• D_C_Wilson

    Nelson was a warm body to add to the democratic caucus numbers. Nothing else.

    Remember, in 2008, everyone thought the GOP had a lock on both the Nevada and Delaware Senate races. And that was a good year for the republicans. Bring it, teabaggers. Nominate someone as crazy as you can find.

  • mnpollio

    I have yet to figure out this meme that has crept into certain people’s minds of: “Yes, he voted with the Republicans and against his own party more than 90% of the time. And yes, he was an awful Democrat. And yes, he personally put wrenches in legislation that would have benefitted the country and his own party. But…He was a Democrat and not a Republican, so you HAVE to grit your teeth and put up with him and never be confrontational about him because it could always be worse!” Is this the new slogan of the Democrats “It could alway be worse?” Ben Nelson was no Democrat by any stretch of the imagination. He consistently voted along Republican Party lines, while just happening to have a “D” behind his name. Big deal! And if Nebraska puts a Tea Partier or another Republican in his place, that is their choice and we all need to roll with it as best as we can. But that does not include pretending that Nelson was something that he was not – namely a Democrat by any definition of the word. As the old saying goes: When a the contest is between a Republican and a Democrat acting like a Republican, the Republican always wins. Perhaps his successor will be worse, perhaps they will be better, but sticking fingers in our ears and pretending like Nelson did not legislate from a predominantly destructive Republican viewpoint just because chance put a “D” behind his name is nothing but sheer folly.

    • I don’t think anyone is pretending that Ben Nelson is a liberal.

      On the other hand, I think quite a few liberals are fooling themselves if they think that Nebraska will elect a liberal at this point in time, and if they think that it will make no difference if we lose our majority in the senate.

    • jjasonham

      I agree. And it’s not like he is being primaried, either. He’s retiring. So let’s not give up and allow an easy win. I said it before, but there is no better time for this to be happening. There is a clear record behind President Obama as well as the GOP.

  • Good riddance to this major asshole. At least with a Republican we will KNOW what to expect and work with it. Nelson is a DINO and could never be counted on for anything.

  • gescove

    I have to agree with the comments. Ben Nelson is no Democrat. In fact, I think having a “majority” in the Senate because of people like Nelson is quite damaging. It feeds the stupid narratives that Democrats can’t get things done even when they have a “majority”.

  • Let’s just hope there’s a Dem in Nebraska who’ll fight like hell to win that seat.

  • I learned my lesson when we managed to get rid of Blanche Lincoln against the advice of Pres. Obama.

    The Republican to take Nelson’s place will likely be far worse. Not to mention that the cons only need a couple of seats to become the majority in the Senate.

    • How does it get worse? voting with Dems 0% of the time instead of 8%?


      What about his senate subcomittee chairmanship? Is that kind of power to undercut his party worth the fact that he’d vote with his party 8% of the time?

      Sorry, I’ll take a freshman teabagger with no seniority any day. But thanks for playing.

      • You’re wrong. But hey, it’s a common mistake, made by all Democrats at least once.

        Those who don’t learn from history………

        Adding……..it would be worse to lose our majority.

        Also…….last time I checked, 8% was better than 0%.

        • Dan_in_DE

          It might be a mistake, and too much of an emotional, knee-jerk response, but I have to come down on the ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ side here. Booman sums up my feelings on it pretty well. Check out his thoughts on Nelson.

          As to your arguments, Nicole – aren’t there Repub’s in swing-states who are bigger assets to the Dem’s and to progress? And in the time of rapidly purifying political parties, I don’t think it helps us to be lagging behind in that process. A solidified, though smaller, Dem contingent in the legislature would create a totally different dynamic, where the Snowes and Collinses — and perhaps even the McCains — would be more likely to get on board with D initiatives. There’s no way their demands would be any less reasonable than those of Nelson or Joe [I effing hate that d-bag] Lieberman.

          Consider how much better a position the R’s are in, both for their ability to persuade [those above mentioned d-bags] and in their ability to obstruct. I think we need to fight fire with fire — and, with clearer choices at the voting booth the result, the real party of progress only stands to benefit.

          • Dan, I would love to see a real Democrat win in Nebraska, and maybe that can happen someday.
            Nebraska is one of the most conservative states in the country, and while Blue Dogs pretty much always suck, they are still better than a true wingnutter.
            I’m not saying that we shouldn’t make a strong effort to win with a real Democrat, I’m just saying that we may regret it.

            Adding……mine was a very loud voice in the drive to get rid of Blanche Lincoln. I regretted it the minute the state elected a Republican to replace her.

            IMO, majorities matter even when they’re nominal or deadlocked.

            Adding…..just read Booman’s piece, and he does make some good points. Will have to think about this, but I’m glad you linked to it.

  • I’ll take a republican in that seat. Wasn’t ben the chair of something or other? (A senate subcommittee?). I’ll take a freshman repub with no real power in his place – thanks very much.

