Monday, June 06, 2005

What's the Matter with Ben Nelson?

There was a Wash Post article on Sunday about Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. The Kos psts some of it here and goes on to say how we need to cut Senators like Nelson some slack, given the conservatism of his constituency and all.

There's some merit to Kos's argument. But once again, I have a hard time understanding how it is that a farm state like Nebraska would produce a Senator so beholden to the interests of the Chamber of Commerce. An audience member from an appearance the Senator made to the group praised him for his support on the tort "reform" bill. Now, I have a hard time believing that any more than eight people besides this audience member in Nebraska care about the tort "reform" bill or were even aware of its existence.

How is it that we've come to this point? Surely this is an apt illustration of the failure of the Democratic Party to provide a real alternative to the business-religious elite. I can understand why a Senator from Nebraska might not want to come off sounding like he's against religion, but what in the world would drive him or her to align with the Chamber of Commerce or to vote for such "reforms" as the class-action and bankruptcy bills? Surely not the actual interests of a majority of Nebraskans?

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