Thursday the House voted on a slightly revised version of the McGovern bill. It would have mandated the beginning of withdrawal ("redeployment") of U.S. forces from Iraq within 90 days and completion of the withdrawal ("redeployment") of most U.S. forces from Iraq within 180 days after thatThe bill was defeated 171-255. 59 Democrats joined almost all Republicans in voting no.
The roll call is here:http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll330.xml
Who are these 59 Democrats?
One striking fact is that 13 of them represent districts that were carried by John Kerry in 2004. Here they are:
A reasonable guess is that support for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq in these districts is even greater than in the country as a whole.
If there is any reason why these thirteen Democrats (at least) shouldn't have a primary challenge in 2008, I'd like to know what it is. If these were thirteen Republicans who defied the President, there would be talk among Republicans of primary challenges, regardless of the prospect of defeating these candidates in a primary. I make this last assertion with confidence because this is exactly what happened after 17 House Republicans voted for the resolution against the surge: they were threatened with primary challenges. Result: since then, only 2-3 House Republicans have voted against the President on the war. At least in some of these cases, they backed down not because they feared defeat, but simply because they wanted to avoid a primary challenge that they knew they could easily crush, but which would still have been an annoying drain of time and resources.
A serious peace movement would ensure that these 13 renegade Democrats pay a price for their vote.
Are you represented by one of these Democrats? Are you a U.S. citizen over the age of 25? Then perhaps it's time to start circulating some petitions.
Robert Naiman is Senior Policy Analyst and National Coordinator at Just Foreign Policy.