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The Senate Race
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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
First of all, let me just say that Dick Durbin's comments on the floor of the Senate, and his subsequent non-apologies and weasels brand him forever as an intellectual lightweight and a moral imbecile. If you haven't heard his comments, I direct you to Radioblogger for transcripts.
But while we're all justifiably outraged and busy calling for censure of the Democrats #2 elected official, I think it would be wise to look at the big picture.
Think about all the lunacy that has come from the Left lately: Kennedy likening Abu Graib to Hussien's torture chambers, Dean's lunatic "I hate Republicans" etc, and now Dick Durbin. What do they have in common? These are all fairly important members of the Democratic hierarchy who are completely safe in their positions. Kennedy will never be beaten in Mass, nor will Durbin in Illinois, and Dean is either insignificant or quite carefully placed.
But none of the lunacy is coming from anybody with Presidential aspirations (would the real Hillary please stand up?) or people in tough re-election positions (Conrad in N.Dakota, to think of one). Now, I know some of you are thinking "What about Harry Reid" and "Just think back to Bobby Byrd", and I know there are exceptions. But Reid has to do some of this as leader of the opposition, and I'm pretty sure Byrd is senile, anyway, so. . . .
But that's not the point. The point is that I think the safe people are executing a carefully crafted campaign to move the bar of acceptable discourse SO far past "the line," that the people who need to SEEM moderate and credible can do so just by being themselves. It's the same approach as a martial artist takes getting ready for combat--do so much deliberate abuse to your shins and forearms in preparation that when you get smacked a few times in the fight it doesn't seem like much. Think of the whole Demoratic Party as that fighter, trying to innure itself to the trials of a difficult general election by being so outrageous that just about any claim made later is mild in relation.
Watch this play out. I predict that things will be fairly quite for a few months, but then somebody else will venture out onto the ledge--just to see how far they can push it.