It seems that I must offer Rep. Robert Francis O'Rourke a bit of praise. In his six years in the House of Representatives, he has amassed a Lifetime Peace Score of 84%, the 50th highest score in the chamber.
Peace Action and CODEPINK have announced the release of their Peace Voter Guide. It comes at a particularly auspicious time for me, both personally and blog-wise, after my recent post about not voting for warmongers. Here's the write-up that Nicholas Davies and Medea Benjamin published on Common Dreams.
The guide rates O'Rourke higher than any other Texas Democrat and above the 72% composite average for all Democrats in Congress. Good on him for that. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) comes in a close second with 80%. Houston-area Democrats Sheila Jackson Lee (18), Al Green (9), and the soon to be retired Gene Green (29) respectively rate 73%, 56%, and 52%. All four of those reps have logged a lot more time in the Washington bubble.
Wow. My representative is just a hair above average among House Democrats.
Just as interesting, if not more: The El Paso rep collected more contributions from the Military-Industrial Complex this year than those four reps combined, and he still gets a higher ranking. The guide provides a Divestment Ranking, based on contributions from the MIC, and among House Democrats O'Rourke ranks 118th out of 190. The contributions may have something to do with his seeking a Senate seat this year. One wonders how his score would change if he should win his Senate race.
Speaking of that Senate race, Senator Rafael E. Cruz comes in with a 25% rating. Senior Senator John Cornyn gets a 6%.
Beto-buddy Will Hurd, Republican from the gigantic TX-23, is one of 21 Republican representatives with a peace voting record of 0%.
Benjamin has spoken and written extensively about Democrats in Congress casting votes for outlandish defense appropriations and authorizing Republican administrations to use military force. So have I, but I haven't published books like hers. Still, she doesn't question the numbers: On average, Democrats have far better peace voting records than Republicans. There are Democrats like the estimable Barbara Lee of California who are all peace all the time. But you've also got West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (46%) and Rep. Henry Cuellar of TX-28 (holy shit, 18%, which is lower than Cruz); those two are not lacking for company at the bottoms of their respective barrels.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the rankings or ratings, and I suspect that they will fluctuate as more data are compiled. However, i am really pleased to see such a guide available free to the public. Also worthy of note: Recent arrivals in Congress from 2016 and after, such as Senators Doug Jones and Kamala Harris, have not yet been rated.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.