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Tilting at Windmills

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January 6, 2010

'DROPPING LIKE FLIES'?.... Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) is retiring. So is Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). And before anyone could catch their breath, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) announced he's not seeking re-election, either.

It led ABC News to report that "Democrats are dropping like flies."

It is not shaping up to be a pretty week for the Democrats. [...]

You will certainly hear a lot of talk from Republicans that Democrats are beginning to face the reality of just how tough the current political landscape looks for them and they are running for the hills.

This is, to be sure, exactly the meme Republicans want the media to embrace, and if the coverage this morning is any indication, political journalists seem anxious to comply.

But let's add a little perspective here. Quick quiz: which party has more Senate retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans? Follow-up question: which party has more House retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans?

If Dems are "dropping like flies," the answer should be obvious. But it's not -- in both chambers, Republican retirements, at least for now, outnumber Democratic retirements.

In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Does this mean Republicans are "dropping like flies"?

In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Is this evidence of a mass Democratic exodus?

Among governors, several incumbents in both parties are term-limited and prevented from running again, but only three Democrats who can seek re-election -- Parkinson in Kansas, Doyle in Wisconsin, and Ritter in Colorado -- have chosen not to. For Republicans, the number is four -- Douglas in Vermont, Rell in Connecticut, Crist in Florida, and Pawlenty in Minnesota. (Update: the GOP number is five if we include Palin in Alaska.)

So, to review, Republican retirements outnumber Democratic retirements in the House, in the Senate, and among governors. The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn't match up well against reality.

Steve Benen 9:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

Isn't ABC the Disney network that used to employ Christian proselytizer Brit Hume?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 6, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

I would rather get the news now than in, say, June.

Posted by: the seal on January 6, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

This is, to be sure, exactly the meme Republicans want the media to embrace, and if the coverage this morning is any indication, political journalists seem anxious to comply.

Democratic "leaders" should be out in front on this and hold a press conference before noon to rhetorically ask why the supposedly liberal media seems so willing to repeat demonstrably false Republican talking points as if they were news.

I don't understand why Democrats don't take a page out of the Republican playbook that created the canard of the "liberal media" and work the refs themselves. Democrats can't possibly be so naive that they don't see how anxious the press is willing to work for Republicans, can they?


Posted by: SteveT on January 6, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Jeez, Steve. Don't let reality get in the way of a good story! It's been the MO of the producers and editors of every major news organization for the last three decades.

Good to know we still haven't given up pointing it out though...

Posted by: Kiweagle on January 6, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

The 'facts' are of no importance in having our corporate media perform their roles as echo chambers and amplifiers for our republican messages.

As our corporate media will constantly retell you, we republicans are ready to resume control of the House and Senate after this year's elections. Next year, we will have our media telling everyone that we will defeat The Chosen One in 2012!

We lie.
We know that we lie.
Our corporate media will repeat our lies.
Our corporate media will not challenge our lies.
We pay no price for lying.
We will continue to lie.

Brought to you by a republican who is willing to speak the truth, on this web site, because our base will never visit here...

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on January 6, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

This story was about democrats, not Republicans. The sudden latest batch of announcements concerned democrats. If there is a sudden flurry of Republican resignations I'm sure the MSM will comment.

Posted by: Al on January 6, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

SteveT,

You make me think about the fact that the whole concept of a free press and First Amendment rights is inherently a liberal idea. It means we have the right to speak our minds in public without risk of being thrown in jail by a king or some other tyrant.

There are so many conservative commentators, corporate and party connections (ie GOP & Fox) in modern news outlets I now think that when Republicans and other ultra conservatives complain about the "liberal media" they are really complaining about the fact that people with ideas that differ from theirs are allowed to voice them and that some media outlets actually report them.

I think George Bush, Dick Cheney, Sarah and Todd Palin typify the modern conservative's view of the media -- that it's a tool of conservative interests, that it needs to be tightly controlled and "enemies" need to be targeted. Like in czarist Russia, or modern Russia for that matter.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 6, 2010 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

You should include Palin in the governor count.

Posted by: anon on January 6, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

The picture is of course more complex. In Senate seats, aren't Ohio, NH, Missouri, and maybe NC possible R to D flips? So there are all sorts of cat and mouse games to be had in the next 10 mos. And of course, that is way more important [along with the fund raising] than actually governing?

And, won't Dorgan and Dodd now be able to do, vote, and say whatever the hell they want?

