Saturday, January 24, 2009


Walt Minnick yet again voted which his new BFF Mike Simpson, and opposed the release of the second half of the TARP funds.

Walt is walking a difficult and tricky path.  He's trying to be conservative enough to win reelection in Idaho, so he joined the Blue Dogs in congress, and he's been voting accordingly. Part of the problem for him is folks like me.  You see, I voted for a Democrat, not a Republican.  I want Walt to support President Obama, and to advance progressive interests.

I understand that Walt has to be a conservative Dem, but he still needs to be a Dem.  It's one thing to take conservative positions and stick close to Idaho issues.  That's fine.  Oppose the hell out of gun control, or argue for delisting wolves.  But it's a different thing when he votes in a way to obstruct the President or a progressive agenda.  Voting against releasing the TARP funds, while probably meaningless given the circumstances,  is obstructionist.

So I'll be watching his votes.  And if he won't support the President or progressive issues, I won't support him.  He doesn't have to vote progressive blindly or every time, but he's got to support the important stuff.  I like to have Idaho represented by a Democrat, but not if the Democrat is going to support Republicans.  Don't take my D vote for granted.

Good luck with your balancing act, Walt.  But remember, if you lean too far one way or the other, left or right, you'll fall.


Sisyphus said...

It is interesting how far he will carry the facade. However last poll I saw showed 58% did not view TARP favorably and was bipartisan in the disapproval. Not sure his vote on this program properly highlights his blue dog characteristics. Lots of us are leary of the program.

alan said...

I'm a bit leary of the program as well, given how the first $350B was spent, but I'm hoping for the best. It will be an early test to see how open and transparent Obama will be.

The Republicans seem to be willing to oppose Obama right from the start. I just don't want to see Minnick too closely aligned with them. Not supporting and opposing are two different things.

fortboise said...

Unless you have some evidence that Minnick is presenting a "facade," or pretending to be something other than he is, I would suggest a different line of argument.

The most likely explanation, by far, is that Minnick is acting on his principles and beliefs. It's also the benefit-of-the-doubt explanation which he deserves as well as you do.

john in Boise said...

I think this is the wrong vote to use the word "Dino" I recall that Bernie Sanders, Russ Feingold and many others voted against this program last year.

I don't know why Walt voted against it, but I know why I would:

No Accountibility

No Responsibility for the problem the banks created

No Sacrifice by the recipients

Specifically, I am very disappointed with continued huge compensation including bonuses for people who created this problem. Three months after the bailout vote, CitiCorp had no clue that buying a $50 million corporate jet is offensive. The Merrill Lynch CEO gave out billions in bonuses - for Failure.

Teachers, Auto Workers, and millions of Americans are being either furloughed or taking pay cuts.

Not Wall Street. Not the Big Banks, although I acknowledge there is a limitation on bonus compensation to TARP recipients which somehow Merril Lynch got around. However, are they taking a 10% pay cut? Are their creditors writng off interest on debt to them? Has the limosine fleet been reduced, not to mention the lunches?


I worked for President Obama in Nevada - the first Presidential Campaign for me since Jimmy Carter.
He needs our help in keeping him on message by remaining vigilant to the ideals he expressed.

A bailout is necessary and so is a Stimulus. But these actions need to be taken for the benefit of the people, and not for the benefit of those receiving the money.

Accountibility, Responsibility and sacrifice from the recipients.