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Upstarts don't like the way this guy
 Dick Lugar works with Barack Obama
Forty years ago, Dick Lugar was called "Richard Nixon's favorite mayor" for his support of turning control of some federal programs to local communities. Despite Nixon's ignominious departure two years later, the label didn't seem to hurt Lugar as he won a seat in the U.S. Senate from Indiana in 1976. He's been there ever since. Now, campaigning for his seventh term, the 80-year-old Lugar has collected a new label from right-wingers: "Obama's favorite Republican."

On Tuesday, the Club for Growth will begin airing a 30-second TV ad and two 60-second radio spots. The TV ad backs state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the primary, pointedly calling him “The Conservative Choice For Senate.” In one of the radio spots, the narrator says: “Dick Lugar might be a statesman, but he’s not a conservative [...] Lugar voted to raise the gas tax. Voted for the Wall Street bailout. The Fannie Mae bailout. He even voted to put taxpayers at risk bailing out New York City. [...] Lugar voted for each and every every Obama Supreme Court Justice. [...] Indiana conservatives deserve better than Obama’s favorite Republican."

The National Rifle Association has a laundry list of things Lugar has done to irk the organization dating back to Lugar's support for the 1993 assault-rifle ban. Of the seven other Republicans who voted for the ban, only Dan Coats, also of Indiana, is in the Senate.

The deep-voiced narrator of the NRA ad, which also backs Mourdock, says that some things, like "Indiana values" and "the protection of our Second Amendment and hunting rights" shouldn't change. "But over 36 years in Washington, Dick Lugar has changed. He's become the only Republican candidate in Indiana with an F rating from the NRA." The ad buy in that case will be in the six figures.

These attacks added to the fact that Lugar hasn't owned a home in Indiana for nearly 25 years and has spent less than 15 percent of his time in Indiana during his 35 years in the Senate, plus attacks from social conservative groups like the forced-birthers of Indiana Right to Life, the Tea Party Express and the tea party-connected FreedomWorks, and an approval rating below 50 percent, could give the senator a rough go of it in the May 8 primary. Quite the turnaround for someone who has never faced a primary opponent before and didn't even have a Democrat running against him 2006.

“What we’re really seeing here is the erosion of the patience that American voters have historically had,” says former Utah senator Bob Bennett, a nominal conservative whose shocking ouster at his party’s 2010 state convention sent a terrifying message to incumbents everywhere. “The comment being made … is, ‘Well, you haven’t gotten it done for 36 years. What makes you think you can finally get it done in the next six years?’”
What we're really seeing here is more of the effort to dump another moderate seen to be tainting the ranks of a party becoming ever more extremist in platform and temperament.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The only chance for a Dem winning, even a conserva (17+ / 0-)

    dem, is Lugar losing the primary.  It's funny to watch.  I remember that also: "Nixon's favorite mayor."  

    Lugar is a right winger.  It's just that the R Party is off the cliff.  

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:15:00 PM PDT

    •  The Dem is Worse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monitor78

      Far worse than Lugar. Lugar and Nunn were effective and capable on Foreign Affairs. Without Nunn-Lugar every former Soviet Central Asian state would be a nuclear power. Donnelly is more anti-woman than Lugar, and a vicious townie idiot.

      From wikipedia:
      The National Rifle Association has consistently supported Joe Donnelly on his views on gun control. He helped promote a project that would get rid of gun registration and the trigger lock law in Washington D.C.[30] The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has disapproved of Donnelly’s views and actions since 1998, based on his gun control voting records.[29] He values family traditions and human life; therefore, he is working on making inappropriate content on the web, television, and radio unavailable to children. Donnelly is morally opposed to abortion, and is trying to make adoption more accessible to families.[31]
      ......
      In 2011, he co-sponsored HR 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.[32] The bill contained an exception for "forcible rape," which opponents criticized as potentially excluding drug-facilitated rape, date rape, and other forms of rape.[33]

      •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noamjunior

        Lugar votes for McConnell. McConnell votes for Romney.

        Donnelly votes for Reid. Reid votes for Obama.

        Do I need to make it simpler?

        •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

          I'm through with "more" Democrats.  Only interested in "better" ones.  

