Here’s something that’s bothered me from the moment I read it. I was willing to let it slide until two votes this week.
Stephanie Herseth told the state Democratic Convention last month, “Not a week goes by where I don’t wonder what it would be like to be in the majority party.” If you look at her voting record, you gotta wonder if she isn’t in that party already.
Since June 1 alone she has:
- Voted in favor of the so-called Pledge Protection Act, which strips federal courts of jurisdiction to hear any challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance. She was one of 39 Democrats to do so, voting with 221 Republicans.
- Voted for a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning gay marriage. This time she was one of only 34 Democrats to do so.
- Voted to pass legislation basically upend decades of restrictions on oil and gas exploration off the nation’?s coasts. She was one of 40 Democrats supporting the measure.
- Joined 226 Republicans (and 43 Democrats) in attempting to make permanent significant reductions in the estate tax. This benefits only three in 1,000 estates valued at more than $3.5 million for an individual and $7 million per couple. Contrary to popular belief, the estate tax affects very, very few family farms.
- Voted for a Republican resolution backing the Bush Administration’s Iraq policies, a measure almost unanimously supported by House Republicans.
Part of me attributes these votes to this being an election year but that ignores the fact that on each and every one of them more than 150 House Democrats — most of whom also face reelection — had the courage of conviction.
The problem with legislators is they only have a vision to the next election.
Jesse Ventura, Feb. 28, 2002