Jan
29

Shuler Notes

By

Our Heath has been making the headlines lately, and I thought I’d get some of the major items here in one place:

Heath Shuler Appointed to key Budget Committee in the House

Shuler’s in Doonesbury (Strip One) (Strip Two) for packing heat

Along with GOP leadership, Shuler supporting redefinition of rape to disallow abortion in the case of statutory rape and incest

In vote to repeal Health Care Legislation, Shuler sides with Democrats

As states move to redistricting, Shuler submits bill calling for bipartisan redistricting commissions

What’s your take, Hooligans?


Comments

  1. He’s a piece of human toe jam that should ridden out on the nearest rail.

    Thumb up 7

  2. Deus Ex Machina says:

    Regarding HR3, I paraphrase and offer sincere apologies to Dr. Seuss – “A person’s a person, no matter how forcefully conceived and/or inbred.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  3. Ascend (of Asheville) says:

    You know why they call them Blue Dogs, right? Because they hold their breath until the Republicans tell them what to do.
    That health care repeal vote was a transparent and inconsequential attempt to look like a Democrat for ten minutes. I have no use for Heath Shuler, and I am actively looking for a viable challenger from the left. If I win the lottery before then Hell, I’ll take him on. He is eminently defeat-able by anyone willing to espouse, define and demand respect for Progressive Democratic ideals.
    If there’s one thing a republican can do well its train a dog. It is Plott country after all.

    Thumb up 7

  4. My take is that Democrats like to poke fun at him and criticize him but then when it is election time, they support him. If you disagree with Shuler stop voting for him, stop supporting him, and stop endorsing him. Gordon Smith, Cecil Bothwell, Holly Jones, and others wrote a glowing endorsement of Shuler last election.
    The argument I often hear is that he was the lesser of two evils. However, just because he isn’t as bad as the other person running doesn’t mean he deserves votes, support, or endorsements.
    So, the biggest joke isn’t Shuler. The biggest joke is progressives who continue to support him.

    Thumb up 15

  5. RHS says:

    Any “viable” challenger from the left will quickly go down to defeat against any head of cabbage the Republicans nominate. Take a day off from downtown Asheville and check out the rest of the district, 90% of which does not live in the city (and 2/3 of which do not live in Buncombe County). Shuler is merely representing his district.

    Thumb up 9

  6. Deus Ex Machina says:

    I’m with RHS and, to a degree, Angel. As a progressive, albiet a cynical and jaded one who refuses to support Shuler at all, that blanket assessment doesn’t completely work. But I see her point.

    Just take a drive across Hwy 64, past Brevard and Lake Toxaway to Highlands, and up north through the Balsams up to I-40. It’ll be an eye-opening experience for anyone who rarely gets out of Asheville. I have a set of pics that I took from the last day trip through that area that I need to dig up and publish one of these days. They’re merely photos, true, but one look at them will make anyone understand that Shuler is merely representing his district.

    But when he and his staff start acting all surprised when he loses in Buncombe to challengers like Aixa Wilson, I personally think he’s fair game for ridicule, as well as brutally honest criticism.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  7. Linda Watson says:

    I agree with Angel’s comment. A vote is too precious to waste on the lesser of two evils. Shuler is the reason I am now registered as independent and why I leave that category blank on my ballot. I really do feel sick each time he makes it into the news.

    By the way, I live outside of Asheville and no one in my acquaintance supports Shuler.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  8. RHS says:

    As I recall, the endorsement from many progressives for Shuler in 2010 was based on his environmental record and I defy one to find anybody who could be the Republican nominee to run against Shuler who cold even come close to matching that record. This includes his support of cap and trade which earned him the wrath of Tea party types and others who branded him a “socialist” because of it. The same goes for Shuler’s labor record which is pretty remarkable given NC is a “right to work state.”

    I also think it is safe to say that no Republican nominee against Shuler would support the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as Shuler did last month and I strongly suspect that Republicans

    This is a district that elected Charles Taylor for 16 years despite knowledge of his ethical lapses. Why? Because in an era in which politics have become so ideologically driven people concluded that they would rather have someone who voted their way than someone who was squeekay clean. It took Shuler, who was a better fit for the district that anybody the Democrats had previously nominated to run against Taylor, to finally put an end to his fun and why he has been able to make it a safer seat than Jamie Clarke ever did.

    Progressives don’t have to love Shuler or refrain from criticizing him, but don’t for a minute think that someone that is going to come with your full stamp of approval would stand a ghost of a chance against the most odious of Republicans for this House seat.

    Thumb up 7

  9. randallt says:

    My misplaced rant from last night. I was a little upset.

    Our Congressman is an HR-3 sponsor. This could be the last straw. Simply wrong. The victim would have to prove that the rape was “forcible” before she qualifies for assistance. Mr Shuler, have you read this abomination or did you just sign on for some dough? I have never been more ashamed to live in this state. You just beat out Jesse and that’s saying something. “Forcible”? Are you going to do the interview? “How long did they hold you down while they had sex with you young lady?” Are you kidding me Congressman? That’s just evil.

