Lilly Ledbetter, Paycheck Fairness Acts Pass House

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 16:10

(Via Feminist Majority Foundation and Quick Hits). The House passed two worker's rights measures today: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act (247-171)  and the Paycheck Fairness Act (256-163). The votes were overwhelmingly along partisan lines, but there were a few exceptions. Howie Klein has the partisan dissenters on the Lilly Ledbetter Act:

Five of the worst reactionary fake Democrats-- Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL), Bobby Bright (freshman wingnut-AL), Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK), Parker Griffith (freshman wingnut-AL), Travis Childers (wingnut-MS)-- joined all but 3 Republicans in voting against equal rights for America's working women. The 3 Republicans: Chris Smith (NJ), Ed Whitfield (KY) and Don Young (AK).

I am so sick of Boyd. His name seems to crop up in every list like this, from Social Security, to SChip, to Iraq, to FISA, and more. That is a primary challenge I would support in a heartbeat. As for the freshman, why did we even bother spending money on them, if they can't even support this? There really needs to be DCCC related penalties for voting behavior like this.

Walk Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, joined Griffith and Bright in voting against the Paycheck fairness act, too. Nice.

Only ten Republicans crossed over on the Paycheck fairness act, including Chris Smith (New Jersey) who was the only Republican to vote for both bills. That is pretty tepid bi-partisan support for two pieces of legislation that should not be controversial. Fortunately, it was support we did not need to pass the bills. This will hopefully serve as a lesson for future legislation.

Generally speaking, the reason Democrats and Republicans vote differently is not out of spite or a lack of communication, but because they have different values and beliefs. There is nothing wrong with this, especially since, right now, we don't need Republican support to pass legislation. So, why not just pass legislation that will make people's lives better, while Republicans vote against it en masse? The only end result I can see to that course of action will be a generational Democratic majority.

Chris Bowers :: Lilly Ledbetter, Paycheck Fairness Acts Pass House

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Cream 'em (4.00 / 1)
Democrats should be vigorously spreading the word about how nearly all Republicans hate women, and equality, and stuff like that.

Hissy Fits, Chris. Hissy Fits! (4.00 / 1)
So, why not just pass legislation that will make people's lives better, while Republicans vote against it en masse? The only end result I can see to that course of action will be a generational Democratic majority.

How could you forget the epic Versailles hissy fits that would also be an inevitable end result?

Clearly, there's been a lot to handle this week if you could let the hissy fits slip your mind!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

What Penalties for What Votes? (4.00 / 3)
Right now, Democrats are sort of a weird coalition of everyone who doesn't want to be a Republican, ranging ideologically from liberal to conservative.  I'm not sure that there are any other unifying values for the party.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

Which is why there should be penalties (0.00 / 0)
With rising progressive power in the house, seems to me that we should be pushing for this sort of measure as part of party rules that encourage more progressivism rather then less. More support for candidates who go our way, less that don't. Sure we don't have to be the Republicans and brook no dissent but there should be at least minimal leverage over people as a form of persuasion. Plus if we maybe force more of the blue dogs to vote our way, it could empower local Democratic parties to do more outreach and organizing in the same way the 50 state strategy did, if we give those funds to do that sort of activity rather then just hiring consultants/negative ads/attracting conservatives every time and wondering why we lose. Seems right up the alley of the progressive blogosphere too, a la Dean/Lamont, if that is something we can achieve through the party.

Rather then primary everyone who sucks, and go through the entire political process of spending tons of money and loads of effort on each possibly primary candidate, we could achieve greater progressive goals by increasing our own institutional power. Perhaps we could attempt to tie certain amounts of funds to certain positions, perhaps related to the campaign platform document that is ritualistically done every 4 years at the convention but seems to not mean a whole lot (at least that I can tell)? I don't know if that sort of thing is possible though. Does anyone know more about this topic? I may have just imitated someone else's idea already and would love to find out more if any organizations are out there doing work on this sort of thing.  

[ Parent ]
Penalties would have to be announced in advance (0.00 / 0)
To be fair.

I just have a hard time coming up with a way to decide which votes should be treated as party line votes with penalties and which should be treated as conscience votes.

The only workable punishments I see are stripping members of seniority and/or committee assignments, as was done with James Traficant.  I think it will take a few votes where he is the lone Democratic dissent for that to even be imaginable.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
Yes, in advance and with tangible benefits for compliance as well (0.00 / 0)
Carrot and stick should be made more effective. I don't necessarily think that seniority/committee assignments should be the only type of punishments, I think campaign money would be an excellent place to start, rather then having goals for candidate recruitment and campaign expenditures come based on what Rahm or Chris Van Hollan or whoever thinks.

