At least two of Congresswoman Giffords’ votes have been profoundly annoying to CD 8 Democrats and, indeed, to progressive Democrats across Arizona. Her vote to join Republicans in granting Bush’s $70 billion dollar Iraq funding request has been ably dealt with by Michael Bryan over at Blog for Arizona.
I, too, received the Giffords letter explaining her vote. Bryan’s analysis of that letter is, in the best sense, lawyerly. Of particular interest is Bryan’s note that the funding for materiel replacement is a separate issue and could have been voted for without a total capitulation. Less noted was Giffords voting with the Republicans against a bill that would have reinstated the inheritance tax.
Now what are Progressives to do?
Would they (should they) launch a ‘send-a-message’ attack in the primary? It doesn’t seem likely. The most obvious candidate happens also to be the Vice Chair of the state’s Democratic Party. I doubt that Latas is willing to fall on his sword just to send a message.
Another alternative would be to support some third party candidate, possibly a Green. But even if a Green could beat her in a primary race no Green could win the seat in the general election.
Under the circumstances Giffords’ single most valuable political characteristic is that she is a Democrat and will vote with other Democrats to organize the House. Progressives may not be “doing” well with her at the moment, but they can hardly do without her. They will have to bite the bullet and vote Democratic.