Monday, November 09, 2009

Thank You Congressman Perriello - New Ad

Americans United for Change has just released this ad thanking Tom Perriello for his courageous vote in favor of health care reform. As many Virginians know, Perriello won an upset victory in the conservative 5th District. Throughout August there were countless teabagger protests at his district offices and protesters disrupted his town hall meetings. Perriello met with the protesters numerous times, earning a reputation for grace under pressure as he listened respectfully to their objections and engaged them in civil conversation.

In the end, he voted his conscience, kept his promises to his constituents, and voted for the best interests of his district and the country.

I will admit that I have a sharp disagreement with Mr. Perriello over the Stupak amendment, which would prevent women from purchasing coverage for abortions, even with their own money, from private insurance companies, which will be on the new exchange. But Perriello promised his constituents that he would never vote for funding of abortions. Again, I disagree with him on this, but I respect him and the fact that he is keeping his word in a district where that is the majority view. If we don't like it, let's try to change hearts and minds with civil and well reasoned arguments rather than blaming a congressman for doing his job and keeping his promise. Anyway, here is the video from Americans United for Change.

Thank you, indeed, Representative Perriello. Everybody knows you have had a target on your back from the national Republican Party from day one. Congratulations for your grace and courage.

And on another note, my own congressman, Gerry Connolly, is also under siege from teabaggers. I received a robocall tonight from Americans for Prosperity inviting me to attend a protest at Connolly's district offices in Woodbridge and Annandale tomorrow afternoon.

Let's not forget that most of those in Congress who voted for health care reform have spent months under siege from extremist groups who have exhibited rude and insulting behavior, comparing those with whom they differ to communists and Nazis (I believe you can either be a communist or Nazi but not both since they are diametrically opposite groups - one being extreme left and the other extreme right - but let's not apply logic here).

So, please show your support for those in Congress who stood up and supported us. Once again, in Virginia that includes Gerry Connolly, Jim Moran, Bobby Scott, and Tom Perriello. We need to remember and see that their courage is rewarded in the midterm elections.

In any case, all those who voted to make health care reform possible have my profound appreciation.


Drew said...

Thank you for this post, Karen.

Rep. Perriello took a courageous stand for working Virginians this past Saturday voting for meaningful healthcare reform. His stand has drawn sharp, yet expected, criticism from the Right, especially those seeking to run against Perriello next year. Already today, the Republican organization, Americans for Prosperity, has toured to each of Perriello's four regional offices to protest his vote.

Now is the time for us to be heard as well, thanking our Congressman for his dedicated stand for the interests of Fifth District constituents.

Anonymous said...

Tom is toast Cap and Trade now this he only won by 727 votes he won't have Obama and Warner's coattails to ride this time but i sure hope he gets Obama to come campaign for him it worked so well for Deeds.Nice to see you back Drew.

Isophorone said...

Wow, "teabaggers." Way to keep it classy!

PWConservative said...

I actually like Perriello. I don't agree with his vote on the final bill but I appreiciate that he voted his speakers consience (if she has one), I actually support the notion of cap and trade - just not the approach. I'd much rather see Connolly, Boucher and Scott out than Nye or Perriello.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Drew, welcome back and I hope you take up your own blog again. I miss your perspective, and especially your posts on theological issues. Of course, I agree with you about Tom.

Anonymous 9:26, I would very much disagree that Tom Perriello is toast. I suspect he will have a tough campaign but I think that his combination of voting his conscience, representing his district, keeping his campaign promises, and treating all his constituents with respect will go far to give him another victory.

PWC Conservative, as always you bring an interesting perspective even when I don't agree with you. I think that the fact that you like Tom, even when you don't agree with his vote says volumes on Tom's integrity and your open mindednness. One small correction though. Tom really does vote his own conscience, not the Speaker's, or he would have voted against the Stupak Amendment, which Nancy Pelosi opposed. She was forced to compromise and accept it.

