Tomorrow, 8th CD Democrats will go to the polls to select their nominee for U.S. House of Representatives. The choices are either incumbent Rep. Jim Moran or newcomer Bruce Shuttleworth. As for Mr. Shuttleworth, I believe we’ve adequately discussed him here (“Video: Bruce Shuttleworth Urges Republicans to Cross Over and Vote in Democratic Primary“), here (“Shuttleworth for Congress Strategist Quits, Citing ‘Unsubstantiated, False Allegations’“), here (“Shuttleworth Campaign FAIL: No Union Bug, No Recycled Logo, No “Paid for by” Statement“), here (“Fan of Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan Makes Robocall on Behalf of Bruce Shuttleworth in 8th CD“), and here (“Bruce Shuttleworth Robocall Falsely Claims Joint Conference Call with DNC Chairwoman“). Needless to say, given all those stories, I certainly won’t be supporting Bruce Shuttleworth tomorrow.
As for Jim Moran’s concerned, my main reason for supporting – and endorsing him as well – is simple: he packs a “progressive punch.” Specifically, I’m talking about his voting record in Congress, combined with his feisty, fiery defense of progressive and Democratic principles against an unrelenting and vicious assault by right-wing/reactionary forces in this country. Whether on the floor of the House of Representatives, on TV, radio, or in public speeches, you know Jim Moran’s going to be there to fight back, both hard and effectively, when our rights, and even our very Democracy, is under assault. These days, with the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, and others pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into corrupting our political system, it’s more important than ever that we have someone like Jim Moran in our corner.
Other than fighting back against right-wing reactionaries, and fighting FOR progressive ideals, Jim Moran also just flat-out votes the right way. According to Progressive Punch, Moran has racked up a strong lifetime 84.6% “Progressive Score,” one that’s been getting even stronger in recent years. For instance, in 2011-2012, Moran scored an impressive 91.4% overall, and 85.7% on “Crucial Votes.”
Don’t believe Progressive Punch? Well then, how about Project Vote Smart, which lists Moran’s 2011 ratings at 100% from NARAL, 100% from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, 93% from the Humane Society’s Legislative Fund, 100% from the ACLU, 100% from the League of Conservation Voters, 100% from the Children’s Health Fund, 100% from the American Nurse’s Association, 90% from the AFL-CIO, 90% from the Alliance for Retired Americans, 100% from the Human Rights Campaign (latest rating: 2009-2010), 0% from the rabidly homophobic Family Research Council, etc. Given this voting record, why would we want to replace this man as our representative in Congress, exactly?
More on the “flip”
Now, having endorsed Jim Moran and explained why I’m supporting him, I do have misgivings, mostly related to his political ties to his younger brother, Brian “For Profit” Moran. True, those two guys are family, and as the saying goes, “blood is thicker than water,” but I must say it’s a challenge at times to keep these two guys separate in my mind, especially since they’re clearly not just brothers, but close political allies. I guess my answer to this one is that life’s complicated, there’s a lot of “gray” and not much “black and white” in this world, that nobody’s perfect, that we’re all human, and that politics is less often (if ever) about seeking perfection than about selecting among all the imperfect options available – the “art of the possible,” so to speak.
Having said that, I’d definitely like to see Rep. Moran speaking out forcefully against the for-profit “education” industry, as it violates basically every progressive principle (public education, good government, caring for our veterans, helping give a leg up to the least fortunate among us, etc.) there is. In addition, although it’s certainly possible that Jim Moran could be the 8th CD’s representative for many years to come, I don’t want to ever see Brian Moran handed this seat on a silver platter (I’d add that I don’t want to see Brian Moran representing this district under any circumstances).
So, with those caveats about Jim Moran’s brother — and yes, the Biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” does spring to mind 😉 – I strongly endorse Jim Moran for the Democratic nomination for another term in Congress. Go Jim!