Heath Shuler Stabs Democratic Leadership

...In the back.

I thought that Blue Dog Democrats were still Democrats, uh at least that they had enough sense to either support their leadership (who helped their sorry asses get elected) or keep their fracking mouths SHUT.

BUT NOOOOOOO! Not Heath, that crazy guy:

Shuler hits Democratic leaders on bipartisanship
By MIKE BAKER - Associated Press Writer
Published: Mon, Feb. 09, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler said Monday that his party's leadership on Capitol Hill has failed to pursue a bipartisan compromise to a costly economic stimulus package, arguing that a lack of Republican support is eroding the program's credibility.

The conservative Democrat, who represents a western North Carolina district, was one of a handful in his party to oppose the stimulus package when the House voted on it two weeks ago. He said Democratic leaders in Congress haven't made any effort to hear his concerns or assuage his fears about the spending bill since the vote....

Nationally known blogger Oliver Willis says its time for Shuler to show some team spirit and do what he has always done best....

Heath Shuler’s Political Instincts As Good As NFL Career

...Look, Heath, people like me supported you because to win in a conservative Southern district you’re the kind of conservative Democrats have to run. But that doesn’t excuse stabbing the House leadership in the back while you agitate for the Republican party. Now, do what you did best when you were on the Redskins: sit on the bench and shut up.


Heath Shuler is already running for the Senate

and he is quickly losing support of the Democrats who will have to get him through the primary. Republicans mike like disloyalty, but most Democrats and Independents don't.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Betsy you probable have

better sources than I do, but as of last week the ones I checked says if is far from a given that Heath is running for the Senate. At least from what I am told he is very unlikley to challange Roy Cooper if he runs, of course as of now Cooper does not seem eager to run, but I have nor real sources to see if he is going to or not. In 2006 I was contacted by some people close to Seth Edwards who is the DA in Washington NC, they were preparing for Seth to run for Attorney General thinking that Roy would run for Governor and open that seat up. I had supported Seth's father Zeno Edwards who served in the state house. After a couple of months of not hearing anything I called Zeno and he told me Cooper had backed out of the Governors race, though Cooper did not anounce that for several weeks. But this time I have no real sources so I do not know if Cooper is in or out, but he does not seem like a candidate, but if Cooper is in I bet Heath will file for re-election.

As I said though you may well have have better sources than me. Let me know if you know something I don't

We can agree and we do - for the moment

Just wanted you to know it's possible.

as of last week the ones I checked says if is far from a given that Heath is running for the Senate.

By the by, the football comment is so on the mark I laughed out loud.


I would just mention

that ShulerforSenate.com is owned by his campaign marketing company.

I have a post sitting in Google Documents, an open letter to Heath about his possible Senate run. It's a pretty positive post. It now needs some major revisions.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Help me here


You jumped all over a couple of us about a week ago when we suggested an advantage to being Unaffiliated is that we can think for ourselves and not be obliged to toe the party line. Now, you are blasting Shuler for being "disloyal" by not being a good little Democrat. Could you please elaborate on this? Is it that elected officials must fall in line, but civilians can do whatever they want?

Support from those trying to destroy you is not needed

Betsy points out the Shuler laments a lack of bipartisan support for the woefully inadequate stimulus package. Such support is not needed.

The post calls it akin to asking the Dallas Cowboys to support Washington Redskins when they try to score a touchdown. Sheer lunacy that no one should expect to happen, much less talk about at a press conference after the game.

That being said, Shuler does have a healthy dose of true mountain populism (R, D and all others) in his district. If enough constituents contact him, maybe he'll see the light.


Not needed?

Betsy points out the Shuler laments a lack of bipartisan support for the woefully inadequate stimulus package. Such support is not needed

You are correct that bipartisan support is not "needed" in the House to pass the stimulus package.

On the other hand, I and I'll guess millions of other who voted for "change" in Washington last November would like to see some bipartisanship. We're so tired of the business as usual partisanship of both parties. Just because the Republicans may have been meanies and used their majority to bulldoze the Dems does not mean it is right for Dems to act the same way.

I think the Dems could easlily fair amount of Rep. support if they cut out most of the things everyone has pointed out as "pork" and replaced that same amount of spending with funding things that at least intuitively look like they are going to better stimulate the economy. But, you're right. The dems don't "need" bipartisan support. Plus it's payback time, which means business as usual.


Obama has already bent over backwards to get Republican support with something like 41% of the "stimulus" coming from tax cuts. I saw a video that was talking about how much "stimulus" each dollar gives rise to. Dollar spent on construction caused like $2 in stimulus. But, dollar given in tax cuts caused like $1.05 in stimulus.

It could have been b.s. But, assuming it isn't (since at the time I remember thinking it was a published study of past stimulus methods) then we're throwing $400 billion towards tax cuts that will cause about $405 billion in stimulus. Obama could put that money into more construction and cause $800 billion in stimulus.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

In other words we lose money

I saw that same report. Didn't it also indicate the group most likely to use tax cuts/rebates/refunds to purchase goods and services to stimulate the economy are the lower income groups? Middle and Upper Middle income groups are more likely to save/pay down debt.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks for posting that chart from Moody's

I think that there are two debates going on around the stimulus, and we do ourselves a political disservice by not separating them. The first debate is over the most effective and efficient way to deliver the package (as a mix of programs); the second debate is over the size of the package required.