          We have enough "Democrats" who vote for Harry Reid (as though that does the Democratic Party any favors) and then turn around and obstruct the party's agenda — even on procedural votes.  Simply unacceptable.  

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:13:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So are we cheering for him to lose so (8+ / 0-)

    we get a right wing extremist against a Dem in that race or are we cheering him to win so we can say moderates aren't COMPLETELY dead yet?

    Are we cheering at all?

    I love the NRA's parsing of words. "Only Republican candidate in Indiana with an F rating." They make it sound like there aren't MORE Republicans out there with an F rating.

    I'm my mom's favorite son. Then again, I'm her only son.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:20:43 PM PDT

    •  The former IMHO. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I'm not cheering, period... (3+ / 0-)

      ...because regardless of how this turns out, it will send an even louder message to Republican incumbents that any trace of occasionally voting for sanity will be punished in the next primary.  

      While it might be good for the Democratic party in the short run by making an otherwise safe seat for the Republicans into a competitive seat, it's ultimately bad if you figure that we don't just care about winning, but also about governing.  And this is just going to make governing all the more difficult.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This! This! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom

        I am a former Hoosier, and I may not have agreed with Lugar on all (or even most) issues.  

        But that said, he normally was a thoughtful opponent.  Someone who did have the best interests of the state and country at heart.

        That group is coming very close to extinction in the Republican Party.  

        And while having a Democrat in his office that I, in theory, should agree with more.  Indiana tends to have very conservative lawmakers on either side of the isle.  So I don't know that I'd find that whoever takes his seat any more appealing.  Do we really need another Ben Nelson?

        I'd like to see better Democrats take power, BUT I'd also like to see better Republicans too.  It might be heresy here, but I'd still like someone who has the best interests of their state and country in the (insert political office here).  We've had too many who were in it for personal gain, or who were beholden to special interests - see the next paragraph.

        The Club for Growth is a tumor, Chris Chocola was my congress critter for a bit, and he was a unmitigated disaster.  I'm to the point that if he supports something, that I'm pretty sure it isn't in the public good.

         

  •  If Mourdock wins, we will have to do some (10+ / 0-)

    distasteful support of Donnelly (Blue Dog Bayh Clone) to get him elected instead of that lunatic Mourdock.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:26:17 PM PDT

  •  Dick doesn't actually LIVE in Indiana however (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod, TDDVandy

    He might improve his chances if he addressed that issue.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:33:34 PM PDT

  •  "Dick Lugar might be a statesman, but..." (7+ / 0-)

    "he's not a conservative."

    That line is just despicable.

    Remember when these people used to pretend to be patriots?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 02:49:52 PM PDT

  •  I was wondering if Lugar being painted in such a (5+ / 0-)

    negative way will turn off all the moderate Republicans in our rural area.  Many people here vote for the GOP but they are in no way extremists.

    •  can only (0+ / 0-)

      hope so.  It really depends if they have had their minds sucked into the vortex of massive, extreme rw propaganda straight out of mainstream media for the past 12 years ...

      If there is a liberal bias in media, it sure hasn't improved my opinion of the democratic party in general.

      "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:38:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this race will be decided on Wednesday... (0+ / 0-)

    As Lugar and Mourdock will face off in their one and only debate.  When is the last time Lugar has been in a debate?  Senators tend to be very long-winded - can Lugar give direct to the point 90 second answers? Will he punch back against Mourdock?  Will Mourdock come off as a bully if he's too aggressive?

  •  Getting an F from the NRA - I would frame (5+ / 0-)

    that grade and hang it in my office, and be proud of it, and then of course I would retire on to his family farm, gracefully, as it would be proper for an eight year old statesman... sigh

  •  Did Lugar vote for ACA? For the stimulus package? (8+ / 0-)

    If so, then perhaps his imminent defeat at the hands of a teabagger lunatic can be considered a slight net loss. But if Lugar has been voting with the Republican hordes, then I don't see how we should be saddened by this.

    If anything, removing another fig leaf from the naked craziness that is today's Republican party makes it less likely that Democrats will lose their minds and agree to some bat-shit insane "grand bargain" to eviscerate Medicare and Social Security in return for a pile of discount coupons for cat food.

