Mmmph. Once upon a somewhen, I was a very junior Senate staffer and this was one of the things burned into me.
Not sure where it's written down or if it is where it might be Googlable. Might want to consult a Congressional Directory. Now that I think of it...do they even publish that in hardcopy anymore? I think they do.
Not so fast, grasshopper. The Dems have 60 votes but those 60 include Specter, both Nelsons, Landrieu, and Lieberman. On some issues we'll have them all, on others we won't. Add Snow & Collins to the mix and the truth is that on some key votes we need to score five out of seven. Not a slam dunk by any means.
Yes, seniority among members of the same class will be crucial ten years from now if two or more people are vying for the same committee assignment. Or is line for a subcommittee chair. Franklin will always be tail-end Charlie, behind even Kirsten Gillibrand.
Push come to shove, seniority is measured to the day.
This is good news. The only way to beat Specter in a primary is with a single strong opponent...Specter wins a multicandidate primary easily. Sestak alone would have a chance. Don't know how good a chance, but a chance.
The thought of Garamendi running against Lungren is both well-intentioned and plausible but from Garamendi's point of view the idea is to be unemployed and the CA-10 is much surer shot. I can't blame him.
WSB, things vary wildly from parish to parish. I get the hives just driving by churches in St. Louis, which is where my wife is from, because of their anti-abortion signs out front. (We're in SoCal ourselves). Years go by with abortion being mentioned from the pulpit here, though I suspect there are Catholics with very strong feelings on both sides of the aisle, fwiw. (And I think it's a good thing that the issue is put aside. Too divisive and the absence lets people work together on other things without acrimony.)
Fwiw, if one is looking for a tolerant parish, I suggest looking for one staffed by either Paulists or Jesuits as opposed to ordinary diocesan priests...much more educated, which is a start.
And I make no claim of being anything but a heterodox Catholic in several dimensions...my Facebook page says "Subversive Catholic" as my religion.
WashBlue, do not confuse the hierarchy with the institution with the faith communities. Our parish has a lot of middle-aged people (40-60) and a very healthy contingent of 20- and 30-somethings. Of course, it tends to be things like gay-tolerant and I think the issues of married priests, women priests, and pro-choice would be fairly close if a vote were taken...I think "pro-choice" would win.
The Catholic Church in America is not homogeneous.
Note: my Facebook page lists "Subversive Catholic" as my religion.
I agree that some Democrats should be fair game for a primary. But I think some activists have idiotic expectations and standards of who should be primaried.
We take glee when the Club for Growth challenges some perfectly acceptable Republican (from the Republican point of view) office holders...we should not commit the mirror image mistake of challenging perfectly acceptable (from the Democratic point of view) mainstream Democrats.