    Thumb up 5

  10. randallt says:

    From Mother Jones:

    Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

    For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

    With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  11. randallt says:

    Want more? How about The Sodomized Virgin Exception?
    Digby reflects on 2006 and how far we haven’t come.

    Dear God, Who ARE these people?

    Thumb up 6

  12. I don’t expect someone to come along who will get my full stamp of approval. I don’t have to agree with them on every single issue. But I also don’t expect people who say they stand for human rights to write letters of endorsments for a bigot and a sexist because he voted for the environment. If you want to endorse Ted Bundy to avoid Jack the Ripper you have that right.

    Shuler has voted against health care reform, against the Matthew Sheppard James Byrd Hate Crimes Act, FOR the Stupak Ammendment restricting a womans’ right to choose, and now he is supporting the Republican backed idea of only allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest. What? Will women have to go to his office, tell him their story, and hope he gives them a pass to get in to the local abortion clinic? No worries, as long as he votes for the environment all’s good!

    If our local “progressives” want to endorse and campaign for someone who votes the way Shuler does they support his ideology and I hold them partly responsible for Shuler being in office and for the votes he casts.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I am sick and tired of people playing politics with my civil rights, with my ability to access basic health care, and with my right to choose. I am done with politicians and their glib endorsements (always of people in their own party I notice) of people like Shuler.

    I won’t vote for anyone, Democrat or Republican or anything in between, who does not stand for human rights. If Gordon Smith, Cecil Bothwell, Holly Jones, or any of the rest of them want to do so they can, but they loose my respect when they do it.

    By the way, Richard Burr voted to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but I ain’t jumping on his bandwagon. Will our local progressives write him a letter of endorsement and support because they agree with him on ONE issue? I don’t think so.

    Thumb up 10

  13. Linda Watson says:

    The News Editor of the Smoky Mountain Times (Shuler’s hometown newspaper) questions Shuler’s position on “packing heat.” http://www.thesmokymountaintimes.com/articles/2011/01/27/opinion/opinion02.txt

    Not to mention http://www.tuckreader.com/first-look-shuler-in-todays-doonesbury/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  14. Deus Ex Machina says:

    I still have some questions.

    Is Shuler’s “packing of heat” in the wake of Tuscon a sincere effort to protect himself or just a huge load of empty posturing that will further endear him to the center-right, the NRA and the ActionFest crowd?

    Perish the thought, but if some nutter with 31 shots in his Glock approached Shuler at a public event, will Shuler be able to react in time before getting one or two in the melon? If not, will Hayden Rogers make Shuler carry one bullet in his shirt pocket and let his armed entourage handle security? Maybe he can keep his security budget in the state and hire Eric Prince’s firm, whatever it’s called this week?

    Isn’t carrying a gun to a public event a violation of the concealed carry law in NC in the first place?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  15. RHS says:

    Heath Shuler = Ted Bundy?

    Wow. Just wow!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  16. randallt says:

    I haven’t followed serial killers lately and had to ask my grandkids who Bundy was. I don’t remember anyone comparing my Congressman to a serial killer.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  17. RHS says:

    No, I would not expect local progressives to support Richard Burr because he voted for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell either. But then Burr does not also have the environmental record that Shuler has, does not support cap and trade, does not support increases in the minimum wage, did not support extending unemployment benefits and is a global warming denier. Unlike Burr, Shuler supported expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, has supported making it easier for workers to join unions, and voted for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

    Burr voted against Cash for Clunkers, Shuler voted for it. Burr is much more receptive to supporting “free trade” agreements, Shuler much less so. Shuler is an extra vote to keep House committees under control of Democrats like Barney Frank and John Lewis. Burr votes for the Senate committees to be under the control of Republicans like Jim DeMent, Jim Inhofe, and David Vitter.

    So, no. I would not expect progressives to support Richard Burr solely because of his vote to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. Deus Ex Machina says:

    RHS – for a second I thought you were comparing Shuler to Al Bundy…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  19. TJ says:

    “If you want to endorse Ted Bundy to avoid Jack the Ripper you have that right. ”

    “Heath Shuler = Ted Bundy?

    Wow. Just wow!”

    Isn’t that the picture YOU painted?

    “I haven’t followed serial killers lately and had to ask my grandkids who Bundy was. I don’t remember anyone comparing my Congressman to a serial killer.”

    Maybe it’s because Bundy was supposedly “wickedly” charming.

    Or, maybe we’re just starting down the path to those famous “hitlery comments”… ;-D.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  20. RHS says:

    “Or, maybe we’re just starting down the path to those famous “hitlery comments”… ;-D.”