  •  It will be a shame to lose the last intelligent (3+ / 0-)

    Republican in the Senate.  When it comes time to find reasonable solutions to the problems that plague Washinton, there will be NO ONE left to talk with.  Our only solution is to pack the House and Senate with Democrats ----- more than a 60% majority.  

    But if Lugar does lose to TeaBagger Murdock, it may mean Indiana can elect a Democrat to that Senate Seat.

  •  "Countdown to Extinction" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    While Dave Mustaine's politics are probably as out of sync with Dailykos as Ted Nugent is... the song "Countdown to Extinction" by Megadeth is appropriate in Richard Lugar's primary and the fate of the mythical Moderate Republican.

    Endangered species, caged in fright
    Shot in cold blood, no chance to fight.
    The stage is set, now pay the price.
    An ego boost, don't think twice.
    Technology, the battle's unfair,
    You pull the hammer without a care.
    Squeeze the trigger that makes you Man,
    Pseudo-safari, the hunt is canned...
    The hunt is canned.

    Chorus
    All are gone, all but one.
    No contest, nowhere to run.
    No more left, only one.
    This is it, this is the Countdown to Extinction.

    Above Grecian mantles were chiseled these words... Know Thyself... Nothing in Excess... the pop philosophy of its day.

    by ravagerofworlds2 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:38:14 PM PDT

  •  I guess Alan Simpson doesn’t count n/t. (0+ / 0-)
  •  You're all being too kind. (8+ / 0-)

    Lie down with dogs, Lugar, and you will certainly get up with fleas.  I'd rather have a Democrat, Blue dog or not, in the seat. Remember, more and better democrats.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:39:21 PM PDT

  •  they (0+ / 0-)

    must be attacking Lugar because he's moderate and sane.  What a shame

    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:40:47 PM PDT

  •  From our perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Carlo

    The differences between Lugar and Mourdock are twofold:

    1.  Lugar will pretend to work with Democrats.  Mourdock will not.
    2.  Lugar will beat Joe Donnelly.  Mourdock may or may not.

    27, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:47:13 PM PDT

  •  This will be Pa 2010 all over again... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, ImagineOhio

    CFG will come out early and often for Mourdock like they did for Toomey, and Donnelly, like Sestak, will not have the money to defend himself early.  

    I hope the DSCC will put money into Donnelly quickly if this is the case - to give him a fighting chance.  

  •  They will lose all the high positions he holds . (0+ / 0-)

    If they replace him , his replacement will start at the newbie level .  

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:49:01 PM PDT

  •  The GOP sheds its centrists (4+ / 0-)

    while the Dems tries to find Centrists to compete.

    This story doesn't have a happy ending.

    "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

    by Keith930 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:49:26 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      He loses both parties move to the right.

      •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        v2aggie2

        according to Chris Bowers, the Senate Democrats in 2008-2010 were the most liberal Democratic caucus of the last 100 years, at least. The problem was the filibuster, of course, but to say that Democrats have moved right over the last few decades is false.

        Democrats, even northern Democrats (so it's not just the Dixiecrat exodus), have moved solidly to the left. Granted, not as far as the GOP have moved right, but you didn't say that.

        People panic too much on this site.

        by thematt523 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:04:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ImagineOhio

          The very idea that the last Democratic Senate could even stand the comparison with the Congresses that enacted the New Deal, or the Great Society legislation, is simply preposterous.  

          The Democratic Senates of the early 1970s enacted countless pieces of legislation on environmental, civil rights, civil liberties, campaign finance, consumer safety issues...and that's merely the tip of the iceberg.  

          The Democratic Senate of 2009-11 was, by contrast, all hat and no cattle.  

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:20:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Voting records back me up (0+ / 0-)

            And the reason for those things is because the filibuster was not used, and because the GOP was less conservative.

            People panic too much on this site.

            by thematt523 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:32:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Voting records say nothing (0+ / 0-)

              about the content of the legislation voted on.  

              The Civil Rights Act of 1968 (fair housing), the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts...those are HUGE pieces of legislation, which impact every aspect of American life.  

