Friday, August 1, 2008

Splitting Hairs on Mark Udall's Failure to Vote against the Adjournment Resolution

Is Mark Udall off the hook for his failure to keep a key promise to vote to keep Congress working on domestic energy supply solutions for Colorado? A notorious commenter on this site brought my attention to a ColoradoPols diary that he says answers the question affirmatively:
Only problem is, it appears that the vote everybody's got their panties in a bunch about was preliminary, and the final vote to adjourn just happened a few minutes ago.

Udall was present for today's vote to adjourn--and voted "no" with the Republicans. Despite this, the motion passed 213-197.
But Tuesday's vote that Mark Udall missed was a vote on the key resolution which set up the parameters and dates of Congress's August recess. A vote that passed 213-212 because Udall was late getting back from campaign fundraising to cast. It's also specifically the resolution vote that Udall promised to vote No on:

Bob Schaffer asked: "Are you willing to vote No on an adjournment resolution until an energy bill passes?" After some hemming and hawing, Mark Udall agreed to the challenge.

If the Lefties want to split hairs to try to get Mark Udall off the hook for his promise, we can split hairs right back. Attempts by the Big Blue Lie Machine to rewrite history to protect their "Do Nothing, Delay, Drill Your Wallet" candidate will not escape scrutiny.

Mark Udall misses the vote he promised to make, a vote he could have made a difference on, the importance of which was universally undisputed. Now the Lefty apologists for Udall's economically-unfriendly policies point to a symbolic vote on which Udall couldn't effect any change as a way to excuse his absence and his broken promise.

Is Mark Udall going to follow the lead of the well-known statement made by one of his party's infamous leaders, and start to explain: "I failed to vote for adjournment before I voted against it"? Absurdity imitating absurdity.

Then again, if he really cared about stopping the adjournment, Mark Udall could have joined other members of Congress who protested the failure to work on increasing America's energy supply.

16 comments:

Alan said...

Prattle on, Ben. We all know you're way past the point of admitting when you're obviously straight-up wrong. Meanwhile, The Rocky Mountain News says otherwise--and remember, more people have read the T-shirt I'm wearing today than will ever read your piddly blog, so the Rocky's version will, sorry to say, win:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/01/udall-votes-oppose-ending-congressional-session/

It turns out that Rep. Mark Udall kept his promise after all to oppose Congress taking its summer break without first considering a crucial energy bill.

Udall, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, took a drubbing this week from his Republican opponent, Bob Schaffer, when he missed the vote on whether to recess.

During a debate Monday with Schaffer, Udall vowed to oppose the recess unless energy legislation was considered.

The resolution Wednesday called for Congress to adjourn by Thursday, Friday or Saturday of this week and return to Washington Sept. 8. For that resolution to be official, there had to be a final adjournment motion sometime this week.

In floor action today, the House voted on the final adjournment motion. Udall joined Republicans in requesting a recorded vote to oppose the motion to adjourn.

"I think the House should continue trying to pass legislation to improve our national energy policies," he said.


Next, please.

Ben DeGrow said...

For a "piddly blog" that no one pays attention to, you sure spend an awful lot of time here arguing your case in the comment section.

Have a great weekend!

Alan said...

Oh Ben, you know I only come here because I love you and the wonderful people at the Independence Institute who employ you. Except for Jessica Corry's creepy husband, of course. That guy's got issues.

Seriously, if it wasn't for you, I'd have a lot less to laugh about. And one less piddly right-wing blog to demoralize. Here's an idea: start posting things that are (wait for it) based in what we liberals call "reality," unladen with pointless invective, or at least not subject to getting blown out of the water factually only 48 hours later. You'd be amazed at the difference that would make, though since you can't really do that and shill for Bob "The Crater" Schaffer at the same time I realize it may be difficult.

A great weekend to you too, Ben!

Ben DeGrow said...

And a fine job of demoralizing me that you're doing! Perhaps I could write a demoralized message of reference on your behalf to Messrs. Gill or Yates, or Ms. Stryker. You might even receive a raise.

While you need to work on your concept of "reality," it's probably advisable not to do so if you are seeking advancement within the ranks.

Curious Stranger said...

Well, I don't know who pays alan's bills, but I know who pays mine, and they don't give me a dime to point out that you and the rest of the Schaffer media machine either don't understand how Congressional procedure works, or just aren't paying close attention - neither of which are good qualities in a prospective Senator.

An apology might be in order, if not from Wadhams, perhaps from yourself.

Ben DeGrow said...

CS, Please point out where this post demonstrates a lack of understanding of how Congressional procedure works. We are interested in being factual here.

The point is if Udall had shown up and voted, and the resolution didn't pass, then there is no Thursday final vote on adjournment. Udall missed the resolution vote he publicly promised to make, the vote where he had a chance to make a difference.

Is this factually wrong? Then an apology might be in order. You may wish to carefully re-read this and other posts on the topic first.

If by being part of "the Schaffer media machine," you mean we largely share Bob Schaffer's philosophy, admire him as a person, and are rooting for him to win, well ... you have us pegged. If you're implying something else ....

If you don't see the need to counteract the many elements of "the Udall media machine," you are likely expressing the limits of your own bias.

Thanks for sharing.

Curious Stranger said...

