Blacknell.net

Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Losing Democrats: Illustrations

My friend Vivian has an excellent post up that demonstrates why no one rallied around Rep. Glenn Nye (D-VA02). He didn’t stand for anything.

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We saw it coming (at the end, anyway), but I still mourn the loss of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). And for reasons that have zero to do with preserving Democratic power:

For years, Feingold was one of the few — and sometimes the only — voice in the Senate skeptical of the government’s increasing demands for domestic surveillance power and control of the internet. He was one of 16 Senators who voted against the Communications Decency Act of 1996, an internet censorship bill later struck down by the Supreme Court, was the only Senator in 2001 to vote against the USA Patriot Act, and he introduced a measure to censure President Bush for his illegal warrantless wiretapping program.

“Senator Feingold was a true champion of civil liberties,” said Marc Rotenberg, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, D.C. “He spoke out against the Patriot Act and the dramatic growth of government surveillance programs when many other Senators stood by silently. His voice and his commitment to the Constitutional rights of all Americans will be missed.”

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Rep. Jim Oberstar’s (D-MN) (what the hell, Minnesota?) represents a serious policy advocate setback:

But beyond the immediate politics, Oberstar’s loss signals the end of an era for America’s bicycle movement. Oberstar was a titan of non-motorized transportation. The President of the League of American Bicyclists, Andy Clarke, said this morning that, “we lost a star player in yesterday’s elections.”

“As for the defeat of Congressman Oberstar, that’s a real loss. Regardless of party politics, Oberstar was a true champion of transportation issues and his loss is a major blow to everyone interested in the passage of a robust, multi-modal, long-term transportation bill – including bicyclists.”

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3 Comments

  1. OTOH, John Mica is a big supporter of national high speed rail, so maybe we’ll finally get someplace with that.

  2. Warren

    Oberstar was always late. By the time he got to Minnesota for the townhall meetings, he had to turn his bike around and go back to DC. By the time he got there, all the committee meetings were over.

  3. MB

    Richard, sounds like the We-Hate-Anything-That-Democrats-Are-For crowd is ready to abandon rail.

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    Clever, Warren. On the other hand, I can still get to Bethesda faster by bike than car. Or most anywhere downtown.

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