    I’m sick of the mendacious, enormous, disembodied asshole (apologies to balloon juice) that is Ben Nelson. Sick to death. Sick enough that I’d rather see anyone take his place. And hell, if a republican takes his seat, the only difference is the guy will be honest enough to caucus with his own party (unlike Nelson, who was never a Democrat).

  • jjasonham

    I agree with the sentiment being expressed in the comments. We always talk about the proper times to primary who we feel doesn’t truly represent us. Nelson’s retirement is final. The seat is not a GOP shoe-in by any means. My homestate of NC went for Obama in ’08 and picked up a democratic seat in the senate (ousted Liddy Dole, who occupied the seat of former senator Jesse Helms!). Don’t tell me that it’s impossible. What better time to have this happen than an election that involves President Barack Obama and his record vs. one of the current GOP lineup and Republicans’ record?

  • This is something I have gotten into arguments with many progressives over. Yeah Ben Nelson isn’t progressive, but he’s still a Democrat. Nebraska is also one of the reddest states in the country and you would never get a real progressive there. So would we rather have Nelson, who would vote with the dems 15-20% of the time, or a Republican who will vote with them 0% of the time?

    I really don’t see Nelson’s retirement as a big loss though. Nebraska was one of the seats we were standing to lose and the DSCC already dumped over $1 million into it trying to keep Nelson. Those are resources that can be diverted to a more viable pickup and could actually be a blessing in disguise.

    • PUUUHLEEZE. Check his voting record.

      He was no democrat.

      Not even close.

      There are republicans that voted more democratic than him in 2011.

      So you are saying a hyphen and the letter D make up for his actual positions?

      Would you vote for pancreatic cancer if it had a D next to it?

      Some people’s children…

    • also, as another commenter said. Try 8% in 2011.

      • Yet he still allowed the vote for HCR to go through. Spin it all you want, but if Nelson didn’t do that the bill would have either been watered down even more or died in filibuster land.

        Yes the blue dogs suck, but unless the Democrats want to find a place in the permanent minority then people need to understand that all politics are local. A lot of states you aren’t going to get someone that far to the left.

  • I also agree with missliberties that it’s no big loss. Ben Nelson voted with Democrats 8% of the time in 2011. I’m willing to guess we can find at least one Republican who voted with Dems in the Senate at a higher percentage.

    And Teabaggers showed us that they’re willing to go full tilt crazy back in 2010. O’Donnell, Angle, Joe Miller… voters were not ready for that kind of crazy. For those who DID win, recall campaigns and elections and taking place everywhere, horrific approval ratings for crazy governors… I think the people (the MAJORITY) of the people understand their choices.

  • Robert Scalzi

    Good riddence to this Asshat, no loss here folks …the Armpit from Omaha’s voting record is to the right of 7 senate republicans , be glad this impediment to progress is retiring, he is not a DEMOCRAT !! he’s is an opportunistic cretin that fucked the public option, was the deciding vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in 2003 and the list goes on…. Fuck him. It’s is time to Celebrate !! I know that his replacement will also be an asshat but seriously, Ben Nelson Sucked .

    • jmby

      Agreed. I feel the exact same way about our outgoing Senator, Jim Webb. With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans?

  • desertflower1

    What BOLDNebraska says about Ben Nelson’s retirement:

    Today Sen. Ben Nelson announced his retirement from the Senate. Nelson’s departure is being celebrated by the Republican party who think Nelson’s seat is now a lock.

    We’d challenge the entire GOP field not to get too cocky. If we’ve proven anything this year, it’s that Nebraskans have a strong populist streak that the existing political parties simply don’t get.

    Nebraskans deserve a fighter, someone who stands up for our families and not their political party. Ben Nelson always did that.

    The current GOP candidates did nothing to stand up for our families, the Sandhills or our water when they were at risk from the TransCanada pipeline. That issue galvanized our state and brought people together. Their lack of leadership on the pipeline is noticed and will be noticed during the 2012 election cycle.

    We don’t know who will run on the Democratic side for Senate, but we hope whoever wins will be a fighter for our families.

    • Nebraskans deserve a fighter, someone who stands up for our families and not their political party. Ben Nelson always did that.


      • desertflower1

        Yeah, I saw that 🙂 But hey, I didn’t write it! Maybe they figure that since he’ll be gone, no sense poking him in the eye for all he DIDN’T do!

        • I know you didn’t =)

          And I think you are probably right. No sense kicking a corpse.

          But good farking riddance.

  • missliberties

    Good riddance. No loss.

    And don’t forget, Nevada could nominate some insane tea party candidate, ala Christine O’Donnell. We can hope for that.

    Wasn’t there some guy, Scott ____, who came close to winning as a Dem, in 06 or 08? What about him.

    • desertflower1

      Kleeb. It was Scott Kleeb that you’re thinking about. I hear that a maybe would be his equally progressive wife, Jane. That would be nice! Google BOLDNebraska…I think she heads that. We shall see…..