    Godwin’s law strikes again!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  21. randallt says:

    Oh, got it TJ, thanks, wasn’t reading upstream closely enough obviously. Yes I agree, bad comparison anyway you look at it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  22. RHS says:

    “RHS – for a second I thought you were comparing Shuler to Al Bundy…”

    Deus Ex Machina — now THAT might be more apt! :-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  23. TJ says:

    “Oh, got it TJ, thanks, wasn’t reading upstream closely enough obviously. Yes I agree, bad comparison anyway you look at it.”

    Don’t you know?! Anyone whom doesn’t agree with me is a really bad guy.
    Okay, I won’t go there..suffice it to say that idea compelled me to write a short story. The thought easily degenerates to deciding whom is expendable, in that person’s estimation.
    Or, does Sarah Palin have that covered?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  24. TJ says:

    “Dear God, Who ARE these people?”

    I imagine that God is asking that exact question.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  25. TJ says:

    “If you want to endorse Ted Bundy to avoid Jack the Ripper you have that right.”-Angel

    “Heath Shuler = Ted Bundy?
    Wow. Just wow!”
    -RHS

    OOPS! My bad! RHS, my sincere apologies for lumping the two quotes attributed to two different posters.
    I inadvertently attributed Angel’s quote to you.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  26. Grant Millin says:

    I call our US House Representative “The Shuler Calculation”. Part of what RHS leaves out is that the NC 11 Dems, NCDP and DCCC all figure in a margin of Republicans that lean Dem. So an ex-NFL, real estate developer and paleoconservative fits into their calculation.

    Maybe a primary challenger who hits the ground next month, and who is way more progressive than Shuler or Taylor, could win. Maybe an innovator who understands business issues with a TBL perspective; who is a person of faith, but doesn’t need to bully the least powerful people in society; who maybe even represents all the people who weren’t born in NC 11; and who is just plain smarter, could beat Shuler and the GOP candidate as well.

    Maybe not everyone living outside Asheville is a Shulertarian. Maybe people are just intimidated by hearing the same things over and over again and they gave up on real change.

    The TEA Party shows how rotten thinkers can break down assumptions. Why not use innovation principles for good? I was just thinking out loud.

    RHS

    January 29th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Any “viable” challenger from the left will quickly go down to defeat against any head of cabbage the Republicans nominate. Take a day off from downtown Asheville and check out the rest of the district, 90% of which does not live in the city (and 2/3 of which do not live in Buncombe County). Shuler is merely representing his district.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  27. shadmarsh says:

    I think we can all agree that Shuler is a douche. Whether he is our douche or not is another matter.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  28. Ascend (of Asheville) says:

    I’m with Grant.
    Everyone expects a Liberal or a progressive to be mired in Kerryan nuance or Clintonian triangulation, trying to chase the same donor dollars as the Republicans.
    I believe a Progressive candidate who is willing to be clear, walk the walk and as Grant said break down assumptions can not only win, but win big.
    Obama tapped into something latent in the American consciousness that almost came to something. The sad fact is though that Obama wasn’t genuine when he awakened that something, he just used it to get elected and then became both Kerryan and Clintonian, from the typical DLC mold, disappointing a lot of people in the process.
    But I saw a lot of people at Asheville HS one afternoon who wanted very badly to believe what they thought they were seeing. I don’t know how to define it, but it is there, and I’m looking for a candidate who sees it as well.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  29. rhs says:

    I admire the idealism here, I really do. But with all due respect some of you need to get out of the Asheville bubble and take a good look around the rest on NC-11 which is very, very different place.

    I agree that Obama tapped into something during his 2008 campaign. He got a lot of people who had never been involved in a campaign before to knock on doors. He got a lot of people who had never voted before to register and stand in longs lines to do so. It was exciting and breathtaking. He handily won Buncombe County as a result of that and also won Jackson County. But he also LOST the other 13 counties in the district and, despite being the first Democrat to carry North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976 he LOST NC-11 to John McCain by a solid margin.

    Patsy Keever ran as a progressive against Charles Taylor in 2004. She lots by ten points even though Taylor’s ethical problems were well known. Why? Because too many people outside Buncombe County were not convinced she shared their views on the issues that mattered to them. That was a shame and we lost out on having an exceptional public servant and a genuinely lovely human being as out representative in Washington.

    If I could hand pick the Congressional representative from NC-11 it would not be Heath Shuler, but I also recognize that when it comes to NC-11 Asheville is an anomaly. Take a day off from Malaprops or Greenlife and drive out west. Check out Hayesville, Murphy, Andrews, Robbinsville. Check out Otto, and Franklin, and you will find a very different world, be it the people whose ancestry go back in these mountains several generations, or the very conservative retirees who have arrived over the past 10-20 years. To think that they would vote for a Bernie Sanders is a huge stretch.

