Monday, October 18, 2010

Matheson=Pelosi. No, really, he does.

Posted By on October 18, 2010, 2:48 PM

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I know why congressman Jim Matheson bristles when opponent Morgan Philpot compares him to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: she is perceived to be a raging liberal. But Pelosi is an establishment feeder of the military industrial complex and hardly a raging lib.---

Check out what the San Francisco Bay Guardian has to say in their tepid endorsement of the Speaker

It's odd that Pelosi's become such a symbol of liberal Democrats and fodder for the right-wing attack machine. When you look at her record, she's hardly a San Francisco liberal and certainly no progressive. She's not even a strong supporter of same-sex marriage. She was bad on the war for too long and seems far more interested in raising money than representing her constituents. But she did salvage the health care bill, and she's held up as Obama's chief Capitol Hill ally under enormous pressure, and if the Democrats survive with control of the House, she'll stay speaker. If not, she should think about retiring. (emphasis and link are mine)

She represents San Francisco voters.

The home of martyred Harvey Milk.

And she's not a strong supporter of same-sex marriage.

Digest that, puke it up if you must, then come back and keep reading.

(you've got a little something there on your lip...--Oh, yeah, you got it.) 

So, on the list of things to support the Matheson=Pelosi claim:

1. Fence sitters. They believe gays and lesbians are equals to everyone else, but not equal enough to deserve the same marriages that straight people get.

2. War mongers. Seriously, who still supports either the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--much less "Afpak" crap, the U.S. military is bombing Yemen and who knows what comes next--and neither Matheson nor Pelosi have a vote to prove they're wising up, unlike Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

3. Money grubbers. So interested in raising money they have little time for constituents.

The only thing really prominent from the last two years that distinguishes Matheson from Pelosi was Matheson's opposition to health care reform. I'd say that the Matheson=Pelosi claim becomes less true the more you care about the health care bill. For y'all who might be kind of ambivalent about the health care bill, maybe the Matheson=Pelosi claim is largely true, for you, based on your values and priorities. But, if you really love or really hate the health care bill--and Philpot really, really hates the health care bill--it seems to me that the Matheson=Pelosi slur looses most of its steam.

I'd like to say that Philpot is making a honest criticism of Matheson, that Matheson is a fundraise-and-spend politician who's at the beck and call of the military-industrial complex and cares less about his queer constituents than he does getting reelected--just like Pelosi. But Philpot's not doing that, he's playing on the misinformed opinions--misinformed by corporate propaganda--of people who think Pelosi is queen of the progressives.

Philpot is not a hardcore iconoclast and that's what we need in Congress right now. We need someone who has a salient plan for eliminating corporate money from elections. We need someone who is willing to end the wars and find peaceful endeavors for soldiers to engage in so that they're not shifted to unemployment lines. We need someone in favor of breaking up Monsanto and so many other giant evil-doer trusts into many regional companies. We need someone in favor of an aggressive plan to get the nation off of oil, coal and other dirty energy sources. We need someone willing to get real with rich people and tell them they have to pay higher taxes or we're all going to be lost in a monetary oblivion, probably sooner rather than later.

But Philpot's not the iconoclast I'm describing. He is, to quote Jon Stewart, a "freedom and liberty, blah blah blah" Republican who may be just barely palatable enough for liberals to vote for him--if only as a way to measure their rage against Matheson--but I can't count a single affirmative reason he's giving progressives to get on his side, which, if he wins, probably spells many more years of Utah progressives having no representation in D.C. Who's voting for Spongebob?

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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