When history came calling, Jason Altmire turned away.Jason the DINO has a problem.
The two-term congressman from McCandless voted against his party's long-fought effort to reform health care in America.
He stood with insurance companies that raised premiums by 30 and 40 percent, tea party protesters who mistake decibels for decency and wild-eyed Republicans with a zeal to bring down a president.
By claiming to want a better bill, he stood as a defender of the status quo, which leaves millions without health coverage, denies insurance for pre-existing conditions and causes headaches for employers and misery for working-class families.
By voting no, Jason Altmire turned his back on his president and his party, and today he stands as a Democrat in name only.
And this is it. From Talkingpointsmemo:
So who were the 34 House Democrats that voted against the health care bill -- and what are the politics for them back home? A close look at the list shows a heavy tendency towards Democrats who come from districts carried by John McCain in 2008 -- though not completely so.McCain carried Jason's district by 10% according to the chart at TPM. It also gives Jason a PVI rating of R+6.
Not that that excuses Jason, of course. He had the opportunity to do the right thing and he blinked. He blinked (my guess) because he didn't want this issue to hang over his head when Mary Beth Buchanan challenges him in his R+6 district in November.
What I thought amazing about the P-G's editorial is how little slack they cut Jason:
People in high office seldom get such a clarifying moment -- when their voice and their vote matters to the nation and to posterity. We have seen such moments with the dawn of Social Security, the declarations of war on Japan and Germany, the court rulings to end racial segregation. Jason Altmire looked his moment straight in the eye and couldn't muster the backbone to embrace change.Jason Altmire has officially lost the P-G. What do you say next about a candidate once you've pointed out their political cowardice? A candidate who'd go with weaselly political expediency over being on the right side of history?
Jason, looks like you're on your own in November, my friend.