Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anh "Joseph" Cao: Resume of a Democrat, Part II

I think I'm going to run this "Resume of a Democrat" thing as as series over the next two years when discussing Cao. I've said before and I'll say it again, Cao is no GOP rightwinger. We're barely into the new Congress and Cao is already exhibiting his "Resume of a Democrat" proclivities.

I was quite pleased, though not surprised in the least, to read this in today's Times-Picayune:

New Orleans Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao parted company with the other Republicans in the Louisiana delegation Wednesday, voting to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program for the poor, a prime Democratic legislative goal.

It was the second time since Cao was sworn into Congress last week that he found himself voting contrary to the other five Republicans in the Louisiana delegation. Last week he supported another Democratic initiative intended to improve the prospects of women pressing wage discrimination cases in court.
Here's what Cao himself had to say regarding his votes:
"Well, first and foremost, I do believe that children, especially children of indigent families, should have access to health care, and I believe that we, as a governing body, have the duty to take care of those children who are in need and do not have access to health care."
Cao's Social Justice progressivism is quite evident in this comment. Pay particular notice to the fact that Cao doesn't distinguish between "legal" and "illegal" children of indigent families. He's simply concerned with mitigating the suffering of innocent human beings, regardless of legal status or national origin. His sense of justice and concern for the well-being of the poor and marginalized doesn't end at the border or isn't predicated on the "proper" birth certificate. You gotta love this about Cao. He's concerned for all people. And his conservative supporters, who hailed him as the future of the GOP not some 2 months ago, are probably chafing at their gushing over Cao earlier. The fact is Cao has NEVER been the kind of conservative that the GOP has painted him as being. From the moment I first heard Cao talk about issues of importance to the Latino community at a candidate forum I played a part in hosting in late October, I was convinced that the man was much more a progressive on issues that mattered to me than most elected Louisiana Democrats! Cao may have the "R" behind his name for whatever reasons, but the man's heart aligns with progressive liberalism. Resume of a Democrat, indeed! More, please!

Shifting focus now, but staying with that same Times-Picayune article on S-CHIP legislation is this piece of garbage spewed from the mouth of Jefferson Parish Republican and Louisiana Congressional District 1 Representative Steve Scalise:
"I am disappointed that some members of Congress are attempting to make it the law of the land for illegal immigrants to receive federal health benefits."
But as the article goes on to point out:
The bill bars federal funds from being used to provide benefits for people who don't lawfully reside in the United States. But Scalise said without better verification procedures, fraud is likely.
Scalise is a mean, coldhearted ass. A pure unmitigated anti-child jerk. What kind of heartless bastard would deny an innocent, poor, and suffering child access to state-funded health care simply because this child isn't a legal citizen of the U.S. I am always astounded, jaw-droppingly dumbfounded, at the utter inhumanity and uncharitableness of these supposedly "family-values" conservatives. Let Scalise wrap his callousness in some appeal to legalism, the fact will still remain that his position is a godless, heartless, and cruel one. I get sick that Jim Harlan didn't defeat this joke in the last election. Feh! A pox on you, Scalise!


jeffrey said...

Actually that T-P article bought a little too much of Cao's spin. Cao actually voted against the Ledbetter act.

Huck said...

Yeah, I read the exchange over at oyster's site where this was discussed. On the Ledbetter Act it sounds like Cao voted for it before he voted against it -- or something like that. I'd need to study this more to figure out what in tarnation each vote means. But I was really focusing much more on his vote for S-CHIP. His comment that I cited from the TP article was clearly referencing the S-CHIP vote. Regardless, I still think Cao is not the GOPer that some would want to pigeonhole him as being. I know it's hard for progressive liberals to even ponder the possibility that a Republican can also be a progressive liberal; but I think Cao is much better for progressives on many (not all) issues than Mary Landrieu or even William Jefferson (i.e. NAFTA) have been.

D-BB said...

Hey Hucky, I think every one of them freeloading Americans who are losing their homes and dragging our economy into the gutter should be forcibly removed from their homes and only those who are illegal aliens (excluding E.T. because he made a ton of money)….anyway, any illegal alien; well, those only from Mexico…. be allowed to take up residences free and clear.......even if they park their cars on their front lawns.

I said only them Mexicans because you write about them a lot and I wanna kiss up besides, I think neither you or I want to them illegal’s rights trampled here if a bunch of Haitians decide to cash in on this deal.

Huck said...

Hey, D-BB - Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Gosh, I sure do miss your insightful analysis. I have only one major quibble with you -- all bets are off if they can't learn to park their cars on curbs and in driveways. It is environmentally unconscionable (not to mention a violation of the basic rights of grass) to torture the front lawns of houses by parking run-down, oil-dripping vehicles on them.

mominem said...