              HCR?  The stimulus package that contained 40% tax cuts (with no stimulative value)?  Sorry, all that is small potatoes.

              Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

              by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  True (0+ / 0-)

                but those had no filibuster. The liberalism of the 51st senator (according to the chart, it was Claire McCaskill) was the most liberal in a long time. Had health care reform required only 51 votes, a public option would have been in there, no question, and probably a lot more. Cap and trade would have passed. Oil regulations. A stronger financial reform bill. The DISCLOSE Act. More federal aid. This is why I strongly support ending the filibuster. Sure, the GOP would impose its agenda, but it's only fair that a majority gets to do what it wants to do. I'm willing to bite that bullet.

                And remember, back in the 1960s and 70s, you had Republicans that proudly worked with Democrats on liberal issues, and Democrats so conservative that some were members of the John Birch society. Times have changed.

                And also, even when taking out those tax cuts, when adjusted for inflation, the stimulus package was bigger than the ENTIRE New Deal. All ten years, compressed into something that passed in a month.

                So yeah, the last Congress was the most productive in a VERY long time. Remember, all the liberal legislation that was passed throughout history was considered half-assed useless compromises by liberals back then.

                People panic too much on this site.

                by thematt523 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 11:26:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Conservative Democrats like (0+ / 0-)

                  Kennedy, Metzenbaum, Proxmire, Humphrey, McGovern, Mansfield, Hughes, Culver the Elder, and Bayh the Elder.  And Biden, who was far more liberal then than he is now.  And that's just the start...I'm forgetting twice the number of Democrats in the 1970s Senates who were more liberal than Bernie Sanders is today.  The only Senate Democrat who can hold a candle to his luminary predecessors is Tom Harkin, and he and Sanders lead a very lonely fight.  

                  In this century we have the likes of...Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Bayh the Lesser, Cuomo the Lesser and Culver the Lesser in statehouses, and...Claire McCaskill.  I mean, really...if the Senator who was delinquent in paying the taxes on her private plane is truly "the most liberal in a long time"...then either your standards have truly slipped, or you're not going back long enough — or both.  

                  Today's Senate and House Democrats are a poor shell of a joke when compared to the titans of yesteryear, who enacted truly monumental legislation.  Healthcare reform that was a gift to the insurance industry?  Finance reform that was a gift to the banks?  Not much of real consequence to either one, no chance of expanding them on the political horizon when the Democrats know nothing but playing defensive politics, and the healthcare law might not even survive because Congressional Dems were too stupid to define the "mandate" as a tax when they wrote the fucking bill.  

                  Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

                  by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 06:48:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

                    what delinquent taxes has to do with liberalism, but whatever. If you want more liberal Democrats, YOU have to fight for it. You can't sit there and hope for a time that didn't exist. Mentioning how liberal people used to be won't change anything. And besides you named only 10 senators. The last time I checked, you needed 50 for a majority.

                    And yes, all those 1970s liberals! We all know that the 70s was a time of great liberalism, of...business deregulation and capital gains tax cuts.

                    You're a typical distraught internet liberal who believes that the past was better when history shows a far less sunny picture. And that the failure of liberal policy is because of a lack of "fighting", whatever the hell that means! Look, do you honestly believe that Democrats have some obvious solution to all their failures, but just decide not to do it, just because?

                     I know you are irrational because you think that Chuck Schumer is too conservative. I mean, really?!

                    People panic too much on this site.

                    by thematt523 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:10:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  And I turn off at the "filibuster" excuse (0+ / 0-)

                  It's just that, an excuse, and a pretty pathetic one used to justify and excuse mediocrity.  

                  A political party that was truly committed to reform would either twist the arms necessary to force through its agenda — or if it lost the vote in Congress, would keep going back to the well to push its electoral advantage with the voters.  When you have a winning issue, either you win the legislative votes, or you turn around and use a legislative loss to club your opponents and pick the same fight the next day.  Today's Democrats do neither, which is the "tell" that they either don't want real reform, or they just don't care.  

                  Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

                  by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 06:52:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

                    history and basic parliamentary rules. I'd correct you, but I have other things to do. If you do not believe the filibuster is not a problem, I cannot convince you of anything.

