What Good is a Democratic Congressman When He’s Terrified of Republican Constituents?

03/24/2010 2:26 PM |

Big Whoop
  • Big Whoop

Democrat Michael McMahon was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, the first Democrat in decades to represent the district (map) that includes Staten Island and a sliver of Brooklyn. He replaced the odious Vito Fossella, noted philanderer and drunk driver. It was a happy day for progressives in the 13th Congressional District, who would no longer be represented by a congressperson whose values were so antithetical to their own.

But what good is Mike McMahon?

On Sunday, he voted against health care reform, citing concerns about decreased funding to hospitals in his district. McMahon also voted against the bill that would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which provoked a protest outside his Brooklyn office. So, he’s not anti-war. He’s not reforming healthcare. What good is he?

McMahon, of course, represents a conservative-tilting district, which went for McCain in ’08 by four percentage points. And so it shouldn’t be surprising that his voting record tilts conservative (he earned a B from the NAACP, for example). The point is, what good is a majority when you can’t get Democrats to vote as a bloc? I’ll say it again: what good is Mike McMahon?