The man in the arena

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

—Theodore Roosevelt, in a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, on April 23, 1910

If one were to read the usual—and not so usual—quarters, one would be led to the conclusion that President Barack Obama orchestrated the entire deal which vacated the sequester on the FAA, while leaving intact the sequester on every other segment of our government. One would be forgiven for thinking that Obama signed legislation which had been passed in the teeth of stern Democratic opposition, siding with Republicans and perhaps a rump of conservative Democrats.

One would not learn from reading in these quarters that the FAA “fix” passed by unanimous consent in the Senate.

Now, this is more Senate Newspeak, so what does it mean? Simply put, the measure was put before the Senate, and not one single Senator voiced an objection to it. Not Bernie Sanders. Not Elizabeth Warren. All the paragons of the Left signed off on the bill.

The quote which begins this essay is from a speech Teddy Roosevelt gave in France. Its title is “Citizenship in a Republic”. It’s worth a read if you have the time; Roosevelt was one of the greatest orators of our Republic.

But I will focus on the most famous quote from it, because it is most germane to the time in which we find ourselves.

This flaccid, whining, infantile culture in which we find ourselves did not come about by happenstance. It was quite deliberately thought out. Get voters disgusted with DC politics. Break the government and then cry “See, government is useless!” Depress voter turnout. Take over on the state level with small electorates and hamstring any progressive initiatives to come out of the Capitol. Accrue more privileges to those with wealth and power, deny them to the majority, but still—through a thoroughly corrupt and corporate media—sell it as “freedom”.

The FAA fix is but the latest assinine expression of this culture of complaint. It won’t be the last. And if Obama had “stood firm” against the Senate, all he would’ve gotten for his trouble is a veto override. And, oh yes, being accused of risking traveler safety for the sake of “politics”.

Am I upset that every single damned Senator couldn’t run fast enough to spare the FAA from sequester, while programs which aid the poorest among us get decimated? Of course I am. But, let’s not forget, fixing the FAA also spared thousands of workers from being furloughed. Millionaires in their private jets aren’t the only ones benefiting from this action. And, heaven forbid that somehow Obama was able to block the bill, and then a mid-air tragedy occurred. That would be the end of his Presidency.

The problem lies squarely in TR’s quote. We have a culture where it’s far easier—and more remunerative—to complain loudly about any subject than to get into the meat of the matter and effect change. Barack Obama was mocked by Sarah Palin in 2008 for being a community organizer. Mocked for doing real work at a grassroots level by a woman who would, soon after her defeat in that year’s election, resign her post as Alaska governor for the more rewarding territory of a Fox News pundit, reality show star, and political action committee grifter.

Very few in the media or in Congress have had to do much real work in their lives. Very few have looked in the face of poverty and thought about how to ameliorate it. Politics, like much else in our society, has become mere entertainment. Solutions to real problems facing real people don’t sell advertising. Ginning up outrage and controversy keeps the eyeballs of the few people who still watch news or write to their representatives focused on the next ad, or the next fundraising letter.

And I’m not letting us, the citizens, off the hook. Yes, life is tough—made so by people whom we keep re-electing. But the duty of a free citizen in a republic is to be engaged in everything which affects the community. There shouldn’t be a separate “political class”; if you’re upset about an issue, and do nothing save gripe on message boards, then you’re part of the problem. If you can’t be bothered with the simple act of writing a letter to your representative, or—heaven forbid!—voting, then you enable those who are making this country ungovernable.

Of course, it’s obvious that I’m going to say that at present the only “man in the arena” is Barack Obama. Thank goodness we have him. But it’s also a damning indictment of our times that only one person stands between a civilized life and the abyss. And he does it with almost no help.

We have only three more years of Obama’s leadership. After that, what? Unless we change the trajectory of our politics, a post-Obama America promises to slide into even greater dysfunction.

We must all enter the arena if we’re to save this Republic.

158 Responses to “The man in the arena”

    • 2 vcprezofan2
      April 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      So I see! Good moves on your part, Mary. 😆

      • April 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Yes, I should be cleaning, so these are very good moves in terms of cleaning avoidance.