    Maybe over time things can change. Maybe with a lot of CONTINUED hard work people in the outlying counties and rural areas of NC-11 can come to understand that progressive polices are in their best interests, but it isn’t going to happen over night and it is going to take more that having Meet Ups as Laughing Seed. It is going to take engaging people who are convinced that progressives hate them and their values.

    Perhaps President Obama gave us a blueprint for that in 2008 and perhaps it can be built on to the point were, eventually, people outside of Asheville and Buncombe will be more receptive to progressive candidates. But for now all the screaming by progressives of how Shuler is an “embarrassment” or a “douche” only serves to make him stronger with the (literally) 90% of the people on NC-11 who do not live in the city of Asheville.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  30. Tom Sullivan says:

    More west of the Balsams background here: http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2009/11/08/east-of-the-balsams/

    I think that 90% figure is just about right.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. Grant Millin says:

    http://twitter.com/#!/grantmillin/status/32760609648934912

    Does Rep. Heath Shuler have the strategic innovation capabilities we need?

    http://tinyurl.com/4bnfet8

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. RHS says:

    While heading west of the Balsams can certainly show people stuck in the Asheville bubble a lot, one doesn’t even have to go that far. Take a trip down to Henderson County and look around places like Flat Rock. The upscale demographics may be different from that of places like Murphy, Andrews, Hot House, Hanging Dog, Otto, or Robbinsville, but the politics are similar.

    If the Buncombe County Republican party ever gets its act together, and I think it is a safe bet that one day it will, it will be able to return to the days when a narrow win for a Democrat in Buncombe County (the 51 or 52 percent that used to be the norm) will quickly get wiped out by the 2-1 Republican margin of Henderson County, even though the population of Buncombe out numbers that of Henderson by MORE than 2-1. It was this dynamic that led the NC-11 seat switching parties in the elections of 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1990. Jamie Clarke, the last Democrat to win NC-11 won it three times but never with more than 51% largely because of this dynamic. Charles Taylor, who defeated Clarke in 1990, was able to hold the seat for 16 years in large part because Democrats insisted on nominating candidates who could not convince voters in the district that they shared their views on issues.

    A combination of of a Buncombe County Republican party in disarray and a growing trend of people to insulate themselves by living in an echo chamber and surrounding themselves solely with people who mostly think like they do has led Asheville progressives to get complacent about what kind of candidate it takes to win in NC-11.

    It is amazing how quickly people seem to have forgotten about the 16 years Charles Taylor held office, but Shuler is about as progressive a candidate NC-11 is likely to elect barring a HUGE, rapid, and extremely unlikely demographic shift district wide. It may not excite you, but remember a 50% ally is better than a 100% opponent.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  33. Ascend (of Asheville) says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the commenters here, but I am taken aback by the level of assumption about what constitutes a progressive in Asheville.
    Yes, we have a large contingent of trustafarians, and we have all seen the imported beautiful people posing at the trendy health food store. But you are making the same assumptions that the people we need to attract, on both sides of the Balsams, make and in doing so you are reinforcing a big ‘ol set of stereotypes that are not particularly helpful or even accurate.
    I work in Asheville, in a very blue collar environment and I live out in the sticks, yet I am still convinced that a progressive Democrat with the right message can win this district. In fact I have little patience for the self-defeating so-called realism that dictates otherwise.
    I met a great group of folks out at the Barnardsville community center back in ’08 who would not fit your assumptions about progressives, or even Democrats, but they were there in support of Obama, a black candidate running in a ninety-six percent white district south of the Mason-Dixon.
    Naturally a candidate who is tailored to the intelligentsia hanging out at Malaprops is going to lose in the general election, but that is not about ideas, that is about marketing. The right candidate with the right support team can overcome that.
    However, if we stereotype ourselves, or break into little camps of in-towners versus outlanders, or realists versus idealists, or even real folks versus poseurs, we aren’t going to get anywhere.
    The first step is to stop thinking of Asheville as an island of frivolous dreamers separated from some Palinistic “Real America”.

    Thumb up 6

  34. Tom Sullivan says:

    As the link I provided above suggests, Ascend is correct that the district may be more liberal than conventional wisdom suggests, but there remains lots of groundwork to be done before a district that went solidly for McCain in the election of our lifetimes will elect someone much to the left of Heath Shuler. We have to stop looking for candidates on white horses to win elections and do better messaging. And few people are doing it. I’m hoping we may see more in the coming years like our Blue Century effort from 2008. The Mighty Wurlitzer does messaging 24/7/365 and we do it mostly after Labor Day in even numbered years. That ain’t going to cut it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  35. Grant Milln says:

    Hey RHS,

    You sound exactly like the people in the NCDP who think of themselves as “the ‘moderates’ who actually get Dems elected.” Right? But remember this, it was ‘moderate’ David Young and Andrew Whalen who helped lose NCLEG to Greed Over People (GOP). We don’t know who RHS, but what you’re saying is really old stuff. I don’t understand who you think you’re enlightening.