                    People panic too much on this site.

                    by thematt523 on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 07:57:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  From Indiana (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carlo, SCFrog, LostBuckeye, ImagineOhio

    I'm from Indiana and I've heard Mourdock speak and for a man who has a masters of science degree he's not too bright.  If you remember he's the one who sued to stop the Chrysler bankruptcy because he invested the Teacher's and State Police retirements in Chrysler debt.  He spent over a million dollars to recover about 2 million which would have put about 4K people out of a job and screwed about 9K people out of their pensions.  All because he made a crappy investment.

  •  Have a nice retirement, Dick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carlo

    Savor your votes to uphold those last few filibusters, asshole.

    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

    by Minerva on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:10:59 PM PDT

  •  Lugar = good dog is now dog food nt (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:25:44 PM PDT

  •  Lugar had a primary opponent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, ImagineOhio

    when he ran in 1976.  Lugar ran and lost to Birch Bayh in 1974.  He faced former Gov. Edgar Whitcomb in the Repub primary in 1976 and easily won the primary and general.  I was in college in Indiana at the time.  I remember the headline in the uber partisan Indianapolis Star the day after the election:  "Lugar, Bowen sweep state", then in much smaller type "Carter wins Presidency".  Lugar hasn't faced a primary opponent, and only weak general election opposition, since 1976.

    "Just because you're a nice guy doesn't mean you can't drill someone in the ribs. "--Manny Acta

    by Buckeye Terry on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:29:41 PM PDT

  •  This is all quite surreal (0+ / 0-)

    Lugar isn't even some RINO.  He was a pretty solid conservative record.  I never thought it would come to this but at this point I just don't see Lugar winning the primary.  Hopefully if that comes to pass Donnelly can run an effective campaign and possibly win the general.  Donnelly is definitely a strong candidate ad I'm glad we have him in the race.

  •  The GOP has lost its collective mond (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImagineOhio

    Nobody is really in charge of the GOP anymore, and the crazed suicidal Teabaggers are chasing all of their candidates so far to the right, they are in a political wasteland where the rest of America won't follow. Good. Lock them out. They deserve to be destroyed by voters for what they have done, and for what they plan to do. Lugar is conservative, but he's not a complete RWNJ, so the Teabaggers want to replace him with one of their hatefilled Taliban kooks.  This is a good chance for Dems to snag that Senate seat. Even red state conservatives in IN don't like many of the policies their radicalized party is pushing. A large portion of Republicans want Medicare and SSI to be protected, they want to raise taxes on Rmoney, vs. the middle class. They want health care insurance reform and a clean environment and to repair our infrastructure.      

  •  Richard Lugar is not a "moderate" (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with everything else in here, but not that characterization.

    He may be a "moderate" by the standards of today's right-wing zeitgeist.  In the real world, however, they don't get much more conservative than Lugar.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 05:11:42 AM PDT

  •  Usually i'd support any D over any R (0+ / 0-)

    but not in this case. Lugar is much better than Donnelly on an issue that matters to me, which is sanctions against Cuba, specifically on travel and remittances. Donnelly supports the sanctions, and Lugar strongly opposes them and has been the leading R in the fight to lift the embargo. He in fact praised Pres. Obama when he lifted some of the sanctions in 2009, Donnelly did not. Same thing with Jeff Flake in Arizona, another embargo opponent, which is why they are both pretty much the only R's i will support and donate to in this election cycle.

  •  Seen his whole career (0+ / 0-)

    I can remember being at Young Democrats meeting at Indiana University in the 1970's.  Lugar was running against Birch Bayh and had sent some Young Republican slimeball to try and get Evan Bayh to mess up and say something stupid.  Evan was cool.  Birch won.

    So, my first impressions of Lugar were that he would stoop to such tactics.  But, hey, he was a Republican and in Indiana all Republicans thought they were God's chosen and Democrats were lost souls.  I hated Dick Lugar, "Nixon's favorite mayor."

    But I've seen him define what it means to be a moderate Republican from Indiana--and I have grown to respect him. And I'm glad he's Obama's favorite Republican.

    And I'm sorry to see him go.  I just don't know if there are enough sane Republicans left in my native state. Too many rightwing "Christian" zombies.

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