        • 4 vcprezofan2
          April 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

          So should I be, Maryl, having done no cleaning last weekend because I was out gallivanting. However, by the same token I missed TOD last weekend too, so I set my priorities today. 😉

          • 5 hopefruit2
            April 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

            I’m also procrastinating on my cleaning, but happy to be in great company of maryl1 and vc in that vein. 🙂 Alas – the cleaning will have to wait for another day.

            • 6 vcprezofan2
              April 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

              Hell-ooo there! Did you give yourself an excuse too, Hopef? 😉 Mine is that the contractor will make a mess when he returns on Monday anyway, so I might as well wait until he has completed the downstairs flooring. Plus I’m really tired from the past week.

              • 7 hopefruit2
                April 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm

                I have no excuse whatsoever. I just don’t feel like cleaning today. Maybe tomorrow….

                • April 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

                  You are obviously a founding member of our flock, Hopefruit, I honor your fearless stance .

                  • 9 jacquelineoboomer
                    April 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

                    I’m late to the no-cleaning party, but when I feel that way, I always like to line up some “non-work” such as laundry. Unless we’re beating our clothes on a rock down by the river, one can pretend we are working when in fact the machines are doing the work. Feel free to borrow this idea, if you haven’t thought of it yourself a long time ago, as I did!

                    • April 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

                      My goal is to get a Roomba, and then get my dishwasher fixed. Then I can wash dishes, do the laundry, bake bread, slow cook a meal, and vacuum, all while sitting on my couch reading my book and eating bonbons. That’s a lofty goal, don’t you think?

          • April 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

            We are birds of a feather, vc!

      • April 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Nice to see you too :), vc

  1. April 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks, Bravo – LL.

    Needed to be said, and said LOUDLY.

    • April 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      I’m just so FUCKING SICK of people who complain and lift not a finger to effect change. We’re a republic, and yet we’ve ceded authority to a political aristocracy.

      • 16 Gazelle62
        April 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        WOW LL just brilliant!

      • April 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        Where can we read the bill?

      • 18 sjterrid
        April 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

        Great piece, LL! It really gets annoying, when the President really doesn’t have a choice but to sign the bill, since they had enough votes to override a veto anyway.

      • 19 yardarm756
        April 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

        Excellent LL. And by the way, Bernie Sanders can kiss my ass!

      • 20 nathkatun7
        April 27, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        Thanks for this excellent post, LL. Thank you also for reminding all of us about the obligation of a citizen in a democracy. It’s such a sad commentary on this country when people who are constantly whining–and here I don’t mean reasoned constructive criticism– about problems are more valued and regarded than those who are actively focused on trying to find practical solutions to the problems.

      • 21 a4alice
        April 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

        I’m extremely late to the party but just read your post. great LL! As disappointed as I am with congress’ action (because it just seems so flipping self serving). I appreciate what you are saying about the reality of the situation. Interesting too, is what you have to say about that the work doesn’t stop for us.

    • 22 globalcitizenlinda
      April 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      hear, hear! we all have to join the fight to throw out the republican bums in both the house and senate

  2. 23 vcprezofan2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Now I’m off to read what LL has to say.

  3. April 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you for that great editorial, LL. That is the heart of the matter. Bush & Co. did a great job selling the Imperial Presidency: people act like PBO has the power to make everything happen by blinking twice. And people like Boehner are happy to go along with and encourage that view. I read that the only reason this was possible was that there were undesignated funds in the FAA budget that could be redirected. It didn’t take money from poor people and kids. It was one spot where this was possible to do. This makes it even worse that so many in the media are acting like PBO personally went around grabbing bread from the hands of starving children. There is also the point you make that others besides Congress people will benefit. It’s not great, but it also shows that the effects that we were warned about are beginning to bite. Sadly, many people will not be moved to action by things happening to poor and disadvantaged people that are far removed from their experience. They WILL be moved by changed in their own circumstances and perhaps the pressure will build to a sufficient point as budget negotiations begin.

  4. April 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Well said LL, thanks for sharing.

    • 26 hgerhard
      April 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Well said, LL – already tweeted. Just came back from canvassing for Ed Markey – our special election primary is coming up next Tuesday. I ran into other canvassers from the environmental community and was pleasantly surprised by their activism.