Posted by: bigwisc on January 6, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

This is, to be sure, exactly the meme Republicans want the media to embrace, and if the coverage this morning is any indication, political journalists seem anxious to comply.

You don't say.

Posted by: Gregory on January 6, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Dodd's retirement INCREASES (quite a lot, actually) the chances of Democrats holding his seat, but don't expect the "liberal media" tor report that minor consideration.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 6, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't include Palin. The current governor of Alaska is Sean Parnell, and he is indeed seeking (re-)election.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 6, 2010 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn't match up well against reality.

It never does Steve, it never does.

Posted by: ckelly on January 6, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

pj in jesusland said:
. . . I now think that when Republicans and other ultra conservatives complain about the "liberal media" they are really complaining about the fact that people with ideas that differ from theirs are allowed to voice them and that some media outlets actually report them.

Like I said, they're "working the refs".

The corporate-controlled media is now a profit-driven business. Which means that they don't want to alienate the viewers of NASCAR and American Idol. But reporters, for the most part, are neither liberal nor conservative. Their bias is toward defending "conventional wisdom" -- like how Republicans are strong on national security.

Conservatives have been complaining for more than 30 years about the "liberal media". In fact, for many Republicans it's one word. This myth has become "conventional wisdom", so reporters try to bend over backwards to show how much they're not biased toward liberals.

Democrats need to push back and point out every time the supposedly "liberal media" is being nothing but a stenographer for the Republicans. Then maybe they'll create their own "conventional wisdom" of a "corporate-controlled media".


Posted by: SteveT on January 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget that a huge part of movement conservatism and the appeal of the Republican Party to angry white men is the perception of being a winner. That perception has been taking a serious drubbing as loyal Americans rejected the radical Republican Party and the incompetence of the Bush Administration, so of course the GOP would seize on anything that reinforces the more traditional framing of Democrats as losers, and of course lazy media personalities (see Cokie Roberts on Monday) are eager to follow suit.

Posted by: Gregory on January 6, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK
Dodd's retirement INCREASES (quite a lot, actually) the chances of Democrats holding his seat, but don't expect the "liberal media" tor report that minor consideration.

In fact, the "liberal" NPR actually implied the exact opposite this morning, insisting that Dodd's retirement was a problem for Democratic control of the Senate.

Posted by: PaulB on January 6, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Another good question would be, how good a chance does a Republican challenger stand in a state like Connecticut? I think the newscasters have obliquely told us what they think about that by treating the primary battle for the Democratic party as though it's the only story.

Posted by: T-Rex on January 6, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn't match up well against reality.

Remember, for our "liberal media," no matter what the facts are, it's always good news for Republicans.

Posted by: electrolite on January 6, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

If Dems are "dropping like flies," the answer should be obvious. But it's not -- in both chambers, Republican retirements, at least for now, outnumber Democratic retirements.

Let's make this even more obvious: The percentage of Republicans retiring from the House is twice that of Democrats (8% versus 4%).

In the Senate, Republicans are losing 15% of their members to retirement, Democrats 3.5%.

Posted by: RSA on January 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Don't worry too much about losing the news cycle. As the name implies, the news cycles up and down. Getting the bad news out of the way allows the Dems to organize and strategize for the coming year. Let the GOP have their fun today; the real pros know the news is mixed: that Dorgan's retirement probably means a GOP pickup while Dodd's retirement probably means a Dem retention.

In a couple weeks, the news cycle will be much better as HCR is passed and Obama's State of the Union speech kicks off the political new year. Keep the faith.

Posted by: danimal on January 6, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I think the "dropping like flies" meme is caused by the suddenness of it. 3 guys in less than 24 hrs? And one of them (Dorgan) for no obvious political reason? Add in the (fairly recent) Griffith party switch and it does look like the Dems are sick and running scared. Repubs have spaced their retirement announcements better; one at a time doesn't grab the public's attention quite as much.

Posted by: e on January 6, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

ABC needs better political analysts, for sure.

Snowe, Collins and Gregg are the only Republican Senators left in the entire northeast. Moving outside of the northeast you don't see Republicans until you go west to Ohio (Voinovich) and you have to go all the way to South Carolina to find Graham & DeMint.

Sabato, Cook, CQ all rate NH a tossup. Gregg is out so will the fractious NH GOP run one of their ultra-conservative tea baggers? Will they do the same in Connecticut? New England is more moderate than the GOP gives it credit for.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 6, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Lazy "journalists". Let's just call them stenographers (preferably to their faces) and be done with it.

