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View Diary: We should be ready to primary/replace Dick Durbin in 2014 (82 comments)

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    •  yep... (15+ / 0-)

      purity is about as good an idea as austerity.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:38:44 PM PST

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      •  Illinois is a blue state. (7+ / 0-)

        I am for progressive Democrats in blue states.  It's bad enough that we have to put up with the likes of Mary Landrieu in purple states. Compromise in NoDak? Fine.  Illinois? No. Durbin has plotted to sell out the New Deal and I would not vote for or canvass for him if I lived in his state.  Democrats should stand for something besides "the banks run the place."

        The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

        by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:01:01 PM PST

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        •  purity (15+ / 0-)

          Start your list of Senators who are more liberal than Durbin.

          Try to get to 10.

          You can't, at least not without a great deal of argument.

          There are several in the top ten that are arguably comparably liberal, but then you are trying to decide which liberal positions you value more than others.

          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          by Skipbidder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:32:08 PM PST

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          •  I am very clear on what I value. (5+ / 0-)

            After the Catfood Commission and the various gangs, Durbin doesn't make the cut.  I would not donate to him.  I would not doorknock for him.  If he got a primary opponent I would donate to him or her.

            The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

            by 2laneIA on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:11:09 PM PST

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            •  yikes (7+ / 0-)

              You are in Iowa.

              Are you advocating primarying Tom Harkin because he has actually voted for Medicare means testing?

              If not, why not?

              Durbin, of course, voted against means testing.

              Regarding liberalism, they are roughly equivalent otherwise.
              Durbin is better than Harkin on marriage equality (being in favor of marriage rather than just civil unions). Durbin is better on progressive taxation as well.

              The plural of anecdote is not data.

              by Skipbidder on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:40:56 PM PST

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              •  Tom Harkin has been defending these programs (0+ / 0-)

                and not proposing cuts to them from behind closed doors as part of a "gang" intending to ram through those cuts in an undemocratic way.  I tried to find whatever you are referring to, including looking at the Alliance for Retired Americans score sheets back to 2007, and I do not find anything supporting your statement.  ARA gives him a 99% lifetime score. You should watch this speech on CSPAN sometime if you want to know what Tom thinks about the efforts of our Democratic President (with Durbin's help) to cut Social Security.  Everyone has their red lines.  This is one of mine.  

                On marriage equality, I found this:

                On marriage equality, on which his state of Iowa has led the way, Harkin said it was only matter of time before it came to every state.

                "Look," he said, "marriage equality is really the civil rights issue of our time and that time has come. I think more and more people are saying, 'Yes, time to put that behind us.' We did that in Iowa. Yeah, there's always some who want to turn the clock back. Heck, I bet you can find people today who would like to to turn back the Civil Rights Act of the 1965. They want to get rid of the Voting Rights Act. There's always people like that. but I think the great bulk of Americans would just as soon say, 'That's history, we're beyond that.'"

                Also this, same Signorile interview:
                Harkin, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has spearheaded the effort to get ENDA passed, having held hearings in the Senate back in June.

                "I'm not going to give up on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act," he said. "It's a civil rights issue. I know we can't get it this year because of Republican opposition, but I'll be there next year. We'll have Barack Obama as president. I believe we'll still have a majority in the Senate and I'm going to continue to bring it up. We're not going to sit back on it. And quite frankly, I think we have a lot of employers in this country that would like to see something like this pass. Right now, a lot of employers are caught in a crossfire on this. If they have ENDA, it frees them up. All I can tell you is, we're not giving up."

                The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                by 2laneIA on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 07:44:32 AM PST

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                •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                  I used to live in Iowa. I volunteered for Harkin for Senate. I caucused for him in 1992 when he ran for President. I quite like him. He does have some bad votes, however. The most irritating to me are regarding alternative medicine (DSHEA has done a lot of health care harm, and he was a cosponsor along with the odious Orrin Hatch.)

                  The vote that should bother YOU if you are a health care purist is the vote he cast in favor of means testing for Medicare. He voted to table Ted Kennedy's Amendment #440; to the Balanced Budget Act (Senate 947). Dick Durbin cast his vote in the liberal purist way (which was a NO vote here).

                  I don't really need to read up on Harkin feels about Simpson-Bowles. I don't like Simpson-Bowles. I hope we do much, much better. I think that the circumstances are different now than they were when that committee meant, and that the Dems realize that we don't have to cave that much. I was just point out that Harkin (who is someone from the State where you actually live) has a bad vote on Medicare. It doesn't make sense to me that you want to primary Durbin and not Harkin.

                  Harkin certain is quite good on gay rights. It's just that Durbin is better. Harkin voted for DOMA. His HRC scorecard shows a 93%. This is great. Durbin's is 100%.