    And you know less than you think. The Shuler Calculation was a walk-on role for Shuler, but Americans wanted something done about ethics. They learned about Congressional ethics issues because of people like me and groups like CREW.

    I very much lead the way for Keever and Shuler. The Asheville Citizen-Times definetely made sure our ethics movement was obsfucated, but I was still on WLOS and in papers like Roll Call, way before Shuler had to be recruited to fill the suit Clinton and Emmanuel crafted. Bruce Peterson wanted to not see my Condemnation of Charles Taylor becoming an NCDP resolution, but I did it in spite of him… Because people wanted to get the word about stuff that really mattered.

    Now we’ve got Shuler. I can promise you I did not have anything to do with Shuler’s recruitment. First, I did not shred Taylor’s legacy so a quack like Shuler could be recruited. Who the hell wants a political leader that had to be recruited to do the job? This isn’t the NFL. Whatever he’s about is unintelligible, just like silly ’50% for better than 100% against’ metaphors. What are you saying, RHS? That we have no choices? That because we think differently than Shuler and GOP we are bound to be lost in the desert forever? That we are naive children with learning disabilities?

    No one has to tell me about Taylor or remind me of his garbage. NCDP didn’t want to credit me, and while the DCCC secretly backed the CICT website, they also never wanted to acknowledge my role in the 2006 elections. But that’s not the point. The point is Nancy Pelosi kicked GOP ass when she finally closed down the House ‘ethics truce’, and thinkers on the ground lead the way. DCCC only caught up in the summer of 2006.

    The DNC wants elections to be about carefully developed candidates versus people demanding results. Poverty is accelerating. Shuler continues to avoid discussing NC 11 and national ground-level reality, but at what cost?

    People like Shuler and Bellamy only engage with conservative thinkers. They don’t recognize other values and they think that’s cool, because after all progressives aren’t good donors and they don’t even knock on doors.

    Shuler once thanked me for writing a commentary about Taylor’s inability to ‘bring home the bacon’ when it comes to Federal direct payments [A C-T, 9/20/06]. Now I have challenged Shuler to detail the per capita Federal direct payments to NC 11 compared to all other districts since he has held office.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  36. RHS says:

    I won’t deny that I have fallen into a bit of an old trap and engaged in some stereotyping to make some of my points. I apologize for that. It is merely the result of some cynicism that has set in after years of seeing the right so successfully persuade so many of a rural blue collar demographic vote against their own economic interests.

    Case in point — a very good friend of mine recently retired from the Champion paper plant (now Blue Ridge Paper) in Canton. This plant has some of the few union jobs in NC-11. Given that you’d expect it to be a place receptive to Democratic candidates. But my friend said it was awfully lonely for him out there because every election the overwhelming sentiment was for Republicans. There reasons were many, but when it came down to it there were tow that trumped all others.

    1) they were convinced that Al Gore, John Kerry, or Barack Obama were going to personally show up on their doorstep to take their guns away

    and

    2) the firmly believed that Democrats supported the killing of unborn babies

    Nothing anyone could say could convince them otherwise. There were simply facts as far as they were concerned.

    Now, if people who had UNION jobs fee that way in a county that is more receptive to Democrats than the average county in NC-11 just think of the work progressives have cut out for them in other parts of the district.

    Ascend’s experience in Barnardsville in 2008 is encouraging, but we should also keep in mind that 2008 was simply an election for the history books. After 8 years of a totally discredited Bush administration and an economic catastrophe all helped line up the planets for a election dynamic that is going to remain unique for a long time but it was one that helped Obama run very well in rural places like Swain and Yancey counties as well as Madison, a county often maligned and dismissed but some self described “progressives” as “Deliverance country.”

    And even with all of that Obama still LOST all of those counties and LOST NC-11 by abut 6 percentage points, his 12 point win in Buncombe being erased once ballots from the rest of the district were counted.

    Politics has been described as “the art of the possible.” Is it possible that NC-11 could elect a genuine progressive? I am skeptical, but if it is to happen it is going, as stated before, to require a long term strategy of explaining to people like the ones my friend worked with what progressive political policies can do for them. A generation of thinking otherwise will not be undone by trying to defeat Shuler with a progressive candidate every primary. In the meantime, given his support in some areas, trying to deny him renomination with somebody bound to lose to a Republican who will don NOTHING for progressives makes no sense.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  37. Grant Milln says:

    Ok, RHS. Try not thinking progressive vs. conservative. Think ‘genuine moderate’.

    A real moderate asks people on both sides to not be crazy and stupid. I think there are reactionaries operating on single-source information everywhere.

    I love WNC mountain people. I am from CA but have learned that people with a Southern twang can sometimes have PhDs… or just have a HS diploma and be super shrewd, and even intelligently ethical.

    Ignorant, fascistic people permenate the San Francisco Bay Area. There are these apartheid cities like Richmond just across the bay from SF. SF people are some of the greediest, self-absorbed bastards on the planet, and they could give a rats ass about their carbon footprint or social impact.