The Moody's chart (which I'll repost below) provides useful data to argue over the mix of programs.


Chart from Excerpts of comments by Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Economy.com, testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business on July 24, 2008.

This chart tells me that there is a place for tax-cuts (namely, the payroll tax holiday with its 1.29x multiplier). However, tax cuts should be prioritized lower than the options with higher multipliers (starting with food stamps, extending unemployment benefits, infrastructure spending, etc.). If I recall, the analysis published by the CBO shows very similar multipliers (but it may be reviewing the same data).

The second debate is determining the appropriate size. Again, the Moody's chart suggests that most of the tax cuts are less effective than the spending increases, so dollar for dollar, we get better results (regardless of the size) with the spending increases.

I'm sure that the multipliers break down at certain points (due to diminishing returns), but we should be using (and discussing) all of this in quantitative terms.

Timing is the other issue

Tax cuts (except payroll) often have a longer lag time to make their way into the functioning economy (as opposed to shadow banking, deferred income and the like).

The stimulus is needed to avoid deflation NOW - if we're not already there.

It is painful to fight inflation, but much more difficult to fight deflation.



I assumed that all of the multipliers were measured over the short-term, but you're absolutely right that timing is a crucial third element to the debate. Those three aspects (size, mix, and timing) quickly neutralize, I believe, the steady argument for corporate tax cuts no matter what.

Otherwise, you're fighting a common sense notion that (1) businesses (not government) create jobs and economic prosperity, and therefore (2) tax cuts for businesses (or those investing capital in businesses) is the way to stimulate the market.

Obama is OK

I think he's doing OK, but I don't think Congress is changing their ways. Maybe it's a "good cop, bad cop" thing...

If construction causes $2 in stimulus and tax cuts cause $1.05, that's great. What about all the stuff that falls under neither (STD research, etc.)

Any spending - ANY - has a multiplier

It doesn't matter if it's for STD research or to see how far your head is up your @$$.

What matters is the level of the multiplier and if it churns immediately through the economy (like state aid to pay teachers, police, etc.)

Or it is nonsensical tax cuts that are targeted to those that still have jobs who will sit on the money and further worsen the recession. Saving is good, but stimulating saving for the rich does not stem unemployment.


He can vote any way

he damned well pleases, but when he starts agitating for the Republican Party by attacking his own party's leadership, he's crossed a line.

Hell with him. Let him switch parties, if that's how he feels. He might be in the spotlight for a few minutes, but after that, he'll be a little fish in a little pond.

SPLib...don't put words in my mouth

I said nothing about being a good little Democrat.

I am not criticizing Heath for failing to be a "good Dem" with his vote. I am speaking to a personal character trait - disloyalty. There is a difference between Heath saying, "I don't agree with this legislation so this is how I will vote," and with Heath saying, "I don't agree with this legislation so this is how I will vote and my party leaders are _________." There is a difference between toeing the party line and pointing fingers - especially when it appears he didn't left a finger to help.

It is disingenuous for Shuler to speak out against his party leaders if he never took the charge to speak out against the partisanship of the previous congresses (109th and earlier) or the obstructionism that took place in the 110th. What exactly did Heath do to spread the joys of bipartisanship? Was he a leader in trying to bring any Republicans to the table? Did he offer any amendments to the Rules Committee? Did he truly work for bipartisanship or is he content to just sit back and point fingers and lay blame just to get his name in the paper?

The fact is the D.C.G.O.P announced that they weren't going to support the stimulus bill before Obama ever went to the Hill to meet with them. Shuler sat on his backside and did nothing to help the situation. He simply sat and waited for the right opportunity to get his name in the press. This isn't about Heath being a "good Democrat" this is about Heath being a hypocrite. He's willing to criticize Democratic leadership for not being bipartisan enough, but he's not willing to criticize Republican leadership for the exact same thing. That's hypocrisy and it is disloyalty.

It's a clear sign I do not feel the constraints of my Democratic Party membership because I am willing to criticize Democrats - elected or un. I may be a little more harsh on Heath, but it isn't because he's not being a "good Dem" it is simply because I disagree with him.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Those pesky primaries

I don't know if he's running for Senate or not, but I don't recommend it unless he's looking to end his political career in the middle of the first quarter.

Plastic fork

If Heath Shuler stabbed Democratic leadership it was with a plastic fork. I was in the room when he, Price, and Butterfield were talking. He can't decide if the stimulus package is too big or not big enough. He's like a walking one-man focus group, listing a variety of conflicting positions to see what sticks.

That is a good point.

I've seen quotes from him saying that there was not enough money spent on infrastructure. Well, hell yeah! But, the only way to get more money for infrastructure is to take away Republican tax cuts.

So, where the hell is the bipartisanship in that?

He's like a kid in a candy store. BTW, that phrase doesn't come to life until you actually have a kid in a candy store and tell them they can only have one thing.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

That's funny.

And kinda sad. He sounds like he'd fit right in with the R's.