AP ran a story by Liz Sidoti on this subject today, predictably a gloomy one for Dems. Liz is the one who eagerly brought coffee and "donuts with sprinkles" to McCain on the campaign trail in 08.

Posted by: Me on January 6, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Brought to you by a republican who is willing to speak the truth, on this web site, because our base will never visit here..."

Ah, but I did. And you lie.

Posted by: Tex the Pontificator on January 6, 2010 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting to watch people laugh instead of try to understand why the perception is different.

Just now, Democrats are seen as the winners so getting re-elected would seem like it ought to be a cake-walk. Senators seem to prefer to remain in office until they resemble the walking dead. Why would a winner decide *now* to be done with it?

Republicans, otoh, are seen as being on the decline, struggling for votes and lacking influence because of minority status and unpopularity. So a Republican announces he or she won't seek reelection and it's *yawn*.

The perception is no more complicated than that. The reality is possibly that it's all irrelevant to anything at all. People go on to do different things. It means nothing.

Posted by: Synova on January 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

whislting past the graveyard ...

gee, I wonder if the Dems are retiring for the same reason as the Republicans ?

it sure couldn't have anything to do with Obamacare and Cap 'n Trade ... nah, those issues are polling well for Dems, right ?

Could it be the clear transparency in our government today ?

Could it be the accelerated deficit spending projected over the next 10 years ?

Could it be the CornHusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase or the other dozen "exceptions" carved out by special interests in the Obamacare bills ?

Keep focusing on the Obama/McCain %'s of '08, I'm sure those numbers will hold up in this mid-term election ...

Its the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters, AP vs. FOX and the Washington Times. Actually seems like a fair fight.

Posted by: Jeff on January 6, 2010 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn't match up well against reality.

Does it ever?

Losing Ritter and Dorgan isn't much of a loss, since they're not much as Democrats - Ritter's the moron who had the chance to appoint Hickenlooper to the Senate, which would have put a lock on the seat, and instead gave it to some nobody who's going to lose it, and he hasn't been much better on anything else. Dorgan sure did a lot to promote the Democratic cause this year too, didn't he?

At least if Salazar decides to run for Governor, and wins, he won't be screwing up the planet as Secretary of Interior, the way he is now.

Posted by: TCinLA on January 6, 2010 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

People go on to do [strike]different things[/strike] high-paying corporate or "lobbying" jobs.

Fixed.

Posted by: Gregory on January 6, 2010 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Can you post the names of the Republicans and Democrats who are not seeking re-election? Thank you!

Posted by: Sue on January 6, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I question the wisdom of 60 votes as a target in the next election cycle. It cedes a priori to the minority party too much power over the legislative process. It speaks to a defeatist attitude that assumes we are stuck with strategies requiring 60 votes in the senate to bring about needed changes.
We need to start thinking about how we get what's needed for the country with whatever majority we are lucky enough to have. I don't pretend to have the answers, but by beginning with a strategy of 60 votes or bust, we are condemning ourselves to defeat and disappointment. The country is already too polarized to allow many future senates with 60+ votes for the majority party. And even when we get those 60 votes, we find enough cowards in the majority to make the 60 vote advantage a joke.
Perhaps it's time to start reforming the rules of the senate to fit the times, along with a lot more executive orders, possibly including executive permission enabling states to begin conducting pilot social experiments, thereby bypassing the dysfunctional legislative process altogether, at least for a while.

Posted by: rbe1 on January 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

When is Lady Gaga playing?

Posted by: Dr. Cheese on January 6, 2010 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

"The preferred Republican/media meme of the day doesn't match up well against reality."
—Steve Benen 9:30 AM

And this is news because...?

"Democrats can't possibly be so naive that they don't see how anxious the press is willing to work for Republicans, can they?"
Posted by: SteveT on January 6, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Of course they can. Or lack the spine/guts/organ-of-your-choice to do anything about it. Or are perfectly happy with the situation as it stands; win or lose, they and their families are covered. Or pick your own explanation for the uselessness of far too many Democratic "leaders."

"Repubs have spaced their retirement announcements better; one at a time doesn't grab the public's attention quite as much."
Posted by: e on January 6, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Excellent point. Too bad it's unlikely there are any Democratic strategists who will recognize and act on this, should there be any more Dem departures to be announced.