      I so agree that we must start to be better citizens and reclaim our true role in self-governing. What saddens me most is the passage of time – all the things that could have been if only so many had not decided to turn off in 2010. We have an extraordinary man at the helm who has the potential of truly lifting up the country, and all he can do is avert the most extreme damage inflicted by a radical minority. Many of his so-called supporters limit themselves to armchair commentary and then turn on him for not being able to single-handedly defeat the opposition. I am afraid, if more people don’t wake up and meet the requirements of citizenship, history will record the Obama presidency as a huge missed opportunity.

  5. 29 mtmarilyn
    April 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    WOW, LL. That is so spot on. I get so upset when I hear “Obama should” with nothing said about the Repubs or congress or local government. Thanks for such great words. Now we on our local level must make changes and do all we can to support our great President.

  6. 30 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you LL for this excellent piece! I have nothing more to add. Well said.

  7. April 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Excellent read LL. I must share. Thank you.

  8. 33 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    • 34 Indie Liberal
      April 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      I don’t use Twitter, but PB is cool. She is one of those that keeps it 100 with PBO!. She dosen’t seem to tweet/fall for the media’s traps or blame any of the PBO’s alies/cabinet folks for the GOP’s circuses. Was going to make a similar point in the Biden/McCain tweet by Alycee, but it came out wrong.

      That said, her tweet is spot on.

    • 41 utaustinliberal
      April 27, 2013 at 9:00 pm


  9. 42 MightyPamela
    April 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you, LL.

  10. 43 jacquelineoboomer
    April 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Liberal Librarian – Well, now, I’m for saving the Republic ~ and giving you a Standing O. Bravo! Well written, as usual. This one is meant for a very wide distribution.

  11. April 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    This flaccid, whining, infantile culture in which we find ourselves did not come about by happenstance. It was quite deliberately thought out. Get voters disgusted with DC politics. Break the government and then cry “See, government is useless!”/

    As my father says: “Democracy is the worst of governments, but for the others”. He knows – he suffered through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands (specifically, Amsterdam, the “Jerusalem of the North”).

    We ignore this return-to-royal-rule at our own peril.

    Thanks for this masterfull piece.

  12. 47 vcprezofan2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    ‘Yes, life is tough—made so by people whom we keep re-electing. But the duty of a free citizen in a republic is to be engaged in everything which affects the community.
    We must all enter the arena if we’re to save this Republic.’ – This is so true, LL. If only enough voters will come to their senses between now and leading up to the next elections!

  13. 48 criquet
    April 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    That was a really excellent piece from you LL. I hope you will post this across the blog spectrum especially on all those blogs whose readers seem to have taken leave of their powers of reason-those who had some in the first place.

    Great stuff.

  14. 49 prettyfoot58
    April 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    We must all enter the arena if we’re to save this Republic….


    and Bring a friend with you…

    It is neither simple nor easy to be in the arena…it requires tenacity…courage…and then after we decide to go into the arena…one must know what to do…there must be not only a clear vision but a plan of action…to achieve those goals…

    that is why for me my arena has become my community…because altho I say connect to TODville…and OFA…twitter and the like …I understand that all politics is local..

    my small area in the arena will be voter registration…and encouraging my neighbors to be involved….


    We have only three more years of Obama’s leadership. After that, what? Unless we change the trajectory of our politics, a post-Obama America promises to slide into even greater dysfunction

    • 50 prettyfoot58
      April 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm


      your words are ever so important….

    • 51 jackiegrumbacher
      April 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      This is the crux of it, PF. The president doesn’t enter the arena alone. He has the big lights on him, as he should, but every time you canvass your community to support a candidate or an issue, you’re entering the arena. Every time you stand in the hot sun at a street fair to register voters, or spent hours phone banking or do lit drops, you stand in the arena. Every time you try to correct an untruth or change one mind, you stand in the arena. And every you persuade one more person to vote, you stand in the arena. It isn’t glamorous, but it takes, as you say, perseverance. In his second inaugural, PBO put it on all of us to act as citizens, to learn, to make judgments to make our opinions known and to vote. He never told us it was easy. In his presidency he has modeled grace under pressure. He hears the criticisms and knows better than any of us what the Republicans are doing to undermine him. But he gets up and faces it day in and day out because he believes, in his heart, that WE are more powerful than the Republicans, the rich, the media and all who would destroy us. I don’t know of any president who has believed in us more than he does and I’m proud to take my small place in the arena beside him.

