Democrats control the U.S. Senate, 53-47, and are defending 23 of the 33 seats on the ballot this year. Senator Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) retirement, announced in December, made him the seventh incumbent Democrat to decide not to seek re-election in 2012.
I suppose many here will welcome Senator Snowe’s decision. She cited the divisiveness in Congress, and is probably referring to (among other things) the frequent claims on this board that she is a RINO (true, in many respects). Today’s GOP doesn’t much respect her, but has welcomed her votes on many things that don’t affect her constituency. “Be careful what you wish for” is an old adage; she would have been a shoe-in as a Republican candidate for the Senate … now, that race is up for grabs.
I don’t much like the idea of old politicians resurrecting themselves (Kerrey served two terms as Senator), but Nelson’s (D) seat in Nebraska is now in play. Unlike the similarly-named Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Bob Kerry shares real war wounds with Bob Dole and Vietnam experience with John McCain. He was a Navy SEAL and received the Medal of Honor while alive; pretty good accomplishments for a candidate. I wish we had some with the same record.
For a party that professes to support the Military, it irks me that no Republican Senator has earned the Medal of Honor since Henry DuPont (R-DE) was awarded it Apr 2nd, 1898 (for service 40 years before he entered the Senate in 1906).
I have hopes, but absent a current and public catastrophe, gaining a Republican Presidency this year is no more than 50:50.
On the other hand, the media and most voters fail to recognize that it is The Congress, not the President, that levies taxes and spends money. Our Republican Congress didn’t do well under President Bush II. American voters recognized that in 2006. On oaths that they would mend their ways, Republicans won back The House in 2010. The best hope we have is to win back The Senate as well in 2012. The best Government happens when Congress and the Executive are controlled by opposed Parties. Say what you will, but it took Gingrich (who offended many) and a Republican Congress to work with President Clinton (Democrat) to eliminate Welfare and almost balance The Budget.
It should be a caution to many that several Senators are resigning from Congress. Be they Democrat (Yay!) or Republican (What?), it is an indication that the people who have actually earned offices, participated in Congress, and perhaps been there for too many years are ready to call it quits.
Perhaps it is time to focus on local (state-by-state) elections and select people that have the will to work for America.