.

Thomas Brock said...


I generally agree with you, but I have to ask...

Exactly when has Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. ever faced a "tough re-election"?

The last two cycles he's faced former-weatherman Craig Weber and has, literally, beaten him without campaigning.

This year, Democrats in NC are having a tough time finding someone to run against Sen Burr, who barely has approval numbers in the 40's, much less someone mostly-liked in his district like Jones, Jr.

Jones, Jr. made a political decision here, there's no doubt, but let's not pretend Democrats have any sort of a chance to win NC-03.

David Schraub said...

Boneheaded mis-ID on Walter Jones. My bad, you're right Thomas.

Amy said...

Even if one does not agree with the President, the outburst was so disrespectful, so the rebuke was a good decision.