Liberal newspapers like The Washington Post will try to drag every Democrat into the mainstream, even the radical ones. On today's Federal Page, reporter/columnist Lois Romano tells the tale of Rep. Barbara Lee of Berkeley, the only member of the House so radical that she voted against a military response to 9/11. The headline puts her in the current vogue: "A Voice Against Presidential War-Making Now Leads A Chorus." Romano describes how she's getting standing ovations in the Democratic caucus for her pragmatism:
Don't get her wrong; she says she will never vote for any measure that funds this war, including the one that could come for a vote today. But she is credited by Democrats with being able to balance principle and pragmatism...Lee, 60, is soft-spoken and is no lefty flame thrower. The daughter of a veteran of two wars (whom she still calls "Colonel"), she says she is not a pacifist.
At least Romano describes her as a "liberal Democrat." But she excluded evidence that might suggest that Barbara Lee votes like the official House pacifist. A reader might conclude that Lee's only opposing war in the Bush era because she doesn't trust this president to wage war. But in 1999, Lee was the only Democrat to oppose President Clinton's plan to drop bombs in Serbia over the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. You could learn this because The Washington Post also offered a sympathetic profile of Barbara Lee's courage after the 420-to-1 roll call in 2001.