Finally, Iso, I'm not sure what your problem is. It was the Tea partiers themselves who self identified as teabaggers. They showed up at protests with tea bags and every mainstream newspaper has referred to them as such.

On the other hand, it is the protesters on your side who casually bandy about insulting epithets about anybody who disagrees with them. They've carried signs that picture the US President with Hitler mustaches orJoker makeup. They label those with whom they disagree both communists and fascists and make insulting references to Dachau that are wildly innapopriate.

Excuse me but pot, kettle here.

Isophorone said...

Actually, Karen, it was the protesters on YOUR side that were rife with the Hitler references and caricatures during Bush's presidency. Lots of pictures exist if you take the time to do some simple research. And it is one thing for the protesters to carry tea bags; it is another for "mainstream" media (meaning MSDNC) to use the term "teabaggers" knowingly as a vulgar epithet. Given that you know that this is a deliberately vulgar reference, I am rather dismayed that you chose to use such terminology. So thanks again for keeping it classy . . .

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Iso, you are quite right that the left had extremists who did that sort of thing to Bush too. And it was equally inappropriate. But the significant difference was that no maInlstream Democrat condoned such behavior. Indeed, many condemned it. And certainly no member of Congress embraced those extremists on the left who behaved this way

On the right, though, the most respected Republicans seem to be falling all over themselves to embrace these nutters (and here I am only referring to those who actually engage in offensive behavior, not all protesters). It's as if the right is simply afraid to call out even their most extreme members.

As for the "teabagger" reference, again, it was that group that self-identified themselves with that label. Also, language is fluid and changes. Today if you use the expression "teabagger" more people would associate it with the protesters than its slang sexual conotation

To paraphrase Sigmund Freud: Sometimes a teabag really is just a teabag.

Isophorone said...

Actually, people who use the term "teabagger" are using it as a vulgar derogatory epithet. Apparently, President Obama is engaging in such language now as well. No one I know in the Tea Party movement uses the term "teabagger." And (unlike you?) I have actually been to one of those protests. Once upon a time feminists seem to revel in calling themselves "womyn," but that has become passé as well.

By the way, since when is using the right of free speech to protest against massive, expensive, and intrusive government programs considered "offensive behavior?"

As far as embracing the nuts, I might remind you that your man, John Edwards, was more than willing to reach out to the "Truthers." Then there is that special Member of Congress, Dennis Kucinich, and former Representative Cynthia McKinney. Well, let's not delve too much more into the examples they have set . . .

So anyway, is it too much to ask to call people opposed to you by what they PREFER? Just trying to keep the conversation civilized here. Frankly, I wouldn't ask too many others with whom I disagree, but I feel that you are one of the more reasonable people.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

You know, Iso, I am reasonable. But you are severely trying my patience.

First of all, teabagger is the term being used for these protesters by most of the media, so if you have a problem, you might want to take it up further than just my blog. Unfortunately, the term has come into the common lexicon.

On the other hand, I don't like being called a socialist, fascist, communist, or a host of other perjorative terms, which you insist on using to describe people who hold my beliefs (Keynesian capitalists). So, again, pot, kettle.

And if you honestly don't see that painting a Hitler mustache on our president (whether Bush or Obama), carrying pictures of concentration camp victims, and insulting Elie Wiesel is offensive, I don't think we have any common ground. Worse, I think you've been brainwashed if you see nothing offensive or extreme in such behavior.

I certainly had no problem denouncing Cynthia McKinney. Most Democrats distanced themselves from her. Many have also distanced themselves from Cindy Sheehan as she moved further and further to the margins of the left. And that is my point.

Your very far right wing seems to be driving even the most legitimate conservative to the margins. I just don't see that equivelent rush over a left cliff on my side.

There are respected conservatives like Katherine Parker, David Brooks, and others who have tried to warn your own party that this is alienating behavior. But the right seems to be falling all over itself to see who can be the most extreme as you all lurch further over your own cliff.

I actually did see similar behavior on the left in the seventies as the far left crumbled into irrelevance. And what I'm seeing now on the right is eerily similiar.

