Twenty-three Democrats voted in favor of the Stupak amendment to dramatically ban the sale of insurance plans that offer coverage for abortion in the insurance exchanges that will be created in the health care reform bill, and subsequently voted against the House bill on final passage. That is, they made a move to make the legislation immeasurably worse, despite having zero intentions to support the bill.Here is the list of these Democrats in name only:
Jason Altmire (PA-4)Bobby Bright (AL-2)John Barrow (GA-12)John Boccieri (OH-16)Dan Boren (OK-2)Ben Chandler (KY-6)Travis Childers (MS-1)Artur Davis (AL-7)Lincoln Davis (TN-4)Bart Gordon (TN-6)Parker Griffith (AL-5)Tim Holden (PA-17)Jim Marshall (GA-8)Jim Matheson (UT-2)Mike McIntyre (NC-7)Charlie Melancon (LA-3)Collin Peterson (MN-7)Mike Ross (AR-4)Heath Shuler (NC-11)Ike Skelton (MO-4)John Tanner (TN-8)Gene Taylor (MS-4)Harry Teague (NM-2)
While some of these representatives serve in strongly Republican districts, not all of them do. Paul Rosenberg paired the full list of Yes on Stupak Democrats with their demographic information for their district. Altmire, Boccieri, Chandler, Holden, Marshall, McIntyre, Peterson, Ross, Shuler, Tanner, and Teague come from districts that range from Lean Democratic to Swing to Lean Republican. Barrow and Artur Davis come from Strong Democratic districts.Additionally, Chris Bowers points out that over one out of every twelve dollars the DCCC spends has gone to these 23 people.First, these 23 Democrats should no longer receive the benefit of DCCC contributions. They add no value to the caucus and have substantively made it a less effective body, thereby damaging the reelection chances of actual liberals in swing districts.Second, this list should be the basis for groups seeking to run primary challengers against conservative Democrats. It is especially true for the 13 that come from districts that are Democratic, swing, or only slightly Republican. Barrow and Artur Davis should be facing immediate, credible challengers backed up by the weight of the progressive infrastructure.This group of Democrats are the tip of the spear when it comes to the path that will lead Democrats out of the majority. The House caucus would clearly be stronger without them. At best there should be active campaigns to excise them from office. At worst, not a cent should be spent defending them.Update:Artur Davis is not running for re-election. Kristopher in comments points this out, as did a friend who read the post. Davis is, however, running for Governor of Alabama in a contested Democratic primary. So while the DCCC won’t have to spend money to defend Davis, Democrats in Alabama and elsewhere may want to think about supporting someone else in that race.
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Davis isn’t running for re-election, so he won’t be needing DCCC money, thanks for your thoughts though.