Monday, October 04, 2010

Olive Branch to Anh "Joseph" Cao

OK. I've been silent about the US Congressional District 2 election. The reason is that I find that the options are less than ideal. I want to vote for Cedric Richmond, the Democratic candidate, who would represent a switch from the GOP to the Democrats in an election year that seems very bad for the Democrats. One switch in the opposite direction of the current trends would be a welcome salve in an otherwise depressing election year. However, I just can't seem to get beyond the recent revelations about Cedric Richmond's apparent complicity in old-school machine-style politics (with appearances of Bill Jefferson corruption, to boot). And I have seen nothing from the Richmond campaign that has addressed any of these recent allegations, which have made the rounds in the blogosphere, but which seem not to have penetrated into the general public consciousness. So, I'm leaning towards Richmond, but just can't make the commitment. And I just can't seem to swallow sending a neophyte Bill Jefferson to Congress.

And then there's Anh "Joseph" Cao, the Republican incumbent. Since Cao's vote against the Health Care Reform bill, I swore never to vote for Cao again. And I'm holding on to that oath ... for now. I'm at the point where I'd be willing to entertain eating crow and changing my mind. But to do so would require Cao to really earn my trust on matters that are of paramount importance to me these days. What I like about Cao is that he doesn't seem too beholden to the insanity that is passing for conservative GOP leadership these days. And I also very much like the fact that there is not a corrupt bone in Cao's body and not an unethical thought in Cao's Jesuit-trained mind. There's a lot to be said for that. However, that is just not enough. What is enough? Well ... here's my "olive branch" with its concomitant demands: I will consider a switch to Cao only if Cao explicitly promises and stakes his personal integrity on the line for these four issues: (1) Cao must go on record before the November elections that, if the GOP retakes control of the House, he will oppose any effort to repeal the Health Care Reform bill and will oppose any effort to withhold funding for the implementation of the Health Care Reform legislation; (2) Cao will sponsor (or co-sponsor) a comprehensive immigration reform bill that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States REGARDLESS of any border security and enforcement provision in such legislation. In other words, a path to legality for the undocumented will be his PRIMARY motivation for any immigration reform; (3) Cao will support the DREAM Act legislation and will demand that either a GOP House or a Democratic House bring such legislation to a vote again; and (4) Cao must agree to vote to end the reprehensible DADT policy that prevents openly gay citizens from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. If Cao publicly agrees to these four stances, then I'll seriously reconsider my oath to never vote for him. If he doesn't agree to these four stances publicly and unequivocally, I will take my chances with Richmond.


Anonymous said...

Upchuck, just to let you know Cao was one of 3 or 4 GOP members to vote for the repeal of DADT and he will continue to support that when he is reelected. Since DADT was bundled with the DREAM act he voted for that as well. He has already gone on record to not support any repeal of healthcare and he is for comprehensive immigration reform and will cosponsor it at the first opportunity. HE IS THE MOST MODERATE REPUBLICAN WE HAVE SEEN IN YEARS. The President betrayed him and Cedric is going to just stay quiet, let the President's commercial run and wait for election day without discussing any issues or even why he should be Congressman. I am a democrat and recognize leadership when I see it and will be voting for Cao.

Huck said...

Anonymous - Can you point me to any links to support Cao's positions on these subjects as you frame them? If all is as you say, then that's a good start. But I'm more concerned about what he would do not in opposition, but as part of the majority party in Congress. It's easy for Cao to buck his party when that party is in the minority or when he knows that his vote is mostly for show. I'm listening with an open mind, but I'm skeptical. Cao has been a disappointment to me and his credibility with me has really taken a hit, so I want something very concrete out of him. I want him to show me how, as a moderate Republican representing a largely Democratic constituency, he will leverage that in a GOP-controlled house to pass legislation I consider important.

Anonymous said...

he fully supports dadt:

he cosponsored the dream act:|/home/LegislativeData.php|

he's on record saying that he won't repeal the health care bill, but i can't find the link. however, the gop already has tried to overturn the individual mandate. cao was the only republican not to vote for it: Roll Call: "Despite the defections, Democratic aides insisted that the vote signified growing support for the health care bill, which was opposed by 34 Democrats in March. One Republican, Anh 'Joseph' Cao (La.), voted against Camp's proposal to repeal the insurance mandate on individuals. Cao also was the lone GOP lawmaker to vote for the health care bill. … The individual mandate was a central flash point in the protracted debate over remaking the nation's health care system." Democrats dismissed the vote as a political stunt while Republicans said the vote was the first step to turn back the law (Hunter, 6/15).

Huck said...

Anonymous - Thanks. That's very helpful and hopeful. I'll keep my mind open to Cao. The first article on DADT seems to present a somewhat confusing take on Cao's stance. For instance, does Cao support repeal of the entire DADT law? And I do note that this comes from a Cao "aide" and not from Cao himself. Gives him a bit of plausible deniability and distance from the issue. I'd like to hear it from the horse's mouth.

And the true test is what Cao would do with regard to the healthcare bill once the GOP has the power to really challenge the bill. It's easy to oppose a measure such as getting rid of the individual mandate when everyone knows that there was no chance in hell the measure would pass in a Democratic Congress. I want to hear from Cao himself that, if and when the GOP takes back the House, he will be one of the votes that would help thwart a measure from his own party that would have a realistic chance of passage.

I'm glad about Cao's positions on Comprehensive Immigration reform and the DREAM Act and really expected that these would be the easier of the four items for Cao to meet.

Anonymous said...

this is a bit stronger on dadt. he's been endorsed by the log cabin republicans. includes statement from cao:

Huck said...

Anonymous - Thanks for the link. Now that is an unequivocal statement on DADT that I can embrace. Good on Cao! I'm coming around, thanks to your help. Are you working on Cao's campaign? Because if not, you should be!