In the continuing saga of resolutions and the 38th LD Democrats, last night (June 6) was about as amusing as it was disappointing. Some of you may recall from a previous post the resolution expressing "extreme disappointment" with Rick Larsen's vote in favor of the debt slavery bill. The vote on the resolution was "postponed until such time as the congressman or a representative was able to speak in his defense." (Keep in mind that, until the resolution was passed, there technically was nothing to defend) At last night's meeting, Rick's campaign manager and Legislative Affairs assistant were both there to speak to Rick's reasons for voting against the mainstream of the party and explain how it is not necessary to pass resolutions to speak to him. He hears us quite well without any resolutions. What followed was a rather lengthy explanation about how this resolution, if passed, would make national headlines proclaiming things like "38th LD Repudiates Larsen", "Larsen faces troubles on the home front", and "Liberals Lambast Larsen." (I just made up that last one....) Now one would think that all the talk about defending Rick from "sticks and stones" would have brought a resounding "No" vote on the resolution. But No.............It was decided instead that the resolution not even enjoy a vote. You guessed it. The motion was made and seconded and passed to TABLE INDEFINITELY the resolution expressing disappointment. But the best was yet to come.........
Knowing that it would be pointed out that I was only willing to criticize the congressman over issues where we disagree (and having been prompted by the congressman to offer resolutions recognizing "good votes") I came last night armed with a resolution of appreciation for a series of such votes and offered it up during "New Business." Need I tell you the result? Apparently it is "sometimes" necessary to speak to our congressman via the resolution.
Now this would be just an amusing antecdote if it didn't open up so many questions for me about the legislative district and my peers within the local Democratic Party. In the failure to pass the resolution about the bankruptcy reform bill, I am left wondering if, perhaps my LD is not disappointed in Rick's vote. As someone new in participatory party politics, am I misunderstanding the role of the legislative district? I mean, what is the "official" means of communications between the LD as a political organization if not the resolution? Of course individuals should communicate with their representatives but the LD is a "body" that should speak with one voice after deliberate debate and consensus. What is that form of that voice?
Finally, I am left to wonder about those who continue to express dismay with the process and yet do not themselves participate. I have now been on the losing end of too many 9-7 votes. Should I criticize those who defend their position and muster the forces necessary to prevail or remind my "good friends" who started on the journey with me that, had they not dropped out or if they would only find the time to participate in the system that they love to criticize, we might be making inroads into this system and, perhaps, be heading it down the road of change?
Chad (The Left) Shue
"Toto, maybe we never really left Kansas?"