Democratic leaders from the White House and Capitol Hill pleaded with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), asking him to run for re-election for one main reason: the party is desperate to keep its Senate majority and it has no one else to run in Nebraska.
As is often the case, Nelson is letting his party down.
Oh, it gets worse. Nelson chooses now to retire, after the Dems had bought six figures in ads to help him keep his seat, and well too late to find a replacement. And let's not forget what he leaves behind:
Nelson has voted with the right many times over the last couple of years — even on filibusters — offering Republicans cover on a wide range of issues. When pressed, Nelson would often tell his Democratic allies the votes were necessary to bolster his re-election bid. Now that he’s leaving, Nelson’s votes with Republicans appear to have no value at all.
That said, Nelson’s record wasn’t all bad. In 2009, after nearly balking many times, he stuck with his party on the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act. Those proved critical, and both measures would have failed without his vote. As exasperating as Nelson has been, he never drifted so far to the right that he was more conservative than Republicans.
He was a Democrat...barely. His replacement will almost certainly be a teabagging mouth-breather who will vote with the Democrats a grand total of zero times. This makes Ben Nelson, as rotten as he was, an improvement over, well, this guy.
I'd prefer Ben Nelson, thanks.