    But Shuler adds little to the idea of making the world a better place. He’s supposed to back organized labor (or take their money), but of course he wouldn’t lift a finger to look into the situation of ‘the help’ (us serfs) here in NC 11.

    The more I learn about him, the more he speaks what Whalen writes down for him, the less assured I am that Joe Heath is anywhere close to ‘good enough’.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  38. randallt says:

    RHS, none of your commentary covers how it is OK to support Shuler on HR-3. “Moderate?” Try far right wing reactionary. On this subject, that label applies much more accurately to Mr “Forcible Rape” Shuler.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  39. randallt says:

    Oh, and PS: Don’t tell anyone but , pssssst,…… It raises Taxes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  40. Grant Millin says:

    Hey Randall, ScruHoo readers and Gordon,

    Branding Shuler with ‘forcible rape’ may not work out so well. The words you may want to try are “Shuler is a man without any legal, law enforcement or women’s services experience. His ability and standing in defining what a woman experiences during any of the many forms of rape is not to be recognized and NC 11 Dems should consider condemning him through a resolution as the NCDP Convention approaches. Shuler should focus on expanding and funding rape prevention policies and programs, and ensuring guilty rapists are always punished appropriately.”

    Then we create a resolution for the NCDP Platform:

    “NC 11 constituents have found Shuler to be an inadequate Member of Congress who has failed to fulfill his first duty as a Member which is to bring creditability to his Office. Therefore be it know that His Constituents find that:

    Whereas he failed to endorse any legitimate solution for a National Healthcare Program

    Whereas he failed to actively support the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, the first Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a Member of Congress in good standing for X years, who has devoted her life to democratic causes.

    Whereas he sought election to Speaker of the US House of Representatives for “symbolic” reasons, rather than the reasons one should determine oneself capable and prepared for such High Office, Second in Presidential Line of Succession.

    Whereas he has dictated unreasonable, unintelligent, illegitimate, and finally harmful, modifications to the US Legal Code involving the security of America’s women.

    Et cetera, Et cetera…

    Therefore, be it resolved that because Shuler has failed to bring creditability to his Office, NC 11 constituents will take the following actions:

    1) Bring regional and national media attention to this resolution.

    2) Withdraw all monetary support.

    3) Withdraw all support of time and talent.

    4) Seek out a 2012 primary challenger who would not have to be recruited by President Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel.

    5) Counter any unacceptable behavior and actions by Shuler through peaceful argumentation and data presentation while he remains in office.”

    Let’s do something constructive with our frustrations about Joe Heath and make our voices known in one of the traditional and professional activism tools available to us! We can write the resolution right here on ScruHoo.

    At the end of the Buncombe and NC 11 conventions they ask for items from the body not on the agenda (assuming such an agenda will not be allowed by leadership). Then someone just needs to stand up and ask for a ‘second’ in support of the Shuler Condemnation Resolution.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  41. Deus Ex Machina says:

    I think Grant hit the nail on the head. Except for one problem – the NCDP is still pretty much owned and operated (for lack of a better term) by the same old-guard “good ol’ boy network” that got Shuler into office in the first place. It might fly in a few precincts in the area, but that resolution will never get past the county level. Unless progressives in the area continue to “rethink their precincts”.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. Grant Millin says:

    We can test the other counties first.

    What I’m saying is that mostly Buncombe Dems will go out to the NC 11 district convention. Folks from other counties may protest, but if Buncombe County and some folks ‘Beyond the Balsams’ want to get on board, we got it done.

    The rest of the NCDP convention may not go for it, but plenty of others outside NC 11 are wondering WTF Shuler is doing with his cunning and unpredictable paleoconservative innovations that dumb, faithless ‘liberals’ can’t possibly keep up with.

    Without calling the group ‘progressive’ anything, I have been thinking of a Citizens for NC 11 group. This would be a platform for finding out what people in NC 11 REALLY believe and what we want to see happen in our communities. It may not be all that scary to actually find out for once. I can’t just start that movement tomorrow, but by picking away bit-by-bit, it may happen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  43. Deus Ex Machina says:

    Grant – if you build it, they will come. They just might not come more than twice, at least in Asheville. (That reminds me – does the local chapter of Drinking Liberally even exist anymore?)

    Starting in Madison, Jackson, Swain, Yancey and Transylvania first is an excellent idea…

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  44. Grant Millin says:

    I’m signing up for the BCDP precinct meetings now. I’ll ask ScruHoo to start a new thread on this idea.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  45. randallt says:

    Republicans give up on “Forcible Rape” provision after huge nationwide outcry. Excuse me Congressman Shuler, are you going to make a statement? How do you REALLY feel?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  46. Management says:

    Grant – Rethink Your Precinct has been a regular annual feature of ours for a few years. Here’s a link to Doug Gibson’s post from last year.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  47. Grant Millin says:

    Hey Management,

    Gibson’s stuff is stale. The material at that link is a year old.

