Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weep For The Governors, They Suffer As The Governed

Correction: I mixed up Byron Dorgan with North Dakota's other Senator, Kent Conrad when I mentioned the Countrywide scandal in the original post. Byron Dorgan was never tied to favorable mortgage deals from Countrywide.

Keep a box of tissues handy when you read this spin piece from Slate about outgoing Democrats. These retirements aren't tied to anything negative to hear this story tell it. It's all about wanting to spend time with family, the constant grind of governing, the personal tragedies faced. What isn't mentioned are any of the scandals embroiling any of the Democrats in question or the constituent anger that harbinged an unceremoniuos exit come November.

In painting the retirement of Chris Dodd, there is no mention of the ethics investigations that have plagued him or his part in the mortgage crisis.

Same thing for Byron Dorgan: no mention of the Countrywide investigation or his constant promises to vote with his constituency on the current healthcare reform, only to vote for it at every turn.

No, these guys are retiring because governing is just so darn hard.

"Politics aside, the rash of retirements is a reminder that these are excruciatingly hard and unrewarding times to govern. Across the country, state and local officials have spent the past year lying awake at night with the same worry as their constituents—how to cut back enough to make ends meet."
It seems to me they solved the problem by raising the debt ceiling and spending trillions more tax dollars. I'm guessing that isn't how the little people deal with it.


  1. I would argue to the contrary of the articles author that these days may perhaps be the most rewarding times to opportunity to lead the country out of crisis. I also think most the democratic resignations are scripted so stronger, fresh candidates can run in their place. Finally, it is seldom noted in any of these articles about Dodd and Dorgan resigning that there are actually more republicans leaving office this term than far.

  2. The article does note the more Republicans are retiring bit. The problem for Democrats is that the Republicans that are leaving are largely in areas where another Republican will take their place. Not so for Dodd and a few others (and hopefully Dorgan).

    As for the opportunity you spoke of; it must be tough when a growing number of people believe strongly your ideas will just sink us further into debt without addressing the problems at hand, and get ever more vocal about it.

  3. Dorgan wasn't caught up in the Countrywide scandal. His only connection is that he rents an apartment in the complex Conrad had financed in Bismarck.

  4. Crap, you're right. Even though I should know better I get Dorgan's and Conrad's names mixed up all the time. I think I even typed Kent Conrad once in this post before correcting it.

    Thanks for the correction.