The teabaggers wanted to clean house, and with yesterday’s announcement that every single person who ever worked in politics is retiring, they seem to have gotten their wish. That’s right, Byron “Lego-hair” Dorgan and Chris Dodd are both goners. Granted Dorgan’s retirement is a shock, but Dodd? That Chris Dodd? The one who chairs the Senate Banking Committee and got sweetheart loans, and oversaw the financial collapse? The one who stood a good chance of losing his reelection bid to Linda McMahon (of WWE fame)?
Leave it to the jokers at Politico to turn a story into a trend. Their hot new scoop:
The grim outlook for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections just got a little worse…
Suddenly, the sad sack GOP is looking at its best shot in three election cycles of making serious gains in November.
“Sen. Dorgan’s retirement coupled with the recent spate of retirements by House Democrats show the national mood is swinging against them,” said Carl Forti, a GOP strategist. “With [Sen. Blanche] Lincoln and others in a precarious position, Democrats will have to thread the needle to get back to 60 seats.”
Sure, that may be true, but if we head over to Congressional Quarterly (where the raison d’etre isn’t getting linked by Drudge), there’s another layer to all these Democratic retirements: turns out Republicans are retiring, too! In greater numbers, in fact!
With news of four Democrats ending their campaigns yesterday, ABC News says that Democrats “are dropping like flies.”
But Steve Benen notes that Republican retirements, at least for now, still outnumber Democratic retirements.
“In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement… In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement.”
“Among governors, several incumbents in both parties are term-limited and prevented from running again, but only three Democrats who can seek re-election — Parkinson in Kansas, Doyle in Wisconsin, and Ritter in Colorado — have chosen not to. For Republicans, the number is four — Douglas in Vermont, Rell in Connecticut, Crist in Florida, and Pawlenty in Minnesota. (Update: the GOP number is five if we include Palin in Alaska.)”
Will Democrats lose seats in the House? Yeah, probably. They might even lose some seats in the Senate. But geez, Chris Dodd’s retirement as a bad sign for Democrats? That’s just stupid. If anything, his retirement may boost Democratic turnout at the polls. Seems voters would rather vote for someone they like than vote against someone they don’t — or hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two evils.