Perhaps with all of your knowledge of Congressional procedure, you can explain why House Republican Whip Roy Blunt didn't vote on Tuesday's resolution? He managed to vote 10 minutes later on H.R. 5892, but somehow missed this all important vote which would have saved the American people from the gas monster. This is especially odd considering he's the guy in charge of making sure folks vote the way the leadership wants. You don't suppose it could be that he chose to withold his vote and unleash the gas monster on the American people for pure political posturing - setting up a strawman for Schaffer and yourself to punch at?

I mean, while we're being factual and all maybe you could use some of your connections to find out what it was that caused Roy Blunt to be 10 minutes late?

Curious Stranger said...

For reference, here's Blunt missing the vote. While you're at it, maybe you can find out why it appears that at least 3 Republican House members, including Blunt's fellow Missouran and Republican candidate for Governor, Kenny Hulsof, decided to take the last week off and didn't show up for a single vote during it, apparently further endangering the Republic with the high gas prices.

Ben DeGrow said...

I'm glad you've noticed that politicians on Capitol Hill sometimes practice the art of political posturing. What you wrote didn't exactly back up your original charge or answer my question. That's okay.

Are Mark Udall's actions somehow dependent on what Roy Blunt does or does not do? I'm not here to make excuses for Blunt (might be interested to ready more of the story behind this, but it's really beside the point). You seem ready and willing to make excuses for Udall.

Did any of the others you cited make a pledge to vote? Mark Udall did.

And "endangering the Republic"? Let's not blow our rhetoric out of proportion.

Curious Stranger said...

"Are Mark Udall's actions somehow dependent on what Roy Blunt does or does not do? I'm not here to make excuses for Blunt (might be interested to ready more of the story behind this, but it's really beside the point). You seem ready and willing to make excuses for Udall."

I'm not making any excuses for Udall. I pointed out that he DID vote against adjournment and that that satisfied his "pledge". You made a stink about how important it was that he cast that vote earlier in the week, and that if he had "the resolution [would]n't pass, then there is no Thursday final vote on adjournment."

Apparently it wasn't important enough for the Republican Whip - the man in charge of making sure people show up to vote on issues important to the leadership - to show up and vote, so I'm not sure why we're supposed to see Udall's same behavior to be anything to get up in arms about.

"Did any of the others you cited make a pledge to vote? Mark Udall did."

As I understand it, when you are elected, you are pledging to vote for things.

"I'm glad you've noticed that politicians on Capitol Hill sometimes practice the art of political posturing."

This entire stink over adjournment, which the entire Republican caucus is playing up for all they are worth - they'll be back playing to an empty house on Monday - apparently has just been a ruse to give Shaffer a nice strawman, presumably because he's not having any luck landing blows on his own. Feel free to provide an alternative interpretation, but you'll have to explain Blunt's behavior to do that. If Udall could have headed off adjournment by casting a vote on Wednesday versus Friday, so could Blunt.

I care less about political posturing than I do about effective governing. And that is why I don't vote for Republicans.

Ben DeGrow said...

"I care less about political posturing than I do about effective governing. And that is why I don't vote for Republicans."

I presume then you also don't vote for Democrats - who are at least as bad generally at political posturing. If you can't see it, well, you are a poster child for naivete. Recognition of the foibles of political party organizations is common among those who spend any time in the field.

My guess is you don't support Republicans for some philosophical or ideological reason, just like the reason I don't support Democrats - not for some imagined tripe that they are more guilty of political posturing. Pshaw!

Curious Stranger said...

So the phony posturing by the Schaffer campaign - and you - over the last week on this issue is just part of the job and to be expected? Is this what we can expect from a Schaffer victory? Empty political posturing? Or are you going to explain why it was so important for Udall to cast a vote that the House Republican Whip didn't deem important enough to show up for?

"Recognition of the foibles of political party organizations is common among those who spend any time in the field."

Well it's nice to see you getting on board with the status quo. Meanwhile, those of us who don't get paid for our politics will continue to try and change things up to flush the system of as much of the waste as possible. I wonder how much will the Republican's empty political posturing in the House late last week and early next week cost the taxpayer?

"
My guess is you don't support Republicans for some philosophical or ideological reason, just like the reason I don't support Democrats - not for some imagined tripe that they are more guilty of political posturing. Pshaw!
"

I am unaware of a "philosophy" behind the modern Republican party beyond posturing. I'm guessing you're making the all-too-common mistake of conflating conservatism with today's "Don't Tax And Do Spend", "Security, then maybe Liberty" Republican Party.

Ben DeGrow said...

No, but you were prone to read those things into anything I said anyway.

Bob Schaffer is a breath of fresh air and change to the recent ruling Congressional Republican majority - for which I am not an undying apologist. You don't want to see it, but you're not the intended audience anyway.

Curious Stranger said...

Bob Schaffer has been part and parcel of the collapse of the Republican party since he joined the Norquist/Gingrich crowd on the Hill in 96 to try drowning the baby in the bathwater, to paraphrase Grover. The day the Republican party decided it was more important to shut down the government than to govern was the day they lost my support. Schaffer's a breath of exceedingly old, stale and hot air.

Ben DeGrow said...

CS, Thanks for recording your ill-informed opinions for posterity.

Curious Stranger said...

Ill-informed? Schaffer didn't serve as a loyal adjunct to Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and the other "revolutionaries" of 1994 that gave us the government shutdown of 1995 and the posturing GOP of today? He wasn't on the "GOP Theme Team" which sets the message for the rest of the caucus? What exactly am I ill-informed about?