You nail the difficult portion though - a long hard look at the platform process with an eye toward reform would have to be done. I am sure there is something we could do. Perhaps a running scorecard across issue groups would be effective, ie your overall rating as judged by grassroots organizers and big issue organizations who issue campaign literature such as scorecards on congresscritter voting records.  

[ Parent ]
even Boswell voted for this (0.00 / 0)
in 2007 as well as today.

Pathetic that any Democrats voted against.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Minnick should make the most of these two years (4.00 / 3)
He has about as much chance of being re-elected in ID-01 ad Joseph Cao does in LA-02. He's only there because the Republican candidate was particularly inept.

Minnick has nothing to lose by doing the right thing the next two years. Pandering to wingnuts isn't going to save his hide.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Boyd is my hometown rep (0.00 / 0)
and he's absolutely awful. he also is one of the simply dumbest public servants i have ever met, and i've met quite a few. alan probably isn't qualified to work at jamba juice, yet he's the rep for FL-2.

what makes this even worse is the contrast with his predecessor, pete peterson, who was pretty awesome in many ways.

It's time:the albany project.

Is he still looking at running for Senate? (0.00 / 0)
Best shot of getting rid of him might be to get him to abandon the seat voluntarily.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
what's the difference between these bills? (4.00 / 1)
Why would ten Republicans cross over for one but only three cross over for the other?

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

I got an answer from Braley's office (0.00 / 0)
The Lilly Ledbetter act was about the statute of limitations for anti-discrimination lawsuits, and more Republicans opposed that than the other bill, which was more directly about equal pay.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
It's the persistant belief (4.00 / 4)
that voting with Republicans will endear them to conservative districts.  Sometimes it helps.  Other times it is just stupid.  Voting against SCHIP for instance, does not lend itself to positive ads even in very red districts.  "Look at me, I voted against healthcare for children!  See I'm not a liberal!"

We shouldn't have expected any better from Griffith, Childers, or Bright.  But maybe the DCCC will finally figure out that it's a better investment of Democratic money to win blue or tossup seats with good Democrats (like Jim Himes, Susanne Kosmas, Dina Titus, Martin Heinrich, and Larry Kissel) than it is to try to scrape seats out of super red districts with DINOs like Childers and Bright.

Not saying we should just abandon red districts, but just prioritize them.  Knocking off Gerlach and Dent in Pennsylvania will almost certainly lead to good Democrats.  Our constant efforts against really red districts in Kentucky will not be so successful.

priority targets (0.00 / 0)
   In some cases, like Mitch McConnell the Republican Senator from KY, simply removing the Republican would help us a lot. But it is also true that we need "better Democrats" as well as "more Democrats".

Luke 12:48 "to whom much is given, of him shall much be required". Would Jesus want progressive taxation, or regressive taxation?

[ Parent ]
CYA (4.00 / 1)
I think one of the reasons that bi-partisanship is so fetishized (beyond the legit desire to move forward in bonhomie and consensus, and leave a mean-spirited era of bitter divisions behind) is that our elected officials have largely internalized the Reagan-era paradigm that Government Doesn't Work.

Hence, they expect things to fail, and they want ass-coverage; they want to share the blame.

It was your final sentence that brought this into clarity to me, because if this weren't the case they'd be seeing it like Grovern Norquest and others saw the Health Care debate in 1992: "holy shit, if Democrats are able to do this, they'll make people's lives a heck of a lot better and lock in a lasting majority."

Part of the problem right now seems to be that our representitives don't really believe in their power to make positive improvements. If they did, they'd be focusing on that (and relishing the electoral glory to follow) rather than preemptively running for bi-partisan cover.

Me | My Work | Future Majority

So Childers has gone from (4.00 / 1)
trying to put more guns on the streets in DC despite the wishes of the people of DC and their elected representatives to opposing equal pay for women.

What a classy guy. Im sure glad we have a Democrat controlling that seat...

"Never separate the life you live from the words you speak" -Paul Wellstone

Mean While (0.00 / 0)
Conservatives blogs are replacing liberals blogs in the game of caving accusations.

Obama has both sides riled up by sticking to his promises, that is change I can believe in.

Dumb vote (0.00 / 0)
Poor working women are a core part of the Democratic base. Stamping on them is just moronic.

So it's not that surprising that the five dissenters are all Southerners stuck in the past. Listen up, shitheads. You're supposed to help your supporters.

Oh, and Minnick, but since his main qualification seems to be being moderately less dumb than Bill Sali, such idiocy isn't that surprising.

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