Over at the Yellow Blog Owen Courreges presented several cogent reasons the Ledbetter Act went too far.

If he is accurate (and I have never found him to be inaccurate) there was a reasonable compromise which could have been reached but it wasn't accepted by the majority.

Huck said...

Thanks, mominem. I've caught up on the thread at Jeffrey's blog. I find Owen Courreges' reasoning to be persuasive; but I also think he might be presenting a worst case scenario that perhaps could result from the Act, but which I think probably was not the Act's intent. In any event, I think his reasoning is quite enough to give Cao the benefit of the doubt on his "no" vote on the Ledbetter Act. Thanks.

another Huck said...


Excuse the changes to your comments about Steve Scalise...I though they help to put things into perspective.

"Obama is a mean, coldhearted ass. A pure unmitigated anti-child jerk. What kind of heartless bastard would deny an innocent, poor, and suffering child LIFE simply because this child isn't a legal citizen of the U.S. I am always astounded, jaw-droppingly dumbfounded, at the utter inhumanity and uncharitableness of these supposedly "progressive" liberals. Let Obama wrap his callousness in some appeal to legalism, the fact will still remain that his position is a godless, heartless, and cruel one..."

No matter the criticism about Steve Scalise you have to give him his least he gives them a chance to breath!

Huck said...

Another Huck - Oh, I think that this criticism of Obama is perfectly meritorious. I don't like Obama's support for abortion any more than you do. But here's where I see the difference: (1) Obama is not denying any child the right to life. He leaves that choice to the mother and her doctor. If Obama supported legislation mandating abortion, then there might be something to compare with Scalise supporting legislation mandating exclusion from a health care program that can and does save lives. (2) Regardless of whether you or I think of the fetus as a "child," there is dispute and disagreement in our society over that claim. However, in the case of a child already born, there is no dispute. Obama can say: I don't consider a fetus to be a person and thus worthy of the state's protection and support of its health and well-being, and many, including the courts, would agree with him. Scalise cannot say: I don't think the undocumented Mexican first grader who needs an emergency appendectomy is a person and thus worthy of the state's protection and support of his health and well-being. No one, not even the courts, would agree with him. (3) Scalise may give an unborn child the chance to breathe, but his concern for the health (and maybe even the very LIFE) of an undocumented, already-living child apparently ends with that first breath as long as they are living on US soil without proper documentation.

Huck said...

Oh, and one other point ... I think it is fair to say that Scalise's support for war, among other actions and policies that subject innocent children across the world to the sometimes swift, but often slow, process of suffering and premature death, calls into question, at least in my mind, his true commitment to defending innocent life, whether unborn or living.

the other Huck said...

Lets cut to the chase. You are entitled to criticize Scalise, republicans or any one else. If a child is aborted nothing else matters with respect to all of things you advocate that others "ought to do". A dead child doesn't have the opportunity to benefit from any of it.

Obama supports abortion and he supports those who advocate, provide funding for and encourage abortion.

It is a fundamantal issues that trumps all others.

If you don't think so then tell me what would have been the effect if you had met such a horrible fate. There would have been an gaping hole in the Blog World, your kids wouldn't be here and I would have a big brother!

Go blitzcreig(sp)and advocate for all of the great things that are good for children, the world and others. I sincerely applaud you for your care and concern but don't walk past the most fundamantal issue (LIFE) relegate it to the back seat or some dark corner. And don't say well he stands for so many other good things that this one issue we can look past. All the other things don' mean a hill of beans unless you happen to be alive to enjoy them.

Huck said...

It saddens me to know how little you actually think of me (and anyone who supports a pro-choice politician) when it comes to consideration of the issue of life in my decision-making.

Yes, Lloyd, I agree. Since you insist, let's really cut to the chase. If the issue is defense of LIFE, I would exhort you to not restrict its defense exclusively to the lives of the unborn. In addition to the many lives terminated through abortion, there are millions of innocent lives that are unnecessarily extinguished every year by war, torture, preventable diseases, hunger, malnutrition, etc. And, yet, you judge a politician's "life" credentials EXCLUSIVELY on one issue. Sure, you can take me to task for supporting Obama because he supports an environment where others can choose abortions. But, I can equally take you to task for supporting Bush, whom you have praised to me on a number of occasions as being a man of moral integrity and character, but who is also a man who wages a war that even our Church leaders have called unjust and immoral, who directly authorizes torture that our faith explicitly considers a grave moral evil and a violation of the sanctity of life, who goes around joking about finding WMDs under his desk while children are getting blown up by "smart" bombs, and who supports enthusiastically capital punishment, even apparently seeming to take some sick pleasure in it.

