An amendment numbered 118 printed in the Congressional Record to prohibit the use of funds to implement Executive Order 13492, issued January 22, 2009, titled "Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities".The amendment failed, 213-212, mainly across party lines. So, the Republicans, along with 30 Democrats, were basically voting to keep Guantanamo Bay open, and Perriello and others voted to fund its closure. President Obama campaigned on the base's closure, an election he won, you might recall. Guantanamo Bay is a stain on our international reputation, the mere existence of which fuels terrorist recruitment. Closing this base sends a strong and clear signal to the Muslim world and strengthens our relationships overseas, both providing national security implications.
Two Republican blogs picked up this vote and several memes transpired. Tom voted with his BFF, Nancy Pelosi, to bring terrorists to Virginia, and Tom cast the deciding vote on this amendment. Here's Bearing Drift, emphasis mine:
Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA05) has just cast the deciding vote to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Virginia. According to a Capitol Hill source:
Rep. Perriello just voted with Speaker Pelosi on an amendment to allow for funds to close Guantanamo Bay facility and move those detainees to Virginia. Perriello voted against an amendment, offered by Rep. Lewis of California, that would have prohibited the closure - the amendment failed 212-213 with Mr. Perriello casting the deciding vote.
Next up, Virginia Virtucon with a little more commentary, emphasis mine:
Soon-to-be-one-term-former U.S. Reps. Tom Perriello and Gerry “The Big Doofus” Connolly just cast the deciding votes on an amendment offered by Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), H.AMDT.220 to H.R.2847, that would have prohibited funds to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and prevent those detainees from being move to places like, oh… VIRGINIA!!! The Lewis amendment failed 212-213 and Perriello and Connolly voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the people of the Commonwealth. ... How someone like Perriello who describes himself as a “National Security Analyst” could cast such a boneheaded vote is beyond me. ...Now that's message discipline, almost like they read the same talking points.
You read the amendment. It doesn't necessarily mention bringing detainees to the United States, let alone Virginia. We are in negotiations with other nations to take some of these detainees (1, 2, 3), but likely, many will end up within our borders. In super-max facilities. You know the facilities that hold terrorists like Timothy McVeigh (before his execution), Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, and Richard Reid. They never escaped, and we haven't heard from them since. For a party that relishes in its tough-on-crime credentials, this Republican fear-mongering belittles both our prison facilities and our prison guards, as if they are sleeping imbeciles guarding a lego fort.
With a cast of 213 Congresspeople, all 213, it could be said, cast the deciding vote. To lay the ultimate and final vote on Perriello is disinginuous and plays opportunistic political gotcha games to try to damage the reputation of a seemingly vulnerable incumbent. Doubly so, when Republicans tie Perriello to "super-liberal" Pelosi, the dream foil of the party. Nevermind that 211 other Democrats voted similarly.
This vote, to be sure, will rile up Republicans, and this vote could become a campaign issue next year. Defiantly, I welcome that opportunity. Tom is right. Last year, if we only learned one thing, we learned that when potential voters are treated like adults, given more than emotional and fear-inciting sound-bites, voters respond positively. I'll conclude with Aznew's thoughts on the matter:
This dynamic can win the GOP a local House of Delegates, or even congressional, election in Virginia, but the GOP's days of dreaming about sustainable political leadership or change are in the past.
Over the long run, however, I am confident that Republican reliance on arguments like this have been and will continue to erode the credibility of the GOP because they are insulting to voters.
Update: RPV Chair Pat Mullins sent out an email, copied in full at The Virginian Federalist, providing the same talking points listed above. Beautiful.
Update 2: Crystal Clear Conservative hits all the major talking points and has to mention twice the Pelosi and the "cast the deciding vote" memes. I'm done tracking them, you get the point.