Taylor Was, As We Expected, WrongBy
“Rookie Heath Shuler is following the playbook of San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi”
Asheville Citizen-Times, Jan. 14, 2008: Rep. Heath Shuler ranked in the top 15 maverick Democrats in the House, according to an analysis published Monday.
The Waynesville Democrat supported President Bush 19 percent in major economic, defense and domestic-policy votes, according to CQ, a political trade publication. Shuler was 11th out of 232 House Democrats in his votes supporting Bush.
Attention 11th District Republicans. We know you’re having a hard time figuring out how to attack Heath Shuler. We know you’ve seen his approval ratings and that you’re going to grasp at whatever you can. Pretending that he’s a Nancy Pelosi acolyte isn’t going to fool anyone. If 11th District Progressives could get a Pelosi acolyte, we’d take one. But we’re aware that anyone further to the left of Heath Shuler would be trotted out of the running faster than Clyde Michael Morgan.
Shuler’s Chief of Staff said this in response to Speaker Pelosi’s “plan to make the House campus more environmentally friendly and socially progressive”:
“If we are really worried about peopleâ€™s health, why are we still selling triple espressos, double bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream?â€ asked Hayden Rogers, chief of staff for Rep. Heath Shuler, a Democrat … â€œWe all make serious decisions every day with real consequences, yet adults on the Hill are not allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to buy tobacco.”
Aside from whether Hayden needs to be smoking, it’s pretty clear that this isn’t a guy who’s going to tow Nancy Pelosi’s line or carry her water.
A National Review article points out:
“Republicans will need more than help at the top of the ticket to prevail. They need to be able to make the case that the Democratic congressmen are voting with their liberal leaders rather than their moderate districts. So far, the red-district congressmen are not making that easy.”
“Shuler, Ellsworth, and Donnelly all voted for an increased minimum wage, but that’s popular in their districts, as it is everywhere. Voting to raise income taxes would be unpopular, but they have not done so.”
Misguided attacks from Republicans will fall on reality-based ears like seeds strewn on a stony ground. Shuler’s no liberal, no matter how much I might wish he were.