With his vote to continue funding the occupation of Iraq; without requiring any more accountability on the part of the Bush Administration than what was required during the previous Republican lead Congress, Congressman Rick Larsen not only betrayed the majority of Americans but he actually walked away from his own vote of just a few weeks ago.
Over the years, while leveling my fair share of criticism toward Rep. Larsen, I have allowed him the fall back excuse of, ‘It’s the best we can do while we are in the minority.’ From his infamous vote on the so-called Bankruptcy Reform Bill, to his embracing of “Free” (not Fair) Trade, to his continued votes for every Iraq occupation funding measure to come to the House floor, I have held out hope that, when there came a Democratic majority, Rick would show us all his true stripes. When he joined the (slim) majority of House Democrats to vote for an Iraq funding bill that contained binding timelines for ending our occupation, I thought the corner might have been turned. However, to see him forsake that vote and simply surrender to the rhetoric of a failed George W. Bush, I realize that I have been holding out false hopes.
Some will say that Larsen was far from alone in his “capitulation vote.” To them I would simply say that those others do not represent me nor do I have the capacity to vote for or against them. Others will say that Rick has otherwise excellent credentials with the environmentalists and the Pro-Choice groups. To these folks I would simply say that there is no greater responsibility for a member of congress than the votes they cast in matters of war and peace. Rick has been able to reap the support due him for his initial vote to oppose the invasion of Iraq. The time has long since passed to end it. There he has failed.
It is time to identify a Progressive challenger and to start the hard work of unseating an entrenched incumbent. Those who would apply for the position must be ready and willing to start that job today. It will take money, determination, money, strong grassroots support, money, and did I mention money?
Interested persons may begin, if they like by responding to this post; expressing your interest in the position and allowing other interested persons to help begin the campaign to send a Progressive from the 2nd CD to DC.
Chad (The Left) Shue