The Plight of the Antiwar Democrat

Some newly elected House Democrats are in a political no-man's land back home, drawing fire from both sides

Greg Ruffing / Redux for TIME

Altmire responds to pointed questions at New Castle fireworks show

Can't we please stop the war?" Eugene Gabriel implored Congressman Jason Altmire, shouting over a singer belting out Beyoncé's Listen at the annual New Castle fireworks festival in western Pennsylvania. "That's what I wrote on my donation envelopes to you, both times, $200 a pop."

The freshman Democrat leaned into Gabriel's ear to make sure his response was heard: "We tried, but [President George W.] Bush vetoed it." The Democratic strategy, Altmire explained, was to keep the pressure up by continuing to schedule votes on Iraq and hope "that more Republicans will go to the White House and say, 'We can't...

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