    If you want to ALLOW a real conversation as to what PEOPLE REALLY THINK about Shuler and more especially HOW WE WOULD LIKE TO RESPOND TO HIM, please start a new item under ‘Shuler No Confidence Resolution Now Underway”. Just let us know if ScruHoo really wants that discussion to happen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  48. Management says:

    Grant – you must have missed the “from last year” part of that comment. Of course it’s a year old.

    The freshness of Doug’s writing style isn’t up to me to decide. I was just letting you know that we’ve been doing this for several years. If it happens, it happens, if not here then somewhere else.

    By all means, don’t let us stand in your way in having that discussion. On the same token, you really don’t need to be a dick about it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  49. Grant Millin says:

    What an insulting snob-turd you are, ‘Anonymous Management Person’.

    What you are doing and saying isn’t serious. Are you running Scrutiny Hooligans in order to insult people who are trying to make serious political contributions? I am a dick at times, but you’re a child.

    You seem to want to send this topic idea into oblivion. Now I understand.

    What a waste of time you people are! You just want people to cry and bitch in the comments and be helpless. That’s sad.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  50. shadmarsh says:

    uh…never mind.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  51. TJ says:

    “What you are doing and saying isn’t serious. Are you running Scrutiny Hooligans in order to insult people who are trying to make serious political contributions? I am a dick at times, but you’re a child.

    You seem to want to send this topic idea into oblivion. Now I understand.”What you are doing and saying isn’t serious. Are you running Scrutiny Hooligans in order to insult people who are trying to make serious political contributions? I am a dick at times, but you’re a child.

    You seem to want to send this topic idea into oblivion. Now I understand.”

    If this is what “understanding” looks like, I think I’ll observe from the sidelines.
    I would think that someone with “fresh” ideas (which I thought some were worth saying) would realize that resorting to such comments would diminish the esteem the ideas could otherwise achieve.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  52. TJ says:

    Sorry for the duplication, my iPod won’t let me edit

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. Grant Milln says:

    I only address people I really don’t like and totally disrespect as “dick”. Spending a lot of time in the comments area of an obscure blog is clearly a waste of time.

    No one, especially some I don’t know, has to help me understand my ability to respond to disrespectful children. Lord have mercy!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  54. randallt says:

    “Dicks” vs “Children”

    no, no, wait. “Dick” vs. “Child” . There. More personal.

    Grant: comes up with some good ideas
    Mgmt: recognizes good ideas, throws him a line.
    Grant: tells Mgmt to piss off.
    Mgmt: calls Grant a “Dick”

    mmmm, pie.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  55. TJ says:

    “Spending a lot of time in the comments area of an obscure blog is clearly a waste of time.

    I can’t speak to if it’s “obscure” or not, as I don’t typically visit various websites, but I’m curious: if it’s so “obscure” how you found your way here? Does that make your responses “obscure?” ;-)

    “No one, especially some I don’t know, has to help me understand my ability to respond to disrespectful children. ”

    If this is how you respond to them, I am definitely glad you’re not part of the people whom influence my almost 9 and 14 year olds. Even in their most disrespectful moments, they have never responded that way.

    In a way, I think if someone is REALLY more enlightened than the “obscure” posters, it might be a good thing to hang around and share that. Otherwise, if the point is to raise oneself up as “better than,” then yes, it probably IS a waste of time.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  56. shadmarsh says:

    Asking someone not to be a dick, and calling someone a dick are not the same thing.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  57. randallt says:

    Well shad, if he hadn’t been a dick then there would have been no reason to ask him not to be one.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  58. Grant Milln says:

    OMG! Pathetic.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  59. shadmarsh says:

    Good Point. Also, fwiw, Grant owes me money.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  60. Grant Milln says:

    I owe you a kick in the pants, at the very most.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  61. Gordon Smith says:

    I’m a big fan of reminding people that it’s a big internet. Also, it’s very easy to start one’s own blog.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  62. Grant Millin says:

    There’s no good reason to support Joe Heath any longer, Gordon. NC 11 citizens simply need more than what Shuler has to offer. I’m about environmental issues, but Shuler can’t work with a concept like Triple Bottom Line. But that’s just a point on the map as to why we need to take action against Shuler right now.

    He’s not going to get better. The Shuler Calculation has failed.

    Why we support Heath Shuler

    by Brownie Newman, Gordon Smith, David Gantt, Esther Manheimer, Holly Jones and Cecil Bothwell in Vol. 17 / Iss. 12 on 10/12/2010
    Mountain Xpress

    [Editor’s note: Mountain Xpress doesn’t generally accept commentaries endorsing individual candidates. But given the authors’ status and the unusual fact that six of them (none of whom is currently up for re-election) saw fit to join forces this way, we opted to provide a forum for expressing their views in more in-depth fashion than is usually available to them.]

