One of the biggest challenges we face when we support candidates and ask people to give money to their campaigns is getting them to be responsive to the concerns of the community once they’ve been elected. While we don’t expect to agree with them on every vote, we do expect that they will remain true to the substantive representations they make when they’re trying to get our support. It didn’t work out so well with Chris Carney, who said point blank that he would vote for the Hate Crimes legislation, and then reneged by joining the Republicans in an effort to defeat it.
As Booman said, “If there is a case that can be made for a big tent within the Democratic Party that includes some very conservative members, there is no case for members that lie to us about how they will vote and then contemptuously call us naïve.”
Jerry McNerney is a big netroots hero, and that’s why his recent comments — which seemed to further a distorted Republican narrative that somehow this wasn’t the bloodiest summer ever in Iraq, and that if only the Democrats would stop being so partisan and reach across the aisle, all the problems of the war could be solved — was so disappointing. The people who supported him on Blue America did so largely because of his strong anti-war stance. We invited local blogger and McNerney constituent Babaloo, who worked tirelessly to help get him elected, to blog about it here and here.
We were under a lot of pressure to take McNerney off the Blue America page, but we wanted to give him the opportunity to come on the site and speak to our community about his comments. It is to his credit that he is willing to do so. It’s not only a brave move for him, it’s a really important moment for Blue America as we seek to maintain the relationship with candidates and keep the lines of communication open after the election is over. I hope you’ll join us today for a special edition of Blue America with Congressman Jerry McNerney at 6pm PT/9pm ET here on Firedoglake.