Sunday, August 07, 2005

CAFTA fallout (finally!)

Maggie says:
From David Sirota (of course), here's news of fallout for the Dems who sold out progressive values and voted for CAFTA:

Immediately after the vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi held an emergency meeting with her caucus to discuss consequences for the 15 Democrats who each cast the deciding vote for the trade pact. Though no decision out of that meeting has been made public, powerful on-the-ground forces in some Democrats' districts are demanding that she follow up her call for accountability with action.

Specifically, a powerful coalition of unions and grassroots advocacy organizations in New York today have sent a letter to Pelosi asking her to remove Reps. Greg Meeks (D-NY) and Ed Towns (D-NY) from their positions on the Financial Services and Commerce Committees, respectively. Consider how big a deal this really is: powerful local forces are asking the House Democratic leader to take away power from their local lawmakers, because their local lawmakers aren't representing them.
This is GREAT. Folks at home paying attention, demanding accountability, and demanding retribution for terrible votes. This is exactly what could lead to unity, to a collective opposition, and to a much-needed return to respectability for the Democratic party.

Also, Sirota reports that labor is looking to throw the turncoat Dems out of office.
The Los Angeles Times reports that organized labor is ramping up its efforts to unseat House members who sold out their constituents and voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement. In their sights already are two Democrats on my earlier list of those who are consistently selling out their party, Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Greg Meeks (D-NY). And on the GOP side, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) is flailing around trying to avoid what should be a serious challenge in 2006.
Again: FINALLY. For far too long the Democratic party has looked the other way when its members have acted against the party's interests (Lieberman alert!). And again, no matter what happens in the end, the fact that this type of organizing is happening is nothing but positive for the future of the party.

My note to Dems: Unity. Opposition. Standing up for something. The party can be all these things. But not until real organizing starts, not until retribution begins for the sell-outs. The message to the turncoats should be: we don't have the time or room for you anymore - stand with the party or we'll push you out, end of story. (Hey, NM: this means Bingaman, you know.)