    As local elected officials from Asheville and Buncombe County, we understand that one of the highest priorities for citizens in our community is protecting our environment. Preserving the natural beauty and health of our mountains is critical to our quality of life and our economy.

    Over the past five years, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has invested $5.4 million to preserve 3,699 acres of family farmland and forests. Meanwhile, the Asheville City Council has committed to cutting the city’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030. Asheville has reduced its total energy use by 8.2 percent in just three years, which saved taxpayers $127,135 per year in utility costs in the past year alone.

    But protecting our mountains’ ecological health and our country’s environment cannot be accomplished solely at the local level: We need environmental leadership in Washington. This is why we strongly support the re-election of Rep. Heath Shuler this November.

    During his four years in Congress, Shuler has led efforts to preserve Western North Carolina’s most environmentally valuable lands and has pushed for a strong national commitment to clean, renewable energy. According to the nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters, Shuler voted for the pro-environment position on 86 percent of the key issues that came before the current Congress. The average score for North Carolina’s two senators was 55 percent; for its 13 House members, 58 percent.

    In June of 2009, the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act. If approved by the Senate, this legislation would commit our nation, for the first time in its history, to large-scale development of clean, renewable energy, eliminating our dependence on the fossil fuels that drive global warming. It could reduce our combustion emissions by 83 percent by 2050. The legislation is projected to generate 2 million new jobs in the clean-energy sector.

    This historic bill passed the House by a vote of 219-212. If just four members of Congress had switched sides, it would have been defeated. Shuler provided a key vote in securing passage.

    Closer to home, he facilitated resolution of the long-standing controversy concerning the North Shore Road. For decades, debate raged over building a 34-mile-long highway into the heart of one of the Smokies’ most pristine areas. Many in Swain County wanted the federal government to follow through on a 1943 pledge to build a road to replace the one flooded by Fontana Dam. The environmental community opposed the road due to the enormous cost and the harm it would do to this irreplaceable national treasure.

    Shuler listened to Swain County residents who proposed an alternative solution, and after years of work, a new agreement was signed on Feb. 2, 2010, that will provide $52 million in return for formally retiring the North Shore Road project.

    The money will be held in trust, so only the interest generated can be used. Swain County commissioners are empowered to invest those funds in schools, job creation, infrastructure and services to benefit county residents. At 5 percent interest, the trust would generate an estimated $2.6 million a year once it’s fully funded.

    Swain is one of the most beautiful counties in North Carolina but also one of the poorest. The financial settlement will have a huge beneficial economic impact for generations to come. Shuler’s leadership in resolving this long and bitter dispute in such win/win fashion for both area residents and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranks as one of the prime environmental accomplishments in North Carolina over the past decade.

    Shuler has also provided leadership on other key environmental issues:
    • He voted to increase the fuel efficiency of new automobiles by 40 percent, which will significantly reduce the nation’s annual oil consumption and global-warming pollution.
    • He sponsored the proposed Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act, which would preserve an additional 50,000 acres of ecologically critical lands.
    • He secured $420,000 to help the city of Asheville purchase new clean, quiet, hybrid-electric buses for our transit system.

    Meanwhile, rather than outlining any plans of his own to address our country’s addiction to fossil fuels, Shuler’s opponent in the race — Hendersonville Republican Jeff Miller — has repeatedly attacked Shuler’s support for strong clean-energy legislation. The fossil-fuel-industry group allied with Miller has already committed $712,000 to fund ads attacking Shuler’s vote for clean energy.

    Miller even signed an oil-industry-sponsored pledge designed to derail market-based solutions to reducing global warming. Those who recall 16 years of Charles Taylor representing us in Congress understand that we can’t afford to elect another politician who makes blocking environmental progress the major focus of his tenure.

    We don’t agree with Shuler’s votes on every issue, but his local and national environmental leadership has benefited us all. If these ancient mountains inspire you as they inspire us, we hope you’ll join us in supporting the candidate who’s stood up for our environment and who’s worked effectively to usher in the clean-energy revolution this country so desperately needs.

    — David Gantt and Holly Jones serve on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Brownie Newman, Gordon Smith, Cecil Bothwell and Esther Manheimer are Asheville City Council members.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  63. randallt says:

    David Waldman spanks Heath Shuler

    In response the Mr. Shuler’s whine fest on Morning Joe, Waldman shows little pity for complaints that the former Speaker won’t pay much attention to the poor Blue Dogs.

    • The Blue dogs are already threatening to vote for the Republican budget.
    • They have fought the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party form day one.
    • In the majority they hold the leadership hostage.
    • In the minority, they just become a bother, more akin to Pooh than Tigger.

    But if your club is all about showing how much you hate the leadership and ruggedly independent you are, you can’t really expect anyone to care when you cry that they won’t come to your Tupperware parties.

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