(Updated below at 3/27/15 10:21 a.m.)
Michelle Grisham is looking more like a Republican every day.
joined the GOP to vote down a Democratic budget put forth by the congressional Progressive Caucus that would have raised the federal minimum wage, given federal retirees back the money she voted to cut last year, increased child nutrition funding, restored food stamp cuts she voted for last year, and asked the rich to start contributing to our country again by putting their taxes back where they were when Bill Clinton was president -- not much to ask at all.
Grisham joined people like right wingers Steve Pearce and Dana Rohrabacher in putting down the Democrats' alternative to the bloodthirsty Republican budget -- which based on yesterday's vote she presumably prefers -- that will gut our living standard and slash a multitude of programs for the needy to give tax breaks to the super rich. Although not all Democrats voted for the People's Budget, a majority did, but not Grisham.
Eyes On The US Senate?
Grisham's behavior could be simply that of a conservative Democrat until you consider it as a whole and in light of the political situation she faces in New Mexico.
Recall that recently -- March 2 -- Grisham voted with Republicans when they tried to use Homeland Security funding to block immigration reforms enacted by President Obama by executive order, a move that given the Democratic Party's demographic makeup is hard to fathom unless it was to ingratiate herself with Republicans intent on embarrassing the president at every opportunity.
Grisham has changed her Facebook photo to one of her wearing the red jacket traditionally worn by Republican women. Her snubbing of President Obama last month to attend a speech by Israel's hard right prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seen by some as pandering to deep pocketed campaign financiers. Grisham never utters the word "union" in public and has taken various other measures to distance herself from traditional Democrats and increase her fund raising potential, such as making frequent photo op appearances at large New Mexico businesses and repeatedly sponsoring legislation she then trumpets at "bipartisan," which given the uncompromising, extreme right wing nature of today's Republican Party means it's conservative legislation by definition.
An ethnic Hispanic, Grisham is aware of how Susana Martinez won high office -- Martinez beat a fellow Democrat to get elected district attorney on her way to the governorship by switching parties and running as a Republican, thereby splitting the Latino Democratic vote and picking up all the Republican vote. Grisham may see such a move as her only chance to unseat one of New Mexico's two Democratic senators, who are likely to hold their offices until they die or decide to retire -- unless Grisham runs as a Republican against one of them. If Grisham does have her eye on a US senate seat she's making all the right moves.
Update: Sure as shinola, Grisham sent out a fundraising appeal this morning that touts her "bipartisanship". Note that it doesn't criticize Republicans, only tea baggers. There's no mention of the Progressive Caucus budget that she voted down.
One step forward: Bipartisan passage of Medicare "Doc Fix" bill
One step back: The Tea Party Budget
Only this isn't square dancing.
I ran for Congress on the promise of building a stronger economy for all…but time and again, the Tea Party members of Congress do all they can to undermine any progress we’ve made. On Wednesday, the House passed a Tea Party budget that would give millionaires and billionaires a tax break while putting the burden on working class families.
If we’re to continue to fight back and defeat these unfair budgets, I need your continued support to stay in Congress.
Not only does the Tea Party budget raise taxes on working class families, it also:
- Cuts funding for education,
- Devastates Medicare and Medicaid,
- Does nothing to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure.
Please donate whatever you can - $50, $25, $10 - before March 31st.
We need more steps forward and fewer steps back.
Thanks for your support,