Hard to believe, but Congressman Tom Perriello, D-Va. – who told startled Tea Partiers earlier this year that “If you don’t tie our hands, we will keep stealing.” – has also managed to infuriate left-wing activists in his Charlottesville district by pretending to be more conservative than he really is.
The freshman Democrat won his seat in 2008, defeating incumbent Republican Virgil Goode by just two tenths of a percent (50.1 – 49.9 percent), and then proceeded to alienate everybody. That takes some talent.
In this YouTube video, Charlottesville anti-war activists led by David Swanson, board member of the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice and a former ACORN communications director, marched into Perriello’s district office in May to protest his votes for continued funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We got rid of a guy who voted for all the war money he could get his hands on and made lots of obnoxious racist xenophobic comments and we got a guy who votes for every war dollar he can get his hands on and talks politely. And you know, that’s not the kind of change we can believe in,” Swanson says. “That doesn’t fix the world. You know, it’s more pleasant, but I will campaign against him if he continues down this path.”
Swanson was particularly disdainful of Perriello’s calculated Blue Dog strategy of waiting until the last minute to cast his votes:
“I would strongly encourage him…to make it on his own and announce it with his explanation for why rather than waiting til the last minute and doing what Rahm Emanuel tells him to do. Which, you know, is a function that could be served by a machine. If he simply waits til the last minute and then perhaps votes ‘no’ if it’s easy and guaranteed to pass, but votes ‘yes’ if his vote is needed, that is not a function for which we need to elect a human being with his skills. A robot can do that.”
Such blatant dissembling is politically risky, which is why Perriello, has alienated both right-wing Tea Partiers and the left-wing anti-war crowd and is now one of the National Republican Campaign Committee’s top 10 targets.
Perriello’s cynical attempts to play both sides of the fence have backfired spectacularly. He’s “doomed,” predicts Talking Points Memo, which should be a lesson to all his colleagues.