Politics is complicated

bipartisanPolitics is complicated; legislative maneuvering is hard to follow. Here are some examples:

  • Horse trading
  • Pairing
  • Voting both ways
  • Hartzler Amendment to 2018 NDAA

Horse trading: one representative agrees to vote for another’s bill in exchange for a promise that the favor will be returned.

Pairing: one representative agrees to vote for a bill if another agrees to vote against it. Both may thus avoid casting an embarrassing vote.

Voting both ways: a representative may vote for a bill at one point in the proceedings and against it at another, thus being on record as both for and against.

Rep. Hartzler (R-MO) offered an amendment to the 2018 NDAA Bill to prohibit funds for medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, U.S. code. Tom Reed and 23 other Republicans unexpectedly voted against it. Democrats cheered; Republicans expressed outrage. Both groups misinterpret Tom’s vote.

The Republican leadership needed support from Democrats to pass the 2018 NDAA Bill; there weren’t enough Republican votes to do it. Democrats wouldn’t vote for NDAA with the Hartzler Amendment included; it had to be defeated. Twenty-four loyal Republicans including Tom Reed took the hit. 

The Hartzler Amendment was expendable; presumably it can be brought up again. I am not aware that Tom has yet explained his vote. It will be interesting to hear how he does that.



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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18 Responses to Politics is complicated

  1. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I’ve been attending Reed Town Halls for quite a while.
    He has been consistently and incrementally softening his public stance on hot button issues.
    He was at pains in yesterday’s Lindley town hall to highlight his support of the LGBTQ community.
    Doesn’t his vote against Hartzler support that assertion?
    Doesn’t this vote support his assertion that he is not a lock step Republican?
    What am I missing?


  2. whungerford says:

    That’s very interesting. Was there any discussion of the LGBTQ issue? Can you suggest other instances where Tom has softened his opinion. Would you write a report on the Lindley meeting?

    I think Tom’s voting record supports the view that he is a Republican Stalwart.


  3. Arthur Ahrens says:

    There was one Steuben county sheriff in attendance.

    Reed opened with a statement about Scalise and that there is no room in the political discussion for violence of any kind. Climate Change…he specifically mentioned that it is a national defense issue. And he believes in climate change, even if the source is undetermined.

    Single Payer…although he is still adamantly opposed, his tune is now how do we get there from here. AS IF he is looking for direction. He used to be absolutely not.

    AHCA…he had a plant in the audience…talking about canadians seeking health care in the US
    He ducked a question about taxes on the rich in the AHCA. But notably did not say he supports a reduction in their taxes.
    Missed opportunities…No one questioned him about
    The number of governors against the AHCA
    The remarkably low percentage of Americans who support the AHCA
    He brought up Charlie Gard as an example of government overreach

    Reed volunteered that he supports LGBTQ rights.I don’t think that there was a question about it.

    Reed was pressed about repeal of environmental regulations. He said that he was mainly concerned about ‘shadow’ regulations, those proposed by government agencies and NOT the congress. A woman argued effectively that those regulations are protections and safeguards.

    Russia —
    Reed stated that he was in favor of russian sanctions
    Missed opportunity
    No one questioned him about Trump aides lobbying HARD against sanctions
    Reed himself brought up impeachment and said there is not enough evidence

    As for Trump Jr, Reed said that REED WOULD NEVER HAVE TAKEN THAT MEETING.

    He either had another plant in the audience, or was lucky enough to be asked a question about the Founding Fathers which allowed him to reinforce his image as a patriotic American.

    There was a spirited discussion at the end about the display of a swastika. I am not sure if it was at Reed’s office or where. Reed was vocal and received the support of an audience member that there is never a right to display a swastika. Whoever brought the subject up was adamant that Reed was cherry picking.

    That’s all I can recall, and my notes are spotty.

    That’s it for me. I will attend the next town hall and take better notes and publish here. That is a dynamite and useful idea! It would be TERRIFIC if the Democratic leadership adopted it so notes and reports are generated for each and every Reed Town Hall and disseminated promptly. It would probably be much more useful than videotaping every meeting and sitting on the video. What about that PYSTEW?

