Wednesday, May 5, 2010

David Obey Retires

I wasn't looking for this, so yes, it surprised me:

Representative David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the Appropriations Committee and one of the most powerful and longest-serving Democrats in Congress, announced today that he will not seek re-election and will step down after 41 years.

“There is a time to stay and a time to go. And this is my time to go,” Mr. Obey told reporters and colleagues cramming into the hearing room of the House Appropriations Committee, the panel he has led since January 2007. “I hate to do it. There is so much that needs to be done, but, frankly, I’m bone tired.”

Obey Won’t Run for Re-election

Like most observers, I was wondering what might really be the reason he's leaving. It looks like Politico may be onto something here:

Despite poor poll numbers at home, he insisted that he could win reelection in November but admitted he feared another reapportionment fight in the next Congress and a shift in the public mood against the aggressive public investments which have been his trademark.

“I do not want to be in the position as chairman of the Appropriations Committee of producing and defending lowest common denominator legislation that is inadequate to that task,” Obey said, “And given the mood of the country, that is what I would have to do if I stayed.”

David Obey won't seek reelection

What public mood? I think if you really asked people what they wanted right now, employment and a better safety net would top the list. The people who worry about the deficit and spending on things not related to the defense industry and the useless wars we have it occupied with are, quite frankly, people who are either too comfortable or too stupid to worry about anything serious.

So, consider Obey another victim of the insane rightward drift of DC politics. It's probably the best explanation that fits the facts.


lawguy said...

When I read about what goes on in DC, I think of that bit of doggeral about Boston in the 19th Cent. "The Cabots speak only to the Lodges and the Lodges speak only to God." I'm sure that is not the exact quote, but it does describe what is going on with our rulers and their coutiers.

Cujo359 said...

It seems to. They certainly don't talk to us.