Isophorone said...

Are we talking past each other or are you being deliberately disingenuous?

Just because the mainstream media (who are hostile to the Tea Party movement) choose to use the term "teabagger" does not mean that you have to. I am guessing that you wouldn't use the term "soapdodger" for left-wing protesters.

Since I have been to at least one Tea Party protest, I can tell you that there were no pictures of Hitler, Elie Wiesel, or concentration camp victims. By contrast, left-wing "antiwar" protests regularly featured the term "bushitler" and had the famous Hitlerian mustache drawn on images of Bush, Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and various Israeli leaders. In addition, disparagement of the troops (with phrases such as "We support the troops who shoot their officers" or hanging soldier images in effigy) was quite the norm.

I am glad you distance yourself from the likes of Cynthia McKinney and Cindy Sheehan. Who knows, maybe you will see one day just how over the edge Jim Moran gets.

You are right that a lot of the name-calling (see also "teabagger," above) As I recall, however, you yourself did not seem to mind when a fellow left-wing blogger thought it was funny to liken conservatives to child molesters. Pot, meet kettle, as you like to say.

Frankly, I am starting to get the feeling that even the Keynes theories of capitalism are getting warped by the current administration. You might want to keep your guard up, or figure out where is becomes the socialism that you would not want.

Again, I am not sure what you find so dangerously hostile about many of the Tea Party protests. My sense is that a lot of people are afraid of too much government intrusion into their lives, and they want government to run more efficiently given the tax dollars that are taken out of our pockets. Really, that's not too radical. And it certainly does not deserve the pejorative terms that you have chosen to repeat.

Joshua's Dad said...

AIAW -- why not call them Tea Partiers, as they desire? The use use of the term is pro-life/anti-choice spin.

Iso -- I saw a lot of offensive signs on 9/12 (my parents from Ohio attended their first ever DC protest, I picked them up afterwards), including Hitler signs. That being said, the crowd was mostly well behaved, mostly unthreatening (with a few notable exceptions), and the Mall was probably cleaner than when they got there. And no, there was not a million people (I was guessing 40-50K tops, including the merely curious like me).

Jim from Centreville said...


Excellent always. I do believe you are looking at the left's tactics over the last 8 years with rose colored glasses. Most people would consider pretty mainstream leftist organization and they produced the infamous General Betrayus Ad in 2006 or the various stunts of Code Pink. I honestly thought you would be happy for the tea movement....after all it is getting citizens active in politics (for most of them it is the first time they have done anything more than vote). In short, like the antiwar movement of the 60s, the tea movement is energizing citizens of our great country to take a more active role in politics. A little messy perhaps but a great thing.

On a serious note: as a resident of Centreville, who is running for Ken's Senate seat?

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Jim, I actually don't know who the Dem candidate will be and I don't think any other Democrat does just yet.

I actually agree with you that the Tea Partiers (happy Iso?) bear an eerie similarity to the protesters of the late sixties and early seventies, especially after 1974. At that point, the anti war movement was actually winding down. Fewer men were being drafted and sent to Vietnam and fewer people were demonstrating. As the movement was dying, the few genuine radicals who were left became increasingly marginalized and irrelevant.

As that happened their rhetoric became more extreme and their protests more outrageous. Most people who had once been their allies could see that it was the last gasp of a movement in its death throes. And that's how the Tea Party protests strike me.

Jim from Centreville said...


Thanks for the limited info on Ken's potential replacements. I understand that the election will be fairly soon.

Interesting that you agree on the 60s flashback...the problem with these movements is that their peak is usually only quantifiable in hindsight. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Isophorone said...


This is your chance! You can step into the political void and run for State Senator yourself!

To think, 200,000 people live in the district and the Democrats cannot find one person in it to run as a candidate . . .

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Iso, best laugh I've had all day! If nominated, I won't run. If elected, I won't serve. And I'm not giving up my day job for a part time gig in Richmond :)