                  The plural of anecdote is not data.

                  by Skipbidder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:57:06 PM PST

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                  •  It looks like a bad vote. (0+ / 0-)

                    In 1997.  Since then he has apparently evolved, and has earned a 99% score from ARA.

                    I have a profound disagreement with what Durbin did last year and is still doing right now, in that he is trying to engineer cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid--unnecessary and cruel cuts that will cause needless death and suffering.  

                    Quoting from the letter from 350 economists that is the subject of another diary:

                    That threat has led to backroom negotiations, backed by a multimillion dollar public relations campaign, toward a "grand bargain" that would maintain tax give-aways for the rich; cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; and impose new, job-killing spending cuts. This is no bargain, and it should be rejected.

                    The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                    by 2laneIA on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 10:30:43 AM PST

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          •  There are many liberals in redder states (4+ / 0-)

            Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin to name a few. Illinois is one of the bluest states in the country, but this isn't the issue. The real issue is that no democrat should be supporting the catfood commission. It's unpopular everywhere. People love Medicare and Social Security even in red states. This is way different from the Tea Party primaries where candidates took unpopular radical right positions in swing states or blue states like Nevada.

            Are you saying supporting Social Security is too far left for Illinois?!

            "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

            by Johnnythebandit on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 09:48:44 PM PST

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            •  Congratulations Senator Oberweis (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoUBears, terjeanderson, MichaelNY

              Wisconsin also has Ron Johnson as Senator.
              Ohio has Rob Portman.
              Illinois has Mark Kirk. In "one of the bluest states in the country".

              Primary Durbin and watch us end up with Oberweis.

              Voting for Simpson-Bowles in committee, when his vote wasn't enough to approve the report, is something that multiple posters here seem willing to be single-issue about. I'm not. He's got the positions that everyone here wants him to have on everything else. The positions of Brown and Baldwin aren't clearly better. They've got some bad votes/opinions too. Durbin also has a strong voting record on Social Security and Medicare otherwise.

              I trust Durbin on Medicare and SS considerably more than I trust Obama.  

              We are already lining up to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.

              The plural of anecdote is not data.

              by Skipbidder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:10:44 AM PST

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              •  I don't trust either of them. (0+ / 0-)

                Primaries and the threat of primaries can have a salutary effect. They are a form of accountability--not representing what your constituents want, but think you are invulnerable because the other party can't take you out?  Watch this.

                The cuts he has been shilling for are opposed by more than three-quarters of Americans surveyed (pdf), so there is no argument to be made that he is representing his constituents on this issue.  This is what the wealthy want, Wall Street wants, and we know that the banks run the place.

                The state races are more consequential for our daily lives than the presidential race. GOTV

                by 2laneIA on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:52:54 AM PST

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        •  Mary Mary (10+ / 0-)

          Please leave Mary out of this. Louisiana is a decidedly red state, she is currently the ONLY statewide elected official still a Democrat.

          Thank god for Mary Landrieu and her vote for ACA, Dodd-Frank and others. She is a great representative and I look forward to working hard to reelect her in 2014.

          21, Male, LA-02, LA-06 (former), TX-08 (home), SSP: sschmi4

          by Stephen Schmitz on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:41:50 PM PST

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    •  I understand the dynamics of the race (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, blueoasis, COBALT1928

      would be a lot different if Durbin retires as opposed to a primary challenge if there is a Grand Bargain.

      I would ask though would a chained COLA and/or raising the Medicare eligibility age be acceptable to you and if Durbin stays, would you be fine with him having no consequences from such a vote if that happens.

      Again, a lot of this is just hypothetical, but it always is a good idea to be prepared for a Durbin retirement.

    •  Exactly (16+ / 0-)

      Utter foolishness.  Occasionally, people on our side will not please us.  I will be vocal about my objections on key issues but I am not participating in an effort to primary our people, esp. when they're more good that bad.

      I vote Democratic because I am a woman with self-respect , who rejects bigotry of all kinds, subscribes to science, believes in universal health care, embraces unions, and endorses smart internationalist foreign policy. Twitter: @HawaiiDelilah

      by Delilah on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:53:33 PM PST

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    •  Yea! (0+ / 0-)

      It's a good thing progressives didn't do anything stupid like nominate some extremist like Tammy Baldwin in a swing state!  

      More seriously, I would expect people on this site to be aware that most of the political science research shows candidate ideology has a relatively small effect on electoral performance.  Meanwhile, primaries are the most effective tools progressive can use to shift the debate to the left.  

      I would scream at someone proposing a left-wing primary challenge to Begich, Pryor, or Landrieu, but if you can't primary a Democrat in a heavy blue state like Illinois, you're going to remain powerless and irrelevant.  

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