Dependable Erection

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


My free time is somewhat constrained, what with having to earn a living and all, and a lot of that has been spent on the upcoming local elections. But that doesn't mean i'm unaware of the larger elections on the table for next year.

In addition to electing helping elect a new president, North Carolinians will be voting to either retain or replace Liddy Dole in the US Senate.

Couple of developments recently in both of those races are worth noting.

Chris Dodd, (D-CT) who has long been my dark horse presidential candidate, has really stepped it up in the past week when it comes to the issue of retroactive immunity for telecoms that may have provided information about their customers to the federal government in violation of the law. Here's an email he sent out earlier:
Dear Barry,

Let's get right to it and talk about how we stop retroactive telecommunications immunity from becoming law.

The way I see it, there are three ways to get this provision stripped from the final bill:

1.) The first step would be to make sure the idea doesn't make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee -- where it will be considered shortly.

If we can get it stripped there, it will have to be offered as an amendment to the overall bill where it will be a lot easier to get 41 votes against retroactive immunity than 41 to sustain my filibuster if necessary.

Take a moment and call up members of the committee, let me know what they said, and join others in tracking our progress in stopping the provision right there.

The other two ways:

2.) If retroactive immunity does make it out of committee, Senate leadership can honor the hold I've placed on any legislation that includes retroactive immunity.

3.) If leadership does not honor my hold, I remain committed to filibustering, and working to get the 41 votes necessary to maintain it.

This has the potential to be a long fight -- so let's build a solid foundation for our effort today by asking members of the Judiciary Committee to vote against any FISA bill that includes retroactive amnesty.

I'd like to see a little more spine, frankly, on these issues. People tell us they want to lead, but a little leadership right now would certainly be welcomed on these questions.

I don't want to, but I'm not afraid to do this alone.


This may not be The Most Important Issue of Our Times, but it is pretty major, and goes to the heart of the attempted transformation of the US from a democracy to a banana republic.

In the NC Senate race, Jim Neal, who is the only declared Democratic candidate for the seat, joined in a live discussion over at BlueNC the other day. Read the transcript here.

Now, Jim had a lot of good things to say about his candidacy. But as it turns out, the only thing people are really interested in talking about is that he's gay.

For lots of folks, that seems to be an impediment to being elected. Even some of Pam's commenters think it's a problem.

Let's get real, folks. We ran that perfect "moderate" candidate against Liddy in 2002. In fact, he was so perfect, we ran him again in 2004, when he couldn't lose. But Richard Burr is our junior Senator, and Erskine Bowles is running our University system, hopefully not into the ground.

As i said elsewhere, Liddy Dole can be beaten by a candidate who is smart, committed, and passionate, and who can articulate and stand for core Democratic values. I don't know if Jim Neal is that candidate or not just yet, but first reports are promising. If Democrats stand with him, why can't he win?

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  • Mmmm. Gee, "why can't he win?"

    Barry, have you ever been outside this blue bubble we call "The Triangle"?

    It ain't pretty.


    "How did you think Jesse Helms got elected all those times?"

    Jim Hunt couldn't even beat him, as a result I think NC Dems are whupped until a new generation decides it has had enough. Is Neal the guy for this paradigm shift? I don't have much choice except to hope so.

    By Blogger Tony, at 9:31 PM  

  • The point is that Erskine Bowles, who was that perfect, moderate, middle aged, white guy who was supposed to pull in all those moderate voters who were afraid of Harvey Gantt but didn't really want to vote Republican in fact got his ass kicked twice, in large measure because not only didn't he appeal to moderate Republicans, (assuming such a creature exists) he didn't even appeal to Democrats.

    So far, everything i've heard from Neal is what i want in a Senate candidate. Since there doesn't seem to be anyone else willing to go up against Liddy, it certainly doesn't help when the folks on our team start off by saying "Oy, he's gay. He can't win."

    That's what elections are for.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 10:50 PM  

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