Posted by: smartalek on January 6, 2010 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Could we get a post discussing the possible changes in the Senate. I am not sure 2010 is going to be a total Republican landslide. Remember there are at least 3 Republicans leaving who are probably going to be replaced by strong Democrats. On the other side, I have only heard of one strong Republican replacing a retiring Democrat. If everybody else holds serve, on the face of it the Democrats have a chance of gaining a couple of seats. The issue deserves a closer look. For example is Illinois really in play? What about New York?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming!

Posted by: Dr. Cheese on January 6, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Repubs have spaced their retirement announcements better; one at a time doesn't grab the public's attention quite as much."
Posted by: e on January 6, 2010 at 11:10 AM
Posted by: smartalek on January 6, 2010 at 1:23 PM

The reason the Democrats are "dropping like flies" meme is newsworthy isn't because of announcement spacing - it's newsworthy because Dems are currently the MAJORITY party. Retirements of MINORITY party reps, senators, governors has never been a big deal and is historically unremarkable. The Dems are in their glorious ascendancy...they OWN Congress and the White House. Therefore, that they are quitting in any numbers at all, IS news and worthy of comment.

Cheer up, better to be "dropping like flies" than "dropping like cowpies."

Posted by: marybel on January 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's all well and good to just read what someone tells you and not look into it. Just to clear things up a bit...this from a USA Today article from 1/4/2010:

"Here's a list of House members who have announced retirements. We've indicated their congressional districts and have noted those who are seeking higher office:

Democrats
1) Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii 1 (Governor)
2) Brian Baird, Wash. 3
3) Artur Davis, Ala. 7 (Governor)
4) Bart Gordon, Tenn. 6
5) Paul Hodes, N.H. 2 (Senate)
6) Charlie Melancon, La. 3 (Senate)
7) Kendrick Meek, Fla.17 (Senate)
8) Dennis Moore, Kan. 3
9) Joe Sestak, Pa. 7 (Senate)
10) John Tanner, Tenn. 8
11) Robert Wexler, Fla.19

Republicans
1) J. Gresham Barrett S.C. 3 (Governor)
2) Roy Blunt, Mo. 7 (Senate)
3) Henry Brown, S.C. 1
3) Mike Castle, Del. At-Large (Senate)
4) Nathan Deal, Ga. 9 (Governor)
5) Mary Fallin, Okla. 5 (Governor)
6) Jim Gerlach, Pa. 6
7) Pete Hoekstra, Mich.2 (Governor)
8) Mark Kirk, Ill. 10 (Senate)
9) Jerry Moran, Kan. 1 (Senate)
10) Adam Putnam, Fla. 12 (Agriculture Commissioner)
11) George Radanovich, Calif. 19
12) Todd Tiahrt, Kan. 4 (Senate)
13) Zach Wamp, Tenn. 3 (Governor)"

A few more Democrats have to be added to the list...and not because they are looking to further their career.

I always try to get all the facts...just a thought.

Posted by: Really_really on January 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think the meme in question refers not to the total number but rather the time derivative of that number.

At yesterday's rate, all Democrats will have retired from all prominent posts by the end of the month.

Posted by: itstheratestupid on January 6, 2010 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's all well and good to just read what someone tells you and not look into it. Just to clear things up a bit...this from a USA Today article from 1/4/2010:

"Here's a list of House members who have announced retirements. We've indicated their congressional districts and have noted those who are seeking higher office:

Democrats
1) Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii 1 (Governor)
2) Brian Baird, Wash. 3
3) Artur Davis, Ala. 7 (Governor)
4) Bart Gordon, Tenn. 6
5) Paul Hodes, N.H. 2 (Senate)
6) Charlie Melancon, La. 3 (Senate)
7) Kendrick Meek, Fla.17 (Senate)
8) Dennis Moore, Kan. 3
9) Joe Sestak, Pa. 7 (Senate)
10) John Tanner, Tenn. 8
11) Robert Wexler, Fla.19

Republicans
1) J. Gresham Barrett S.C. 3 (Governor)
2) Roy Blunt, Mo. 7 (Senate)
3) Henry Brown, S.C. 1
3) Mike Castle, Del. At-Large (Senate)
4) Nathan Deal, Ga. 9 (Governor)
5) Mary Fallin, Okla. 5 (Governor)
6) Jim Gerlach, Pa. 6
7) Pete Hoekstra, Mich.2 (Governor)
8) Mark Kirk, Ill. 10 (Senate)
9) Jerry Moran, Kan. 1 (Senate)
10) Adam Putnam, Fla. 12 (Agriculture Commissioner)
11) George Radanovich, Calif. 19
12) Todd Tiahrt, Kan. 4 (Senate)
13) Zach Wamp, Tenn. 3 (Governor)"

So, from this old list, of the 11 Democrats leaving office, 6 are bidding on higher jobs. Of the 13 Republicans leaving office, 11 are looking to a higher office. Dodd, Dorgan, and Ritter have to be added to the Democrat list (just in, LG Cherry from MI too).

