Leo Alberti via michellemalkin.com.Republican House members who provided the margin of victory in last week’s narrow passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act are taking heat from the right for their votes.
Just eight GOP lawmakers voted in favor of the measure: Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Mike Castle (Del.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), Dave Reichert (Wash.), Chris Smith (N.J), Leonard Lance (N.J), and Mark Kirk (Ill.). Without those votes, the measure would have failed.
Conservative pundits have taken to calling them the “Elite Eight” (with “elite” serving as code for aloof and deaf to the man on the street) or “Cap-and-traitors.” Several of the eight are being told they may face primary challenges next year from more conservative candidates.
“Wanted in the United States of American: For selling out taxpayers,” reads a Photoshopped image on the blog of conservative opinion writer Michelle Malkin. It includes faux mug-shots of all eight, and decries the bill as “cap-and-tax.”
“Congrats, congresspeople, you helped the Democrats pass a junk science-based, massive national energy tax,” Malkin wrote. “Headed to Disney World now?”
The masterminds behind the conservative “tea parties” earlier this year have also created a website, www.capandtr8tors.com, calling on the eight to change their vote when the bill comes back to the House for a final vote, or risk a primary challenge from the right. “They have 5 Days from the time of their vote to change them, or we will work to vote them out of office,” the site threatens. The authors are also using the #capandtr8tors tag on Twitter to track conversation about this topic (which I suggest following if you want some insight into how the other side thinks).
The backlash is also being promoted over at Tea Party Patriots HQ, with a “Citizens’ Brigade Call to Action” on ACES. Readers are encouraged to host Fourth of July rallies against the bill. Here’s the (highly melodramatic) action alert, which urges followers to call senators — and be prepared to offer a fake location for yourself if you’re not actually one of their constituents:
The US House of Representatives stealthily passed Cap & Trade just after 7pm eastern on Friday June 26th. They mocked the will of the American people and ignored the fact that you melted their phone lines and crashed their email in opposition. They are counting on us not doing anything because it is a weekend and typical vacation week. But in this week dedicated to patriotism, and the birth of this great nation, we shall not rest!
It is time to begin hammering on the Senate. The Senate is much more susceptible to our pressure, and we need to pound on each and every member of the Senate to shelve this abomination. We don’t want them to pass a watered down version; we want it to go away completely. In order to make this happen, they need to hear from you, by the millions!
Our representatives have underestimated Tea Party Patriots; we will not go away quietly into the night. We will fight until this bill is sent to the shredders, where it belongs. It is time to start calling and writing to your Senators, immediately, without delay. Write and call Senators across the nation … we cannot rest until this bill is dead.
When you write or call, please make sure you are armed with a city name and zip code in the home state of the Senator you are calling. They may not want to hear from you without this information. You can decline to give further personal information.
And, as you might expect, radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh, possibly the right-wingiest of all, has weighed in loudly, starting with a whack conspiracy theory that the majority of the Republicans who voted for it must be looking to profit off cap-and-trade in some way. Here’s a (largely incoherent) excerpt from his show on Monday:
[E]verybody who voted for this thing needs to be sent packing because it wasn’t even written. There is a requirement that the bill being voted on be in the well of the House. It was not there because it hadn’t been written, much less read.
There’s no reason for these Republicans to give cover to Democrats unless there was some overriding concern. And that is, campaign contributions for reelection efforts from Wall Street people who are going to be — if this thing ever does happen, it will be a disaster. Folks, it will be a disaster.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin is also going after the eight lawmakers, calling the Waxman-Markey bill “the most loathsome piece of legislation … so far.” These Republicans, he said, “couldn’t muster the courage to vote the right way,” and conservatives should campaign to throw them out of office. Levin is also calling for his listeners to take on Democrats who voted for the bill who are seen as vulnerable in the next election.