Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is anyone shedding tears over the retirement* of Ben Nelson?


*Plus a qualifying note about Senator Ben's "retirement"
(see Ken's update below)

by Ken

To the end, the son of a bitch manages to pass himself off as a "moderate" Democrat. If he were any more "moderate," he would be totally indistinguishable from whichever Republican slug will likely replace him. At least an officially Republican senator won't have any influence on whatever remains of the Senate Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.

From Aaron Blake's post today on washingtonpost.com:
The national Democratic Party had spent more than $1 million in advertising this year driving up Nelson’s personal approval rating, perhaps in hopes of convincing him that he could win in a dark red state. But Republican-aligned groups also spent heavily trying to define the moderate Democrat [um, "moderate" Democrat??? -- Ed.] as an enabler of President Obama, particularly because Nelson voted for Obama’s health care bill.

His reelection race was expected to be an uphill battle either way, but there also remain questions about the strength of the GOP field that is vying to run against him. . . .

Over the last decade, Nelson has carved out one of the most conservative records of any Democrat, often irritating the party’s liberal base by voting with Republicans.

But when it came to the health care bill, Nelson delivered what many saw as the deciding vote. In return, he also got some concessions, derogatorily referred to as the “Cornhusker Kickback.” Early GOP advertising efforts have focused heavily on this arrangement, which included exempting his home state from paying billions in Medicaid expansion costs.

Assuming the worst for the creature that next occupies this seat, and even assuming that it will be one more Republican seat toward seizing control of the Senate, can it really be much worse than having the truly unspeakable Ben Nelson befouling the legislative agenda?


I just got back to Mérida, bonedead, from an exhausting day of climbing pyramids in the steamy, humid Yucatán jungle. But did my spirits ever soar when I saw this shithead was retiring-- even though Inside the Beltway Democrats have already wasted $1.5 million on his worthless hide this year. Even worse than his putrid voting record-- he votes with Miss McConnell more than any other Democrat in the Senate and more than Lieberman-- is his hard work watering down progressive legislation and making it as useless as he is. Answers to Ken's psot headline about if anyone is shedding any tears for dickbreath-- Shoq and several others suggested Lloyd Blankfein. Phil says Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw. Randall from Tempe also points out the Insurance Industry and Big Pharma. But the first response came from rkef (roadkill refugee): "Capitol Hill Toupee & Haberdashery" If you'd like to help us make the Senate a more friendly place for normal American families, you can do it here. Meanwhile, I just happen to have this nice photo with me here in Mexico:


(1) I love the responses to my question about anyone shedding tears over our Ben's sad announcement. I'm not entirely sure I agree, though. I can't imagine any of his D.C. pals will miss him personally (and in any event, wouldn't you assume he'll be back as a lobbyist?), and from the standpoint of the lobbyists who've pumped all that cash into him, they're likely to find his replacement satisfyingly less high-maintenance. And considering the likely configuration of the Democratic caucus in the 113th, it doesn't look as if even Ben would have had much ability to (as I put it originally) befoul the legislative agenda.

(2) I'm afraid I may have been premature in talking about "retirement." He didn't really say he's retiring, just that he's not running for reelection and plans to spend more time with his family, where is where I kind of zoned out. (If he's serious about spending more time with his family, there might be some tears shed there, wouldn't you think?). So I didn't pay much attention to Ben rambling about finding new ways to serve. He's only 70, after all, and he could have years ahead of him to besmirch the republic. Maybe Willard Inc.'s HHS sec'y?

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