9.15.2009

Cao, Petri Cross the Aisle to Rebuke Rep. Wilson

 
In the successful vote to pass a "resolution of disapproval" of Representative Wilson's conduct, a few Republicans crossed the partisan barricades:

Even though the vote was largely partisan, there were a few departures from party loyalty. Seven Republicans voted to rebuke Wilson: Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Tom Petri of Wisconsin, Dana Rohrabacher of California and fellow South Carolinian Bob Inglis.
It's very intriguing to me - I like to keep an eye on the Wisconsin 6th and the Louisiana 2nd, of all Congressional districts, and both of the congressmen representing those districts crossed over as "polite Republicans."
 
While I can see underlying reasons in the demographics and cultures of the two districts that might explain the votes - a perception in Cao's district that racial motiviations were in play and a sense of Midwestern manners in Petri's district - I think it largely comes down to the personal demeanor of both Tom Petri and Joseph Cao.  While I wouldn't have voted for the measure, I think they're both genuinely interested in stability and courteous deliberation as a general rule.
 
Also of note is the "No" vote by Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore.  Having witnessed the former State Senator's escapades at the Wisconsin State Capitol, I imagine she might be afraid the same thing will happen to her one day.