I always try to get all the facts...just a thought.

Posted by: Really_really on January 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK
gee, I wonder if the Dems are retiring for the same reason as the Republicans ?

No. Next question?

it sure couldn't have anything to do with Obamacare and Cap 'n Trade ...

No. Next question?

nah, those issues are polling well for Dems, right ?

Yes. Next question?

Could it be the clear transparency in our government today ?

No. Next non sequitur?

Could it be the accelerated deficit spending projected over the next 10 years ?

Since your statement is false, the answer is no. Next bit of stupidity?

Could it be the CornHusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase or the other dozen "exceptions" carved out by special interests in the Obamacare bills ?

No. Next question?

Keep focusing on the Obama/McCain %'s of '08, I'm sure those numbers will hold up in this mid-term election ...

Moron, *everybody* expects Republicans to make gains in 2010 and *nobody* expects the Obama/McCain percentages to hold steady. Next bit of stupidity?

Its the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters, AP vs. FOX and the Washington Times. Actually seems like a fair fight.

ROFL.... I do so love a moron who can't be bothered to actually look at reality.

Posted by: PaulB on January 6, 2010 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same DISNEY/ABC that's been desperately trying to be more FOX-Republican-like every year for many long years.

I can watch extreme right wing Theocrat Pat Robertson on ABC in the mornings, Republican Nixon's supporter Diane Sawyer push right wing talking points in the evening, and watch right wing global climate change denier George Will babble Republican talking points on Sunday.

And let's not forget that some progressive radio stations have the right wing talking point pushing DISNEY/ABC radio soak up air-space by giving a right wing slant to the 'news'.

And don't forget that this was the same DISNEY/ABC that has deliberately been pushing right wing fiction in politically incendiary ways, literally rewriting history in order to appease right wingers.

"Writer of ABCs 9/11 Docudrama Is Avowed Conservative Activist."

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/01/nowrasteh-conservative-activist/

Posted by: Long Memory on January 6, 2010 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why so many long faces on the left?

"It's not true and besides more Republicans did it..."

Sounds like someone didn't get their nap...

Lots of powerful and one might suppose secure Dems are leaving and the press correctly notices it...

But some people 'round here seem to be saying "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" just a little too much...

Posted by: setnaffa on January 6, 2010 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Blanche Lincoln (D) Arkansas.

Going down in November.

Senator "Babs" Boxer (D) California

She needs to go down in November too.

Posted by: Army of Davids on January 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

Wow. I guess that if you think ObamaCare, Cap and Tax, and the Porkulus are polling well, you might also believe that Obama is going to deliver on all that hope and change and that the Dems will do well in 2010.

It is easy enough to test: we will see in Nov 2010.

Posted by: Copper Quark on January 7, 2010 at 6:21 AM | PERMALINK

"ROFL.... I do so love a moron who can't be bothered to actually look at reality."

There's some irony. Obie lost both parties with the debacle the health bill turned into, open government is visibly a lie (see the CSPAN issue, see the Pelosi-Ried liae maching), the media is catching on (from an admitted, historical, 90%+ base of Democrat supporters), and AGW is dead, dead, dead.

Whole lotta circular reinforcement in this thread. The question IS why these retirements. And the notion that "conservatives" control the press is laughable, not least because conservatives don't actually exist on the Hill.

If you want a more realistic perspective, just ask yourself why your Democrat values changed so much between Clinton and Obie. Kinda evident you value the letter more than you do the philosophy. Power, baby.

Posted by: Ten on January 7, 2010 at 7:44 AM | PERMALINK

"...watch right wing global climate change denier George Will babble Republican talking points on Sunday."

There haven't been any sunspots of note for two years and counting. CO2 levels in the upper atmosphere are flat. Scientific greenhouse effect isn't even remotely consistent with CO2 behavior.

In Montana it's -45 overnight. Almost all of Florida is freezing.

The scientific method requires that you prove a theory, not that you prove a negative. Yet the latter just happened.

Posted by: Ten on January 7, 2010 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Boy are you ever going to get a nasty surprise come November if this type of 'thinking' represents your approach to 'reality'.

