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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:05 AM

Senate is losing its lions



By Chris Cillizza, Published: January 13

The Senate is losing its lions.

Jay Rockefeller’s retirement from the Senate, which the West Virginia Democrat announced Friday morning, is the latest in a series of departures — by death, defeat or choice — that has rapidly sapped the world’s greatest deliberative body of many of the personalities that dominated the institution, and American politics, for the better part of three decades.

Since the 2008 election, here is just a sampling of the senators who have gone: Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), John Warner (R-Va.), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Arlen Specter (R-then-D-Pa.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and, of course, Vice President Biden (D-Del.)

Virtually every major moment you can think of in the Senate over the past 50 years happened because of the men and women listed above. These are senators about whom books have been written and about whom many more will be written. They are people who will be remembered as prime movers in the chamber.

In their place are a huge number of newcomers who have replaced not only the lions, but also backbench members in recent elections. Since 2008, 40 — yes, 40 — new senators have been elected — 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans, a remarkable bit of symmetry.

read more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-is-losing-its-lions/2013/01/13/eba79032-5da4-11e2-90a0-73c8343c6d61_print.html

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Senate is losing its lions (Original post)
DonViejo Jan 2013 OP
Indydem Jan 2013 #1
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #2
malthaussen Jan 2013 #3
WhoIsNumberNone Jan 2013 #4
Yavin4 Jan 2013 #5
meow2u3 Jan 2013 #11
Bake Jan 2013 #6
karynnj Jan 2013 #8
maxsolomon Jan 2013 #7
Drunken Irishman Jan 2013 #9
TroyD Jan 2013 #10

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:09 AM

1. There shouldn't be lions.

The consolidation of power these old white men have managed to accrue is disgusting and antithetical to the intentions of the founders.

I don't support term limits, but the idea that they willingly serve until they are so old they have to be wheeled about is disgusting. Many of these people don't understand the most fundamental elements of the world today. The Internet and social media eludes these people and they should retire when their reality is so out of sync.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:13 AM

2. Lions? You mean old folks voting against equality and muttering about being moderate?

That list, Teddy died, that's sad but we are humans. The rest of them have long been either Republicans or shadows of what the once were. Biden is now the VP and he is the President of the Senate, so counting him as 'gone' is a stretch if you ask me. Teddy is gone, Joe got a promotion.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:33 AM

3. "The world's greatest deliberative body?"

Who writes this stuff?

-- Mal

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:42 AM

4. Not all of them will be missed

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:08 PM

5. And a New Lion Cub Emerges



It's the circle of life.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:43 PM

11. Lion cub? Sen. Warren is already a grown lioness!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:46 PM

6. And John Kerry too.

It always cracked me up that for decades he was the "junior" Senator from Mass., i.e., while Ted Kennedy was still alive.

Another lion gone from the Senate.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:13 PM

8. True, but the WP has never liked him - not as Senator, not as candidate, not as nominee

and not as likely SOS.

This tells me all I want to know of the neocon heavy WP pundit group.

What cracked me up is that some thought the junior/senior designation was all that significant. After all, both Jay Rockefeller (chair of the Commerce committee) and Kerry (chair of SFRC and former Presidential nominee) were junior Senators in 2009 when Byrd and Kennedy were alive. Yet they were both far more powerful than most senior Senators.

Not to mention, Kerry looked absolutely crushed when Kennedy died - I doubt anyone LESS wanted to be senior senator - though he did want to be President and SOS.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:55 PM

7. the WaPo says Lions

I say tottering grandees.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:13 PM

9. There was only one lion and the Senate lost him in 2009.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:22 PM

10. I agree that too many Senior Democrats are leaving the Senate

Whether because of death (Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye), retirement (Jay Bingaman, Herb Kohl, Kent Conrad) or moving to different positions (Joe Biden, John Kerry) there have been too many Democratic departures in close proximity to one another.

It's great that we have some newer talent coming into the Senate like Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Martin Heinrich and others, but it's also important to have some Senior figures who can mentor them along, and we are losing too many of those.

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