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5 Dead-Weight Democrats for 2010

5 years ago
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Powerful majorities aren't all fun, games, and taxpayer-funded retreats, folks. When you have the massive advantage in congressional seats that the Democrats currently enjoy, you're bound to have duds mixed into the pack.

Just ask the Republicans, whose past majorities in Congress were tainted by the inclusion of flotsam like Katherine Harris, "Duke" Cunningham, Mark Foley, and Dennis Hastert.

Now it's the Democrats' turn, and they'll be feeling the full weight of their party's detritus in just 18 months, when the 2010 midterm elections roll around. Here are 5 Democrats bound to give Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel & Co. a major headache next November...

Name Problem How Democrats Can Cope

Arlen Specter
Washington's newest Democrat is perhaps its most obnoxious. Often cited among the meanest and most ornery members of the Senate, Specter has enjoyed the rare distinction of being hated by Capitol Hill Republicans and Democrats alike. Now add the fact that he's running as an anti-union Democrat in Pennsylvania-- which is a little like running as a pro-Union Republican in Texas. They've already started by stripping Specter of his committee chairmanships, thus rendering him a powerless pseudo-freshman. Obama, Joe Biden and Harry Reid have committed to backing Specter in the primary, but that doesn't mean they can't secretly funnel cash to Rep. Joe Sestak's insurgency campaign.

Jack Murtha
Speaking of Pennsylvania, it's hard to clean up Washington when your party can claim the greatest source of political pork this side of Alaska. Murtha has wasted untold millions of taxpayer dollars on airports named after himself, and it doesn't help that he called his own constituents a bunch of racists. Since the only person who loves Murtha even more than defense contractors do is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, we expect the national party to roll over and let this gluttonous man-bear have yet another term.

Chris Dodd
Although he doesn't approach the guilt status of Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan, Dodd has more financial blood on his hands than any other Democrat in Washington. And if his cushy relationships with AIG and Countrywide Financial weren't bad enough, throw in the fact that he moved to Iowa (as a political stunt) and propped up Joe Lieberman (because he got cocky and thought he was invincible.) Angry yet, Connecticut? Unfortunately for the Democrats, Dodd is entrenched. He's Ted Kennedy's best friend, he's chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and he could drink party leadership under the table. That said, he's the most unpopular man in Connecticut-- except Lieberman of course. Even Alan Schlesinger could beat him right now.

Roland Burris
Burris did the impossible. He was hastily appointed to his post by a delusional, puffy-haired crook of a governor who got impeached a month later... and he somehow went downhill from there! How? By being woefully inept at everything he tries-- from being a Senator, to mounting a reelection campaign to raising money for the con-man that appointed him. Failures on all counts. Fortunately for Senate Democrats, primary voters seem prepared to dispatch Burris on their own. All the current senators need to do is bide their time and continue to ignore the man for another 18 months, and the whole thing will be over before they know it.

David Paterson
While not a member of Congress, Paterson committed the cardinal offense of Democratic politics: He left a Kennedy out to dry. He's also failed to take advantage of the first Democratic majority in the New York's state house in a generation, thus framing himself as a weak leader. Party activists could throw their weight behind state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, B-List star Fran Drescher, or Eliot Spitzer, a former attorney general who polled well in 2006.


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