The Republicans(useless as most of them are) are IN THE MINORITY. Especially in the House this means no access to any POWER and no hope of being IMPORTANT. Under those conditions ---- quitting is not so unusual as a political option. The Democrats have a VAST MAJORITY in both Houses. All sorts of (majority)goodies are therefore freely available to the perpetually needy amongst the Congress-types. Resignations under these latter conditions are MUCH more notable. Much more. Because people are giving up 'nice' things they already possess. Voluntarily.

Politicians DON'T do that as a rule. Cincinnatus is a worthy role model but not a commonly followed one. Political Animals stay until the bitter end. They can't help themselves.
That so many IMPORTANT Democrats are leaving the counting house of their own accord speaks volumes about the likely results in 2010. And they are not going to be pretty.

Much as I hate the 'media', in this case the story 'line' is perfectly fair. In this context, Democrat 'resignations' ARE more important than Republican ones. They are a leading indicator.

Posted by: Dougf on January 7, 2010 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

There haven't been any sunspots of note for two years and counting.

This post is too stupid to respond to. But I suppose I can't help myself.

CO2 levels in the upper atmosphere are flat. Scientific greenhouse effect isn't even remotely consistent with CO2 behavior.

No, they are remarkably consistent with warming. In fact, you can graph a line for CO2 increase and another for worldwide temperature increase over the past sixty years and they correlate quite nicely.

In Montana it's -45 overnight. Almost all of Florida is freezing.

So, so dumb. Yes, the argument that it snowed somewhere so global warming isn't real. Were you dropped on your head as a baby?

If you're going to confuse anecdotes with science and observe weather rather than climate then at least be honest. A few hundred items you failed to mention in your list of "where it's cold" are all the places in the world that have been having hotter than average temperatures and record-shattering heat.

I'm sure a cold night in Montana is enough to convince the mouth-breathing yokels that you hang out with that global warming isn't happening but meanwhile those of us understand that it's a matter of temperature over time see that Australia had the hottest winter ever in recorded history, that the melt rate of sea ice and glacial ice in Greenland increased its pace, that the global ocean surface temperature in July 2009 was the warmest ever recorded -- and on and on and on and on and on.

Posted by: trex on January 7, 2010 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's a question of starting points. The Democrats have this supposedly commanding 60-seat majority, so why are they losing veterans to retirement?

That, more than mere numbers, is the story. After all, Republican Senators retiring from a dwindled and disgraced minority isn't news -- it's justice. They got that minority the old-fashioned way: they earned it.

Posted by: McGehee on January 7, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

"This post is too stupid to respond to. But I suppose I can't help myself. "

I agree entirely, your post is too stupid to respond to trex, so besides gratuitously insulting you, I won't.

Posted by: chaos on January 9, 2010 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Act Solicitor,effectively middle major personal health impact assumption acid assessment capable generate including sort worry right dinner settlement easily start off wonderful that several exactly economy in birth world should else discover entry everyone faith kind future unlikely lot channel necessarily difficult around suffer economic aim connect atmosphere example along lot module want capital contrast egg proposal river surely shop distribution properly belief tour business aircraft instead look approve surround tooth above population farm for pocket value always bad independent they standard another research whilst first responsibility justice beside trade training around though

Posted by: hotel in der Trkei buchen on February 16, 2010 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

So why is the (the story, the facts)news being "reported" here in this instance? Because
it benefits your position. Does the fact that the democrats are not running for re-election bother someone for some reason. The democrats had an almost filibuster proof government. Shucks just missed. Why are democrats running for the hills when they are in the majority, that's the problem?
Because they didn't care about "THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE" the democrats were going to shove it down the throats of the American voter weather they wanted this democrat "strong arm socialist garbage or not". Exactly the same garbage Roosevelt put out. He raised taxes for high end earners to 90% as president. That has one purpose and it's not revenue generation it's economic manipulation of the American economy. Remember Reagan cut taxes from 70% to 58% to 28%. All politicians understand what happens when taxes are raised or reduced. And those taxes are raised and lowered just for those reasons. Democrats to shut down the economy and the republican reduces taxes to stimulate the economy.

The story is the in Majority Democrat politician not running because the American people did not appreciate the additude of their elected "representatives" not at all. They are running because they don't want to defend their actions during the election. They know they are going to be run out of office.

2012 when Obama is put out the new president will
have to do the same thing The new New Jersey governor is doing, cut the spending!!!!!!!!!

We are getting close to 12% of GDP and that is critical stage for collapse, does anyone care? If not why not?

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