      • 52 vcprezofan2
        April 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        JG, I like the way you describe being in the arena. You make it seem so much more doable, by cataloguing different elements that some of us have already tried and many here continue to practise.

      • 53 prettyfoot58
        April 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        Right on …Right on,,,,!!

  15. 54 mtmarilyn
    April 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Last night I attended the screening of a documentary film called “Dakota 38” I have been aware and working with some of the people on this project. This is about the largest execution in the United States. Abraham Lincoln was President at the time. 38 Sioux were hung at the same time in Mankato, MN. Even many of the Sioux were not aware of this history. We as Americans are so uneducated about what we have done to the all the minorities in the name of progress. Here is some information.

    “In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862. “When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator… As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn’t get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it’s one of those dreams that bothers you night and day.”

    Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. “We can’t blame the wasichus anymore. We’re doing it to ourselves. We’re selling drugs. We’re killing our own people. That’s what this ride is about, is healing.” This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.”

    Here is the website where you can go and doload this documentary for free. http://www.smoothfeather.org/index.php
    I have met 3 of the riders in this movies. I have watched it several times and I still see it with new and teary eyes. Please watch it and pass it on.

    Also know that the county where this reservation is had more votes per capita, for Obama than any other county in the US.

    • April 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      The fact that this country feels comfortable in ignoring Native Americans after mistreating them for so many years is just shameful.

      All Americans, especially those who live in Western states owe a debt of gratitude to the Native American people.

      Now, big coal is trying to do the same to the white people who settled the west:

      “In Montana, ranchers line up against coal
      A proposed mine — and a railway extension to carry it out — would put their land at risk for an energy plan that mainly benefits Asia, ranchers say. But they’re in the minority.”


      • 56 mtmarilyn
        April 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        Thanks for that article, we talked about this last night. The racism in this state is very strong. It is so discouraging.

        • 57 mtmarilyn
          April 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

          I was thinking this was about the water rights bill for the Flathead Reservation that really brought out the racism in the legislature.

        • 58 jackiegrumbacher
          April 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

          The racism everywhere is strong, mtm. Somewhere in the course of American history the emotional growth of many Americans was stunted. To live in this world with a bigoted heart is to live half formed. How can any person grow into the fullness of their adult humanity and still see other people as “lesser” than themselves. No matter their age, or their wealth, they are people who have aged without fully growing.

          • 59 jacquelineoboomer
            April 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm

            Well said about the “half-formed” part, JackieG. Evolutionary-wise, I totally agree.

        • April 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

          Don’t know how people can be bigoted against people whose names for their streets and landmarks are named for. (Thinking Blackfeet in Montana [and tons of Native American names throughout the entire country] and all the Spanish names dominant in the West and Southwest.)

          • April 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

            Funny thing: when we moved to L.A. from NYC, my mom was just so happy that half the street names were in Spanish. It made her feel at home.

            • 62 nathkatun7
              April 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm

              During Pete Wilson’s governorship, when right wingers were pushing the English only initiative in CA, I attended a forum/debate on the initiative, here in San Diego. The three most vocal proponents of English only who wanted a total ban on the use of Spanish in all CA official business, one lived in La Mesa, the other in El Cajon, and the third in La Jolla. When it came time for Q&A, I asked the two gentlemen and a lady, if they intended to change the names of their cities to english only. The lady in the group, from La Mesa, told me that my question was irrelevant. The other two gentlemen told me that they didn’t want to relieve the past, especially since the names of their cities were now acceptable in the English language. I was speechless!

              • 63 jacquelineoboomer
                April 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

                Wow. (Hey, great points about the names of the cities! And so very true, in all related points.)

    • 64 Roberta in MN
      April 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      What an awesome film. I come from The Red Lake Indian’s in Toronto. (should say great Grandparents) theydon’t talk about it too much, but I have the drums in my heart all the time. Thanks you for putting this on TOD site.

    • 65 jacquelineoboomer
      April 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks so much for posting that website, and the info!

  16. April 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Your essay is spot on LL. Thank you!

  17. 67 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This is so cool.

  18. April 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    OK, one more, from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiot):

    Idiot as a word derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs (“person lacking professional skill”, “a private citizen”, “individual”), from ἴδιος, idios (“private”, “one’s own”).

