Your Heath Shuler Update
And Doubtless, There Will Be Many
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Democrats | Featured Stories — Comments (3) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Newly elected Representative--and former NFL quarterback--Heath Shuler has gotten himself into the news. Only not the way he would likely have wanted.
First off, there is this little tidbit, which indicates that Shuler is not willing to give religious groups hiring and firing ability when it comes to their participation in Head Start. As Ramesh Ponnuru notes, even some liberals in the House Democratic Caucus believe that this proposal goes a bit too far to the Left. Why Shuler feels he needs to make this proposal is something of a mystery and how he thinks that he will continue to be considered a "conservative Democrat" after proposals like this one similarly boggles the mind.
Then there is Shuler's stance on the military appropriations bill. As this article points out, Shuler voted for the effort to build in a timetable to end the war irrespective of the status of the reconstruction effort.
Is all of this disappointing, given Shuler's stance as a "conservative" or a "Blue Dog" Democrat? Sure it is. Is it surprising, however? Perhaps, but only in the sense that one would have thought Shuler would seek to build some distance between himself and the rest of the Democratic Caucus, given the makeup of his district. 2006 was the exceptional year when conservative-resembling Democrats were able to take on and defeat Republican incumbents. But there is no guarantee, of course, that 2008 will turn out to be like that for the Democratic Party. Indeed, if Shuler continues to vote in a manner that makes him less than distinguishable from Nancy Pelosi, he may very well find himself on the short end of the stick when the next elections roll around.