OK, "sympathy" may be too strong a word. But Jason Altmire deserves ... I don't know ... pity? The kind of liberal compassion that blames social ills for a person's shortcomings?
Yesterday, Altmire was one of just six Democrats to vote in favor of HR 2068, a House GOP measure that would fund disaster-recovery efforts by gutting a $1.5 billion hybrid-car program. (Yes, you read that right: The GOP was only willing to help disaster victims if government did less to help domestic manufacturing. Why do they hate America so much?)
Altmire's vote put him at odds with the overwhelming majority of Democrats; his vote positioned him instead alongside suburban Republican Tim Murphy, House majority leader Eric Cantor and much of the rest of the GOP rank-and-file. (As well as fellow Pennsylvania Blue Dog Dem Tim Holden.) The measure lost anyway, 195-230, due to opposition from the overwhelming majority of Democrats, and about 40 ultra-conservative Republicans who wanted the bill to go farther. It's unclear how; perhaps by requiring the unemployed to do a little dance before getting benefits.
And what thanks does Altmire get for his vote? Just today, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out the latest in a looooong line of attack e-mails ... accusing Altmire of voting in lockstep with other Dems:
"Jason Altmire has been a loyal ally to President Obama’s policies of taxing, spending and over-regulating which have made a bad economy far worse," said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. "Voters are noticing across the country, which means that Altmire's constituents in Pennsylvania will surely hold him accountable for continuing to support Obama’s same failed Democrat policies."
There's just no pleasing some people.