Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Cantwell votes against Hayden's confirmation

Attention to all you impractical progressives out there who constantly spend your time online railing against Maria Cantwell: we've got something for you to ponder about this morning.

The Senator was just one of 14 Senate Democrats to vote against the confirmation of Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden (you know, that guy, the one at the heart of the NSA domestic spying programs) to lead the CIA:
The 78-15 vote to confirm Hayden included the support of several Senate Democrats.

[...]

Dissenting votes came from Democrats who expressed concern over the National Security Agency spying program that monitors the international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens without warrants while pursuing al Qaeda suspects.
Cantwell joined Sens. Russ Feingold and Barack Obama, who are widely considered progressive champions, in voting no on Hayden's confirmation. A Democrat In Name Only wouldn't be making this kind of vote.

Too many Washington State progressives have stupidly fixated their energies on attacking Senator Maria Cantwell when they could be investing their time, talents, and treasure making a difference in other races - if they just can't bring themselves to help her.

We have to ask the question: don't you people want to win? Why not get involved and help out a progressive running for state legislature, or sign up to help Darcy Burner in the 8th Congressional District?

Too many pixels have already been devoted to this intraparty debate, and I'll conclude by saying that the evidence speaks for itself. Cantwell's voting record is progressive. She has made many, many good votes during her first term, and this is surely one of them.

(Watch for people who try to paint Cantwell with the "DLC" label in the comment thread - those are typically the ones who have a problem thinking practically. Principles are more important than anything else - including strategy, and winning.)

Despite the fact that she's a freshman Senator, she has never hesitated to stand up to senior Republicans on issues such as Arctic drilling, allowing supertankers in Puget Sound, or investing in renewable energy. Maria Cantwell is a leader in the United States Senate - a leader we can be proud of.

Cantwell wasn't the only Northwest senator to vote against Hayden. Kudos also goes to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, another one of the 14 Democrats voting against his confirmation. Here's the list of those opposed - note that it does not include Senator Patty Murray:
NAYs --- 15
Bayh (D-IN)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Obama (D-IL)
Specter (R-PA)
Wyden (D-OR)
A few Democrats did not vote, including Senator Barbara Boxer of California, another widely Senator widely considered a progressive champion.

Once again, applause to Maria Cantwell for standing up and casting a vote against a man who has shown no repsect for our Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties.

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