The Goodbye Boys

Jan 6 (Reuters) – The decisions by two U.S. Senate Democratic heavyweights to call it quits at the end of this year will cost their party plenty of punch on Capitol Hill.

But it should not knock out any pending legislation, such as healthcare and regulatory reform, though it may affect other areas, from trade to fighting abuse in government contracts.

Here’s a look at the likely fallout from the announcements by Senators Christopher Dodd and Byron Dorgan that they will not seek what would have been their sixth and fourth terms, respectively, in November’s election.

Original DVD cover


As far as Election Day results, it should be a wash, analysts say. While Dodd had appeared headed for defeat, Democrats will now likely retain his seat. Dorgan was expected to win, but Republicans are now likely to capture his seat. Democrats control the chamber 60-40, just enough to pass legislation without a single Republican vote. Republicans are expected to pick up seats, but not enough to win back control of the chamber.



As chairman of the Senate banking committee, Dodd is chief author of legislation to tighten regulation of the U.S. financial industry. In his new status as a lame duck chairman as well as a lame duck lawmaker, Dodd will have reduced influence as an advocate for tighter financial regulation. But since he is not seeking another term, he also will have liberated himself from many political pressures surrounding the issue.


Dodd was handpicked by the late Senator Edward Kennedy to help craft sweeping legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. And such legislation appears headed toward final congressional approval once a compromise version is reached by Democratic negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives.


The pending retirements of Dodd and Dorgan are not expected to significantly alter the uphill fight for a bill to stem global warming. Dorgan, who wants to cut carbon but opposes legislation to allow trading pollution permits, likely will continue to push for alternative legislation.



Dorgan is seen as the Senate’s leading “prairie populist” and is a member of Democratic leadership. His departure next year should be a plus for free traders and a minus for U.S. labor.



Both Dodd and Dorgan favor allowing U.S. citizens to travel freely to Communist Cuba, and last March introduced legislation to allow this. But the measure hasn’t yet been brought up for a vote as Congress has been busy with other matters. Dodd also helped shape U.S. policy on Latin America as chairman of a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee. In addition, he’s the sponsor of a bill to levy sanctions on foreign companies that supply gasoline to Iran. If Democrats lose their lose 60-vote Senate majority, they may have a tougher time ratifying treaties signed by the Obama administration.


Filed under Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, Congress, Connecticut, Democrats, Edward Kennedy, Global warming, humor, Iran, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Senate, Senate Banking Committee, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

8 responses to “The Goodbye Boys

  1. Oh hell! Like as if Dems are having an easy time passing anything (besides gas) WITH a majority, in both the house & senate.

    Seems the only thing they agree upon is war funding.

    And I had such hope!

    • well, don’t give up hope yet. there are more rethugs retiring than dems, and we’ll probably keep connecticut in the D column now.

      • mary b

        I Lived in CT for 36 years. Dodd was always a good Senator who kept in touch with his constituents. I feel bad about what happened with him as I think he always was/is a good guy.
        Blumenthal was some kind of States Attorney, maybe Consumer protection when I moved out of State. He’s a great guy. too. He’s leading in the polling, I don’t think there will be a problem getting him elected. He’s still honest after all these years.
        It is hard as hell for the Democratic law makers to get much of anything done because of the GOP and Blue Dogs. We need to get more involved to primary their asses. We need to also get out the vote for the midterms or the alternate could be, awwww, tea baggers or more NO-GOPer’s!! The more true Democrats we help get elected, then the Democratic Agenda will move forward.
        Keep the Faith! I know it’s hard, I have my days, too. Just remind yourself of what the alternative will be if we stay home from the voting booth. Things could get much, much worse.
        I’m am trying like hell to be patient. Please, please try your best. We would really be in trouble if the GOP should pick up too many seats!!

        • i agree with you on dodd. though i disagreed with some of what he did, i think he was a damned good senator and a good guy.

          the worst thing that can happen is for dems to be complacent. they have to vote, or d.c. will be filled with crazy teabaggers. the blue dogs are bad enough, but can you imagine even more virginia foxxes, louie gohmerts, batshit bachmanns, and tom coburns? 😯

  2. writechic

    The whole Countrywide loan thing and Wall Street butt kissing was so disappointing. I really liked Dodd. I do like Dodd. His citizen cosponsorship bill to restore habeas corpus was a really brave thing to do during the Bush years. With nothing to lose at this point politically, I hope he goes out like a statesman.

    • it makes me sad, wcp. i really like chris dodd, and i don’t think the countrywide loan thing was really fair to him. i don’t agree with everything he’s said and done, but i think he’s a good guy, and his heart is in the right place. he’s shown that he’s a loyal dem by stepping aside.

      byron dorgan’s decision was a shock, and it saddens me. he’s another good guy. i hope we haven’t seen the last of either of them.

      on the bright side, now the shackles are off, and neither one of them has to answer to any campaign contributors or anyone else. they can speak the truth and make one last push for their pet issues.

  3. Dems can be liberal, or moderate, or conservative. Diversity should be a strength but comes across as weakness. The former ruling class party is so fortunate to be infected with tea virus. We have a bagger woman in the big debate with old Kay and Perry coming up for their primary. What fun to watch each out nasty the other. Popcorn, Nonnie?