That’s what Patrick McIlheran over at RCP called retiring – in more ways than one – Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl, largely on the grounds that during his tenure Kohl has done… nothing.
Nothing at all.
Which would normally be enough to make him one of my favorite Senators – the more of them that can’t be bothered to do anything, the better* – but Patrick also notes this fun little detail:
Obama was going to run in a Wisconsin where his side’s leading local face was a senator who never offended anyone. He will instead run in a Wisconsin where the face of his party will be beet-red, occasionally mobbing the Capitol by the tens of thousands, and shouting for higher taxes — over and over, in a campaign season that drags on for two sleepless years.
This reflects a paradox that has not yet even been really noticed, let alone resolved: the man who ran for election in 2008 on a platform of Change will be stuck running for re-election in 2012 on a platform of Don’t Change – while still somehow having to stay true to the original Change message. And said message of Change will undoubtedly be appropriated by whatever Republican gets the nomination, which means that the real message from Obama is going to be Change that is not the Change of four years ago, nor the Change that my opponents are embracing – but is the Change that is nonetheless the spiritual equivalent of the Change four years ago. And if you buy that, it’d be great, because the alternative is me running on my record. Which sucks.
Hmm. Doesn’t really fit on a bumper sticker, that.
*Particularly the Democratic ones: if the 111th Congress taught us anything, it’s that Senate Democrats should not be trusted to come in out of the rain without also somehow tripling the deficit.