This may digress from The Stump's official mission, yet the Hill really is driving the presidential campaign right now, so here's an email from a reader with direct knowledge of House liberal politics setting me straight and shedding more light:
I’d quarrel with your characterization of Lynn Woolsey as “extremely close” to the Speaker. There’s been tension in that relationship for some time, especially since the early 2007 debate over Iraq funding. At the risk of oversimplifying, Lynn and her “bring the troops home now” allies felt that Pelosi sold out. Further complicating matters is that Lynn has tussled with George Miller, the Chairman of her most important committee (Education), over NCLB, and Miller of course is widely considered a proxy for the Speaker. Bottom line: it’s entirely in character for Woolsey to resist whipping and go against leadership...
Moreover, there’s nothing “notable” at all about Kucinich or Barbara Lee opposing a $700b Wall Street bailout. These are the bleeding hearts who want to know – not entirely without justification – why Wall Street gets its stones pulled out of the fire but advocates for food stamps have to rattle the cup and put up with a lot of righteousness about excessive government spending.
In all, 31 of 67 members of the Progressive Caucus voted “no.” Many if not most of the liberal “yes” votes are from senior members/committee chairs and others in or close to leadership (Capuano, Frank, Markey, Miller, DeLauro, Rangel, Waxman, Schakowsky).
P.S. Another recognizable anti-bailout name from the progressive/CBC ranks: Jesse Jackson Jr. See his statement here.
And, for the record, I wasn't terribly surprised by this liberal opposition--I just felt it was interesting, and largely overlooked amid the intense focus on the GOP right.