Jim Cooper Embarrasses the Whole City

2010: ‘ “There is a lot of hardship in Nashville,” said Congressman Jim Cooper. “A lot of streets, homes, a lot of businesses that are still hurting. We got to make sure everybody gets every penny of help.” ‘

2013: He’s the only Democrat to vote against disaster aid for people who need it.

Someone needs to primary that fucker.

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12 thoughts on “Jim Cooper Embarrasses the Whole City

  1. Yes, they do. Now try getting anyone in Nashville to make it happen. Been there, done that, nothing happened. Even people I thought would be jumping at the bit said, “Oh, no, we COULDN’T do that, the seat would go Republican!”

  2. Well, the Democrats in Tennessee need to get it through their thick skulls that “it would go Republican” just isn’t that much of a threat any more. The whole damn state is Republican! Democrats lost! And if it comes down to voting for a Democrat who acts like a Republican or a Republican, I’d rather vote for the person whose representing who he is honestly.

    That’s why I voted for Corker.

  3. If the best the 5th District can do is a Congressperson who votes Republican on most important issues, I’d rather have a real Democrat to vote for, and lose with that candidate. That would be better of yet another term for someone like Cooper who, by calling himself a Democrat and voting like a Republican, lies to us about who he is and what he stands for. Not to mention that he’d better hope Davidson County doesn’t need any kind of disaster relief while he’s still in Congress — because I don’t think anyone in his party is going to feel like helping us out.

  4. To be fair to Congressman Cooper, the Sandy relief legislation contained a huge amount of funding that was not related to direct assistance for the victims of the hurricane. In this case there was some $20 billion for future disaster relief and $17 billion for Community Development Block Grants, something that could certainly wait until later. Given Congressman Cooper’s generally consistent opposition to using such disaster bills to attach billions in extra spending, there is a principled case for a ‘nay’ vote.

  5. Oh, no! Not money earmarked for future disaster relief? Scandalous!

    That’s not principled; the money will be needed. It’s just petty. If Cooper could ever tell the difference, he has lost that ability.

  6. Why a guy just re-elected easily in a gerrymander-liberated district has gone into sudden flop sweats is as yet unknown, but as this linked piece notes, he seems to be edging towards Crackpot MiddleNut Independent status–first not voting for the Democratic House leader, then this ill-considered relief vote, and his public crush on the “No Labels/No Sleeves, No Collars, No Cuffs” Party. Maybe he’ll just get off the party ballot line and leave room for an actual Democratic choice? Or maybe he can be pushed.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/01/16/which_republicans_voted_for_sandy_hook_relief.html

  7. Aunt B.,

    If the original bill for Sandy relief had been limited to funds that were for Sandy victims, I don’t think there would have been a big furor.

    Consider that the final bill has a price tag of just over $50 billion where the legislation originally passed by the Senate in the last session was over $60. This came from stripping out all the unrelated spending and reducing the appropriation for FEMA to $2 billion.

    There was an additional effort to enact a small across-the-board cut in federal spending to pay for the disaster relief. Congressman Cooper may have thought that was the proper course. Fiscal responsibility does not mean forcing your neighbors to suffer, just that we need to start making tough choices.

    It seems to me that the blame for slowing down relief for Sandy victims lies at the feet of the legislators who looked at the scope of the disaster and saw one more opportunity to increase their popularity back home by slicing off some more pork. If you look at Katrina relief legislation and other such efforts, you will find the same sort of legal looting. If they really cared about relieving the suffering of the victims, they would not exploit the tragedy for their own selfish ends.

  8. NM,

    The Washington Post has a couple of editorials supporting the view that we need to consider the budget implications of parts of disaster relief bills.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stopping-the-sandy-steamroller/2013/01/05/ae874136-55f5-11e2-a613-ec8d394535c6_story.html

    and

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-should-rethink-how-it-pays-for-disasters/2013/01/15/36c79802-5f60-11e2-a389-ee565c81c565_story.html

    The key paragraph is:

    “Finally, Americans should be shocked that lawmakers still haven’t reformed the slapdash way Congress deals with disasters. The claim that those future big storms have on federal funds is potentially massive — $10 to $25 billion in a normal year and $80 to $170 billion in a bad one, according to a 2010 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research that, with the help of the New York Federal Reserve and The Post’s Brad Plumer, has been circulating recently. Though costs are hard to predict, Congress should at least budget disaster-assistance money upfront to the greatest extent possible and through the normal appropriations process, where the spending trade-offs are clearer and lawmakers don’t have to legislate under the duress of emergency.”

    But budgeting money up front {and not spending it} doesn’t result in local projects to reward supporters.

  9. Mark, I’m still not buying it. Those might be fine reforms to make, but Cooper should NOT be trying to make them when people need the money to get their lives back together. We have a corrupt system. From top to bottom, at every layer. Look at Cooper’s Lipscomb parking lot. But now he’s a born-again virgin, advocating abstinence for everyone?

    Fuck him.

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