The Great Moderate Exodus of 2012

If you think that the intense polarization in the U.S. Senate couldn’t get any worse-think again. Both parties have laid out their battle plans; the Democrats want to maintain their razor-thin majority, while the Republicans have adopted a “finish the job” attitude. The losers in all of this? Moderates. So, it’s no surprise that eleven Senate incumbents are retiring this year. Of the members of this unprecedented mass exodus, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) best described the situation when she said on Feb. 28: “Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term.” Indeed. Which is why Ms. Snowe, along with Herb Kohl (D-WI), Jim Webb (D-VA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Kent Conrad (D-SD), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) will all be leaving the Senate, with no guarantee of return. One more, Richard Lugar (R-IN) was rejected by his own party in a bitter primary fight with Richard Mourdock, the well-funded and well-endorsed Tea Party insurgent. Chances are, had the remaining ten Senators not announced their retirements, some of them might be in Mr. Lugar’s position as well. However, this article is going to examine two Senate moderates who are leaving on their own terms and the radical partisans who might replace them in January. Continue reading The Great Moderate Exodus of 2012

The Benefits and the Liabilities of Paul Ryan

On Saturday, Mitt Romney answered the most-asked question in American politics. Who will be the presumptive nominee’s running mate? The barely-unexpected answer: Paul Ryan. Seven-term member of Congress from Wisconsin’s 1st District, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, forty-two year old boy wonder of the Republican Party. So, with this being my first(!) post, I’ve decided to analyze some key points about Mr. Ryan and his political benefits/liabilities. Continue reading The Benefits and the Liabilities of Paul Ryan

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