    The full resentment the Greeks (who invented democracy – Deimos Kratein: Power exerted by The People) feeled in this word is hard to convey: A *private* person was one who didn’t do his duties as a *public* person, that everyone (OK, male, at that time) should do: Participate in the Governing of The Polis – the city-state.

    I.e., an idiot was someone who ignored his civic duties.

  19. 74 Don
    April 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Great write up LL, you’re columns get me fired. As to President Obama standing by himself, it’s a practice born out of life’s circumstances. If President Obama seems larger than everyone else, it’s because he is. What passes today for politicians is talking a good game, but not doing a goddamn thing to back it up. Planned Parenthood was a shining example of what President Obama is willing to do, stand up for what he believes in.

  20. 76 Nena20409
    April 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Beautifully written and to the Point, LL.

    Thank YOU, Courtesy of Led Zeppelin

  21. 80 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  22. 81 prettyfoot58
    April 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  23. 84 globalcitizenlinda
    April 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Praying for quick & full recovery of SCOTUS Justice Stephen #Breyer following a fall from a bike that required surgery of the broken shoulder.

    The last thing PBO needs now is fight to replace a liberal justice. Won’t say much about a rightwing justice – I take the 5th.


    • 85 Nena20409
      April 27, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      He injured himself riding a bike. Had surgery and recovering well as reported. He could be released in early next week. Be Well Justice Breyer.

      • 86 HZ
        April 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Prayers going forth for speedy recovery for Justice Breyer.

        LL, you are brilliant. Thank you for sharing again ‘food for action’HZ

    • 87 mtmarilyn
      April 27, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Extra prayers and candles for Justice Breyer.

    • 88 globalcitizenlinda
      April 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      by the way, wasn’t this week the last one to hear oral arguments for this term – thought I heard that on NPR

  24. 89 Nena20409
    April 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Solomon Burke’s version of Proud Mary

    Then here’s Tina Turner’s Proud Mary

  25. 93 HZ
    April 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Here is a site about the question of the status of oral arguments for the SCOTUS for this year.

    Click to access 2013termcourtcalendar.pdf


  26. 94 carolyn
    April 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for that thoughtful editorial LL. I hope it gets wide dissemination, I’m trying to do my part to disseminate it. Yes, the president called for old-fashioned citizenship in his inaugural address…..we have to do our part.
    He is the inspiration for so many of us, old and young, that at the present moment it is difficult even to imagine a post-Obama country. We MUST change the political landscape in 2014.
    Your analysis of what has happened to hate government, it’s always bad, etc. is absolutely spot on. This has been going on since 1980.

  27. 95 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 5:06 pm

  28. 97 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    • 98 anniebella
      April 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      If FLOTUS don’t mind POTUS playing 4 hours of golf then why should anyone else, like Mark Knoller.

  29. 99 Jovie
    April 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Isn’t there a Soirée tonight? Doesn’t the President get to make fun of these rat bastards that cover him?
    You feel me?

  30. April 27, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Serious question: Where’s lovelyplains? Has something happened to his dad?

  31. April 27, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    More Montana news re: Schweitzer

    Run, Schweitzer, run!

    • April 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      He’ll be a Blue Dog, but Blue Dogs can be taught new tricks.

      • April 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm

        He’s ELECTABLE, and that’s the goal.

        He’s a genuine, real person, unlike that snake (shudder) Rehberg.

        I’ve said this a couple of times on this blog, I’m hoping that the entire Obama family join Schweitzer on a fly-fishing vacation in Montana this summer.

        PBO’s last trip there was too short for him to really enjoy himself in one of the most beatiful places on God’s green earth.

        • April 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

          I really have to make it out to Montana one of these years to do some camping. But California has so much beauty itself, and I haven’t even made a dent in visiting all our parks.

          • 112 mtmarilyn
            April 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

            Anytime you come my husband will take you flyfishing. He loves being on the rivers and teaching others to love it. I don’t fish, if he brings anyhome I cook and eat it. Mostly he does catch and release. I love Montana, even with the crazy teapartiers and Ron Paulies.

