Democrats: "We voted for it, but we didn't mean it"

| | Comments (0)

It's nothing new that politicians won't take responsibility for their own actions. But the drumbeat for months has been that in Florida, it is the fault of Republicans that the primary was moved up, and that the Democratic voters and candidates should not be penalized for it.

As expected, however, this is entirely and completely untrue.

This was a bill passed by the Florida Republican-controlled legislature, and signed into law by a Republican governor. But the bill was initially approved 37-2 in the Senate, and then 118-0-2 in the House. Every Democrat who voted for it in the House approved of the bill, and two Senators -- not sure which party -- voted against it.

So when it passed with overwhelming support by Democrats, how can they blame Republicans? Simple: they couldn't vote against the bill, they say.


Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) actually made this argument. Liberals Crooks and Liars reported this a couple of months ago, but actually bought her lie:

So the vote total was unanimous, but that was because there was no one in the Florida legislature was going to vote against changing our voting system so that you could have a paper trail and make sure that every vote could be counted, unlike our touch screen voting system right now, which doesn't allow for that.

That is, of course, complete nonsense. It, literally, makes not a bit of logical sense. If you vote for a bill, you are giving your assent to the bill. If you disagree with a portion of the bill so much that you won't want to have your name attached to its passage, then vote against it. If you vote against it because of something sigificant you disagree with, and the bill doesn't pass, great! Now you have the leverage to change the bill and get it passed as you want it. If you fail, great! You still get the bulk of the bill that you want, without having your name attached to what you don't want.

It should be, by definition, harder for a legislator to vote Yes than to vote No. A Yes vote means you assent to the whole bill. A No vote means only that you disagreed with one part of a bill. No one had to vote for that bill. For whatever reason, they DID vote for that bill, and they cannot blame someone else for it after the fact. That is lying.

This is why I supported John Kerry's argument when he infamously voted against the $87 billion for our troops. I disagreed with his reasons for voting against it, but when he said his vote against the bill did not represent a vote against funding, he was absolutely correct. He was in favor of the funding, but in favor of taxing the rich to get it.

Saying Kerry was against the funding was utterly untrue. Unfortunately for Kerry, he has trouble breathing and clearly stating his position at the same time, so he couldn't articulate this very well, and came out with the lovely illustrative phrase, "I voted for it, before I voted against it." You can't easily save a drowning man while he's flailing his arms and legs.

Kerry was right to vote against the troop funding, if he disagreed with some parts of it. McCain was right to vote against the tax cuts, if he disagreed with some parts of it. And the Florida Democrats should have voted against this elections bill if they disagreed with a part of it. Sure, there may be a political cost to it: unscrupulous people may attack you for voting against the part of the bill you supported as though you were against it. But if you can't handle that, if you can't stand up for a No vote based on principle, then you have no business being a legislator.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on May 25, 2008 9:00 AM.

Obama: "I voted for it, before I forgot what it was" was the previous entry in this site.

Christine, Christine, Christine is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.