    Here’s a couple of other suggestions—-
    Public (letters to the editor, articles, press releases, officials) THANKING REED for his support of
    LGBTQ rights. I would expect that to play VERY well with his base.
    Continued periodic reminders of how Reed makes his money.
    Let’s soften his support!

    Finally, I agree with you that Reed is a Republican Stalwart. I would very much like to make him a stalwart Republican citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. whungerford says:

    Thanks for your report. Reports on town hall meetings are among our most popular articles. This one, for example, has had more than 600 views.


  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    That’s a long time between reports.


  6. Steve Beikirch says:

    I was at the Lindley meeting as well. With all due respect, I think you are giving Reed way too much credit for what I feel was just feigned moderation. I think Reed’s “change of heart” on LGBT rights has to do more with him being scared about the realization that his reelection is not so certain anymore. I believe you are also mistaken about Reed’s middle ground regarding single-payer. He has none. I too think it was convenient that there was a (plant) doctor in the audience to explain to us the evils of single-payer in other countries and how foreigners are flocking to the US for medical care. It’s nothing more than pure b.s. on Reed’s part.

    I thought the highlight of the meeting was after it ended and we heard from four Dem candidates. Reed’s aid Alison Hunt seemed to be beside herself when she couldn’t respond to a remark (candidate) Max Della Pia made regarding a communication he had with her.


  7. Carol says:

    Steve, for those of us who weren’t there to hear Max Della Pia speak, would you please tell us what that communication was?


  8. Steve Beikirch says:

    I’ll no better than that. Here is video of each candidate taken after the town hall.

    Max Della Pia

    Eddie Sundquist

    Max Gallant

    Ian Golden

    This is the full video of the entire meeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I was asked to report, and I did.
    Editorializing, I leave to others.
    But please do not think that I believe ANYTHING that this performance artist says.


  10. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Thank you for these videos.


  11. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Trump just recertified the Iran deal.
    This should be publicized, too.
    And Reed’s support for Trump should be highlighted.
    We must soften Reed’s support.


  12. whungerford says:

    This seems tricky–can it be right to criticize Reed or Trump for doing something reasonable? Dissatisfaction with Trump is unlikely to sour Tom’s supporters.


  13. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I did not say criticize.

    Remember that Trump said the Iran deal was a terrible deal. His supporters ate it up.
    Democrats should PRAISE Trump for this recertification . It will drive his supporters crazy!
    This reelection campaign is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

    Reed’s supporters are Trump supporters.
    Every instance of Trump failure to enact election promises should be trumpeted LOUDLY and OFTEN.

    At best, some Reed/Trump supporters flip.
    At worst, they don’t vote.


  14. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Reed has a large staff that assiduously publicizes his votes and exploits. He himself has managed to worm himself into being interviewed on national TV with some regularity. His supporters swoon.

    I see NOTHING to indicate that there is anything in place, on either a county or a district level, to publicize anti-Reed views. If I am in error, please correct me.

    But if I am right, and there is nothing, that is another nail in the coffin for the dems in the coming election.

    Fortunately, it can be corrected. I somehow doubt that it will be.


  15. whungerford says:

    Thanks for your comments.

    Independents and moderates are the key to the election; that’s why Tom claims to be a “bipartisan hero.” If disgruntled Trump supporters stay home, that’s so much the better.

    Trump is popular with many because he shares their values–America first, rich over poor, men over women, Christians before all else, and so on. He can flip-flop on specific promises without losing their support.

    Reed’s advertising emphasizes values, not his votes–Mr. Niceguy, Mary’s little brother, from here, one of us.


  16. Arthur Ahrens says:


    Breitbart is questioning Trump’s follow through on promises.

    And I saw Fox today reporting on Trump’s certification of Iran’s nuclear deal. They seemed to be unhappy.


  17. Arthur Ahrens says:

    This is probably not the correct place to share, but it is all I have, so:

    King James Bible
    Proverbs 14:16
    A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.


  18. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Democrats finally have an agenda. Here’s what it looks like. from The Washington Post



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