        • April 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm

          I think Schweitzer hosted PBO when he was a candidate on the 4th of July:

        • 114 nathkatun7
          April 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

          The political climate has drastically changed in this country. I long for the days when, in the Senate, Montana was represented by Mike Mansfield, South Dakota by George McGovern, Oklahoma by Fred Harris, and Idaho by Frank Church.

    • 115 jackiegrumbacher
      April 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Great news. Thanks, Arapaho.

    • 116 dotster3
      April 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      The most disturbing negative for me is that he is reported to be a big proponent of Keystone pipeline.

      • April 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

        See upthread for link to LAT front page article today about Montana ranchers versus coal for China.

        I’m far from a supporter of Keystone, but know that politicians must work within the realities of their state in order to get elected.

        Don’t know where Schweitzer stands on coal mining to benefit the Chinese (female Japanese-American here, no racial slur intended).

        • 118 Nena20409
          April 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          MT has lots of Coal. Schweitzer is a supporter of Clean Coal….His version. I believe that he is either a Chemical Engineer or Physicist. He wants USA to be Energy Independent.

      • 119 globalcitizenlinda
        April 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        he is also a huge supporter of alternative sources of energy;

        most important of all, he is more influenced by his work among developing nations so he knows the challenges poor people face

  32. 120 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    • April 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      I really HATE the self-congratulations from the media about this event.

      They pride themselves on the “Nerd Prom” as if it’s a badge of honor.

      They are NOT nerds! Engineers and scientists can claim that distinction. The MSM like to think of themselves as part of that class of intellect and it really rubs me the wrong way.

      Thankfully, most journos in my twitter feed are pretty quiet today (or maybe I stopped following the particularly egregious ones).

      Looking forward to POTUS’ speech though!

      • April 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        I’m a writing nerd. My nephew is a music nerd. We’re obsessed with our avocations. We don’t care if we look cool doing it; I write and he composes because it’s who we are.

        Journos are not nerds. They very much care to look cool and be accepted by the cool kids.

      • 123 vitaminlover
        April 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        Good point!

  33. 124 dotster3
    April 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Has this been posted? (haven’t been around today) Sure looks like Politico is slightly (enormously) obsessed with President Obama.

  34. April 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    “And, heaven forbid that somehow Obama was able to block the bill, and then a mid-air tragedy occurred. That would be the end of his Presidency.”


    You know how I feel about all of this, LL, so I’ll leave it at that except to say – yet another fine essay, well done.

    #TrustBarack He’s not going to play politics with people’s lives

  35. 132 hopefruit2
    April 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

  36. April 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  37. April 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    BRAVO! Love your essay, LL. This is both profound and relevant and your writing style is immediately engaging. You make so many great points. I see our POTUS as the ultimate man in the arena. It’s up to us to flank him coming and going, 24/7.

    I just saw on google that E! is going to livestream arrivals so I’m looking for the link……

  38. April 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm

  39. April 27, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Ok, I love love love love my job. But I”m missing a TRIPLE OT game between Brooklyn and the Bulls! Not fair. 😦

  40. 153 sabreen60
    April 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    LL, thank you for this article. If I had seen ONE so-called progressive Senator or House Rep on the TV saying a tenth of what you have written, I probably wouldn’t be as pissed. Not one Senator said they voted for the “fix” BUT…..Where were they. I wrote one of my Senator’s, Ben Cardin, and told him how I was so disgusted that he nor any Dem had stood up and asked *what about the 4 million senior citizens who will no longer benefit from Meals on Wheels; or the kids in Head Start; or the students who need loans and grants. Why didn’t anyone stand up and say this “fix” may benefit some, but it’s self-serving and we don’t need another vacation. We don’t need to go home unless we’re going home to tell our people that we got rid of the sequester.

    • 154 arkluvspbo
      April 28, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Hi Sabreen60, Maryland girl here! 🙂 Born and bred…although now I’m living in Dallas (don’t ask :))

  41. 156 anniebella
    April 27, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The Chicago Bulls won in 3 OT, to go up 3 games to 1.

  42. 157 Betsy
    April 27, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Very true LL. It makes me very nervous about what will happen to the US when President Obama’s term is over 😦

  43. 158 Alycee (@jazziz2)
    April 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    LL, you hit another one out the park! Will be writing my congresscritters to express my dissatisfaction with their priorities.

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