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Byron and Chris, How About Giving America A Going Away Gift?

Here’s Cromwell Again

Hey, Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd, while both of you have been doing too little good for my taste, Cromwell’s plea:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

was never meant for you. I can think of many other Senators who deserve it, including: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Jim DeMint, every other Republican, and among Democrats, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, Dianne Feinstein, Max Baucus, Kent Conrad, Tom Carper, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Arlen Specter, and Mark Warner. But you too, at least have shown us some redeeming social value from time-to-time.

Your quitting in the way you’re doing it makes me think once again about Yeats’s famous line:

”The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

And also makes me think about what’s wrong with the two of you, who after all these years of service are just picking up your remaining marbles and slinking home, without a peep about the corrupt Senate, its takeover by the corporatist interests, and your own inability to get good legislation through it for the people. As long as you’re leaving, how about a nice going away present for your very long-suffering middle and working class constituents and fellow Americans all over the country? How about one last gesture voting no on cloture, and no on passage, if and when this miserable failure of a health care reform bill comes back with an individual mandate requiring people to buy junk insurance from private insurance companies under threat of enforcement from the IRS, and without a provision waiving ERISA restrictions for those States who want to enact Medicare for All? Your objective in doing this wouldn’t be to block all health care reform, of course. Instead, it would be to force the Leadership to turn to the “nuclear option,” if they want to get health care reform with mandates passed now.

Will the leadership do that? I can’t be sure. They could go for reconciliation first, and then seek to sneak the mandates into some defense appropriations bill later. Or they could decide to go for the nuclear option, since with your retirements, it’s pretty clear that their legislative program is deader than a door nail, if they continue with the asinine 60 vote frame.

So, what will they do? Again, I don’t know, but if you do what I’ve recommended that could prove to be the most important thing you’ve done in all your years of service, since they can 1) put aside health care reform for now, 2) give in and use reconciliation, in which case, we can afford to lose 10 blue dogs to get a better health care reform bill, or 3) give in even more and use the “nuclear option.” On 3), since the Dems won’t have 60 votes in 2011 for sure, they may as well get people used to their governing the Senate with 51 votes now, so the Senate doesn’t start anticipating its inability to pass anything important way, way before the next election, like perhaps, right now.

So, again, what will these gutless wonders do? And, yet again, I still don’t know, but maybe if you two give us this parting gift, it would inspire others to stand up on their hind legs and roar a little bit too. Imagine, what a welcome novelty some fighting progressives and liberal lions who really cared about the people would be for the country!

(Also posted at the Alllifeisproblemsolving blog and where there may be more comments)

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Joseph M. Firestone, Ph.D. is Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director and co-Instructor of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program, as well as Director of KMCI’s synchronous, real-time Distance Learning Program. He is also CKO of Executive Information Systems, Inc. a Knowledge and Information Management Consultancy.

Joe is author or co-author of more than 150 articles, white papers, and reports, as well as the following book-length publications: Knowledge Management and Risk Management; A Business Fable, UK: Ark Group, 2008, Risk Intelligence Metrics: An Adaptive Metrics Center Industry Report, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2006, “Has Knowledge management been Done,” Special Issue of The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 12, no. 2, April, 2005, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003; Key Issues in The New Knowledge Management, Burlington, MA: KMCI Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003, and Excerpt # 1 from The Open Enterprise, Wilmington, DE: KMCI Online Press, 2003.

Joe is also developer of the web sites,,, and the blog “All Life is Problem Solving” at, and He has taught Political Science at the Graduate and Undergraduate Levels, and has a BA from Cornell University in Government, and MA and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Michigan State University.