Thursday, February 16, 2006


Down the Democratic rabbit hole

Just when you think the Congressional Democrats cannot get any smaller, they take another swig from the bottle. For those who may have forgotten, Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney lost her seat in the 2002 primary because she dared to say that we needed a Commission to investigate 9/11 (here). It's abundantly obvious, at least to me (see also Stephen Zunes), that this was done by a combination of Democratic betrayal and Republican votes. The Atlanta Journal Constitution put together a completely implausible counter-theory, claiming that there was no Democratic betrayal. So what are we to make of this: AMY GOODMAN: I have just a quick question that might sound off topic, though perhaps it's right on topic, and that is, you are a long-time Congress member from Georgia, you lost your seat for a term and then came back; where do you stand, in terms of seniority, since you’ve returned? REP. CYNTHIA McKINNEY: Thank you for asking that question. There were three former members, who were in my returning class, sworn in in 1995. There was Dan Lundgren from California, who had been out for 16 years. When he came back, the Republican leadership gave him back his seniority as if he had not missed one day. There was Bob Inglis from South Carolina, who had been out for two years. When he came back, the Republican leadership gave him his seniority as if he had not missed one day. The Democratic leadership, Nancy Pelosi, refused to give me back my seniority, even though I asked for it, and so I returned as a returning freshman. I don't doubt that Cong. McKinney is a total pain to work with. For many American Jews, her association with Louis Farrakhan and her championing of Palestinian sovereignty, are very irritating. The fact that she attended, informally, the Katrina hearings that Democrats boycotted probably raised many hackles. Unfortunately, she is one of a very small handful of Congress members who defy leadership to speak their minds. Republicans can think of her as the Ron Paul of the left. All that said and done, to revoke her seniority simply adds evidence to the belief that the Democratic Party betrayed her in 2002 for the worst possible reason: for doing her job in calling for an investigation of 9/11. And investigation that, in retrospect, was an important marker in getting people on the record and under oath... I mean, except for Bluto and Dubya. The interview :is mostly about Katrina and is worth reading: FEMA is saying that it will take them two years to produce maps that will tell people where they can and cannot live in the effected regions. That means that the 300,000 people who are no longer in New Orleans can't come back until FEMA tells them where they can rebuild. This means that people are going to be in limbo for the two years.
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