Wednesday, February 16, 2005

2006 Senate Races, Overview

The blogosphere, as noted in many places, has played an important and increasingly influential role in holding politicians and old media accountable for their actions (and words) these past few years. A short list includes: Trent Lott, the NY Times (and Howell Raines), Eason Jordan, the United Nations (multiple scandals, take your pick), John Kerry, and Dan Rather, to mention only the most glaring examples.

As the number of bloggers continues to grow, expect a lot of talented citizen-investigators to cover many important issues with the in-depth analytical skills that MSM folks largely lack these days. Any number of unexpected but newsworthy events and scandals may pop up, but a few future political debates that are already heating up. Everyone expects that there will be a lot of passion exhibited on both sides of the aisle as President Bush is sure to appoint at least one, possibly two or even three Supreme Court justices over his second term. Since judicial appointments are for life, the make-up of the court will be affected for many years.

We are only a few months out from last November's presidential election, but it's time to start looking at the U.S. Senate races that will be contested next year. I believe this is an important debate to have, since bloggers have already proven they can influence election coverage (the Swift Boat Vets and John Kerry know this all too well). The Senate is where a lot of legislation goes to die, but more importantly, senators vote on presidential appointments and his judicial nominees, which brings us back to the Supreme Court. In other words, if we are worried about the make-up of the Supreme Court, then we first need to concern ourselves with who is in the Senate.

At present, the Senate is comprised of 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 1 Independent ("Jumpin'" Jim Jeffords of Vermont, who defected from the Republicans in 2002; from a pragmatic perspective, we need to count him as a Democrat). The Senate is divided into 3 "classes" and 1/3 of the Senate is up for election every two years. In 2006 it will be Class I's turn. A cursory overview shows that of the 33 senators whose terms will expire in January 2007, 15 are Republicans, 17 are Democrats, and the "Independent," Jeffords, make up the field.

I plan to examine each of the 2006 Senate races over the next few months (hint: look for the brilliant Michael Barone to do most of the heavy lifting). I'll continue to intersperse other (more interesting) topics so everyone familiar with M3C will no doubt continue to recognize my continued lack of focus. And I'm still searching for 1) a name change for the blog and 2) a "purpose" more important than mindless blather. I appreciate everyone's patience and continued interest.
Comments:
I had to run a few errands this morning which gave me to the opportunity to listen to Rush Limbaugh while driving around. Interestingly enough, Rush had a rare guest, the author of the book, "Men in Black". Based on what I heard I plan on buying same. For those who are not familiar with the book the men in black are our Supreme Court justices. WUP
 
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