Let's be very clear here and correct your unfair implication of me: I am NOT walking past the fundamental issue of life and relegating it to the back seat or some dark corner. I would say that I am weighing the full measure of defending life as the PRINCIPLE measure of my political support and coming to the conclusion that Obama is much more likely to actually defend and save more lives, and certainly more innocent lives, in this world than your preferred candidates.

I am reluctant to say this, but I must in defense of myself: Take all your comments and think about them in the context of ALL life, not just the lives of the unborn, and then we can have a discussion about who among us is really the anti-life supporting person. It bothers me that I have to defend my commitment to defending life from such criticisms, especially from you who know me, by calling into question your commitment to defending life. It's rightfully offensive, and I'm sorry if my doing so offends you. But think about what your comment, at its core, is saying about me. It's unfortunate, because I know you well enough to know that your commitment to defending life is sincere, albeit seemingly narrowly-focused. It is an observable fact that most folks who struggle with the full measure of defending life tend to refrain from hurling judgmental stones at the narrow anti-abortion life purists; and it is also observable fact that these narrow anti-abortion life purists pound pro-life folks like me over and over and over with an implicit judgment that we are somehow pro-life failures and reprobates when voting for pro-choice candidates. That is simply unfair and distorts by any measure what should be the comprehensive understanding of what it means to be truly pro-life.

When you say all the other things don't mean a hill of beans unless you happen to be alive, I would say I agree. I would also insist that you consider ALL the unnecessary and preventable deaths of innocents across the world, figure out why their deaths occur, think about what can be done to defend and protect as many of these lives as possible, and then we can talk about who stands for life.

Yes, I can imagine a world if I had been aborted. It's not a pleasant thought. Yes, you wouldn't have a big brother. Yes, my lovely children wouldn't exist. But why limit that imagination to just my life? I think of the Iraqi boy blown up by a bomb that you helped pay for and in a war that you implicitly supported by voting for Bush -- even AFTER the war began and our Church leaders declared it an unjust war -- who ordered the bomb dropped, and I wonder what you would say to that boy's infant sibling who, now, also doesn't have a big brother. I wonder what beautiful and lovely children this young boy might have given this world had he not been blown to bits.

You might come up with your own rationale to defend this tragic and indefensible extinguishing of an innocent life, but would it be fair of me to claim that by voting for Bush you closed your eyes and walked past what you say is THE fundamental issue, relegating it to the back seat or some dark corner of your own rationalizations? Of course not, because I know that though you defend Bush and even, perhaps, the justice of killing through war, even voting for him as he pursues an unjust and anti-life war that our Church condemns, you also struggle with this issue. And I wouldn't even doubt you if you said you oppose the war on "life" grounds. Yet, you not only still voted for this man, but also still think of him as a basically good, decent, and moral human being. I wish that you would at least ponder that a bit in the context of what you are suggesting I am doing when it comes to the fundamental issue of life and my vote for and support of Obama.

the other Huck said...

Many of the concerns you share about Bush in your comments above, I do as well. I have my own struggles with reconciling some of the effects of decisions that he has made. Reflecting on why I supported Bush, I would have to say that one of the reasons was that he never advocated killing others as a fundamental right that he had or that he felt should be granted to others. (I am not soliciting your comments but just sharing my own answers).

I know that innocent lives were lost as a result of the decision to go to war. The moral gravity of his choices (just like Obama's) are tempered by the circumstances, situations, etc. surrounding them. It is my belief that we will never understand them completely -only God know what they are.

Another observation of my reflection was that Bush pointed to all of the reasons why he made the choices he did and (without making any attempt to defend him) I think most were very good reasons. Again, I am not saying they justified the choices but that they certainly had an impact on my understanding/perception of the morality of his choices. Those reasons made it easier for me to be supportive of Bush.

I guess I have never heard anything from Obama that adequatley addresses why he advocates killing babies for no reason other than he feels he or anyone else for that matter ought to be free to do as they please. That's why I couldn't/didn't support him. The efect of his choice is a horrible death and he hasn't offered any substantive reason that is plausible.

I have seen (see) how much you continually rail on Bush, and the volumes of criticism for his stance on the war, etc. The same goes for Scalise in the initial post for this section.

You were very clear in stating that you don't support Obama's position on, support of and advocacy for abortion.

OK I know that. I just wish you made that point on your blog with the same conviction and volume of content that you manifest when you criticize Bush, Scalise and republican's in general.

As an aside-
You know who my candidate of choice was but he didn't make it. I only chose Huckabee because the Huck Upchuck wasn't on the ballot!

I wonder if you can guess what person I'm thinking of? ...if your reread my edited version of your Scalise comments (with Obama's name inserted)... who's mouth would you guess that came from if you read it in a nespaper or better yet heard it coming across the airwaves?