If you’ve watched the news today, you know that long-time Senators Byron Dorgan and Chris Dodd announced their retirement. Just a little while later, Democratic Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter also called it quits. I woke up to this news on the Today show. It was pretty obvious that this was considered a big deal. Why? Well for one thing, entrenched politicians don’t typically relinquish their power voluntarily. I point you to Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond as examples of the “tenacity of tenure.” Of course, Dodd’s decision likely stems from his alleged ethics violations. Even though the issue’s been resolved, the graceful thing to do sometimes is bow out. But, headlines over all of this are reading “Democrats dropping like flies” and the like.
Looks bad for the left, no? Almost convinces you–if you’re not already–that the Republicans will be sweeping the elections in 2010. Makes you think that the right is fighting while the left is walking away. But, as Steve Benen of the Washington Independent points out, there’s one problem with that: More Republicans than Democrats have announced their retirement. That’s true in the House of Representatives, it’s true in the Senate, and it’s true for Governors as well. Now, neither Steve nor I have an answer to explain why so many Republicans are leaving public life–or why the media isn’t covering the facts–but little things like this ought to make you stop and think about the news you ingest. Everyone—everyone–has an agenda. What’s yours?