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By Brendan Loy

In the wake of Evan Bayh’s decision not to seek re-election, Campaign Diaries reports on a potentially decisive election-procedure wrinkle in the Hoosier State:

Bayh’s retirement also sets up a very confusing situation because it comes just 24 hours from the registration deadline for statewide candidates! While Indiana’s filing deadline is on Friday, Senate candidates need to deposit 500 signatures from each of the state’s nine congressional districts by noon tomorrow to qualify for the fall ballot.

The twist: If no Democrat whatsoever has qualified, party officials can appoint a replacement for that vacancy. This should be the party’s saving grace since it is virtually impossible for anyone to collect 4,500 signatures within the next 24 hours. The first question, then, is whether any Democrat who was already running can qualify for the ballot by tomorrow. It looks like only one person was planning a challenge to Bayh: Tamyra d’Ippolito, who entered the race as a progressive critic of the senator. Just three days ago, d’Ippolito said she was 1,000 signatures short. If she finds them by tomorrow, Democrats need to either stick with her or convince her to withdraw; if she fails, a party committee made of up 32 Democratic officials (ethnic caucus leaders, county leaders) will get to choose a replacement who could bypass a primary.

Put another way, as blogger Hoosierpundit says: “If Tamyra D’Ippolito is on the ballot, then that’s all she wrote. They can’t pick anyone else. She will be their nominee, period.”

Now, look, I don’t know anything about Tamyra D’Ippolito, and I don’t have time to research it in-depth right now. But — just a guess here — a “progressive critic” of Senator Bayh, who was planning to challenge him from the left (despite what must have been despite overwhelming establishment opposition to such a move), is probably not the Democratic Party’s ideal candidate for U.S. Senate, from an electability perspective, in reddish-purple Indiana, particularly in a political climate where Democrats are clinging to dear life amid mounting public anger and Tea Party madness and liberal PANIC!!!!!! In an e-mail exchange with my dad, I speculated that D’Ippolito is probably a “wingnut.” I don’t know if that’s true — maybe she is a wingnut, maybe she isn’t — but either way, she’s almost certainly not the type of candidate who is particularly likely to keep Indiana blue in the current political environment. If D’Ippolito is the candidate, Indiana probably becomes even more “solid R” than North Dakota, and the Democrats effectively start their November math from a base total of 57 seats.

Furthermore, in terms of her profile and, er, plausibility or seriousness or mainstream-ness, or whatever you want to call it, I’m thinking it’s not a good sign that her official campaign website includes, as one of its top “Current Topics,” a story (actually a message-board posting, apparently by the candidate herself) headlined “IDS just called they are doing an article.” The “IDS” is, ahem, the Indiana Daily Student — the student newspaper of the University of Indiana. So, to review, the candidate is super-duper happy, to the point of trumpeting it as breaking news, that the student paper at her hometown school (she lives in Bloomington) is OMG!!!, doing an article about her. Also, did I mention her website is purple?

Ladies and gentlemen, this could be your Democratic nominee for Senate in Indiana, if she — with the help of the Indiana netroots, or whatever portion of it is myopically ideological and anti-establishment enough to think that D’Ippolito’s candidacy would be Great News! For Democrats! — can drum up 1,000 or so signatures (in the proper geographic regions) in the next 24 hours. Her Facebook Page makes clear she understands the stakes, and is actively trying to accomplish this.

As I wrote to my dad, “assuming she gets the signatures, and further assuming that she refuses with withdraw (which, if she’s a wingnut, is a good bet), this is going to become a big-time kerfuffle in the Hoosier State, with the Democrats desperately trying to find some way to twist/change/ignore the rules.” Can you say New Jersey?

AFTERTHOUGHT: Come to think of it, forget the netroots; if the Indiana Republicans are smart, they should start collecting signatures for her, right now. I’m serious. And if the GOP institutionally isn’t behind such an effort, the Tea Party crowd should do it. If there was ever a moment for a “Limbaugh Effect,” this would be it. (Of course, such meddling would also give the Dems an argument for twisting/changing/ignoring the rules.)

P.S. I hadn’t noticed this before, but it appears the aforelinked Hoosierpundit falls exactly into this camp. He describes himself as a “right-of-center conservative cynic,” and has an anti-Obama graphic on his homepage. And he points out:

The form to get her signatures is available here.

You do not need to be in contact with the campaign to get signatures. Just print the above form, get signatures of registered voters on it, and get it turned in to your county clerk’s office by noon tomorrow (February 16).

This could get very interesting.

P.P.S. I’m having a minor crisis of conscience about whether I should link-whore this post to InstaPundit. Seems like he might appreciate it, and maybe link to it. But if he links, that would increase the odds of a Limbaugh Effect (or Reynolds Effect) happening, and D’Ippolito succeeding, which would in turn increase the odds of Republicans taking back Indiana’s Senate seat, which I don’t really want to happen. Hmmmm. … [UPDATE: For those keeping score at home, the tally is: Shameless self-promotion 1, Center-left political leanings 0. Welcome, InstaPundit readers! :) ]

UPDATE: Free advice to the Democrats: if D’Ippolito qualifies for the ballot, your argument should be to change the rules — extended deadline, whatever — to allow an additional candidate(s) on the primary ballot, in light of Bayh’s last-minute withdrawal. You should NOT attempt to change the rules (or aggressively challenge petitions etc.) in order to somehow muscle D’Ippolito out entirely. If the party is arguing for greater access and more voter choice, that’s difficult to oppose, particularly for lefties. If it’s just blatantly and ham-handedly trying to get rid of D’Ippolito without going to the voters, that’s easy to oppose. So, don’t make it about D’Ippolito; make it about ensuring the voters have a choice in light of the last-minute change of circumstances. Without knowing the relevant legalities, I can say this is a compelling policy argument, at least — whereas trying to strong-arm some hand-picked establishment successor onto the ballot, while shoving D’Ippolito off, would be terrible, terrible optics, and would give her a built-in liberal constituency that would then perhaps allow her to win a potential primary, if Plan A (“get rid of her”) fails and the Dems are forced to fall back on Plan B (“primary her”).

Because this is all perfectly obvious, the Democrats will undoubtedly do the exact opposite.

UPDATE 2: A commenter points out that, if D’Ippolito qualifies, the Democrats could simply coalesce around a write-in candidate. I hadn’t thought of that, and it’s true — but I don’t agree that it’s a particularly “easy” solution, or one that’s likely to succeed. The commenter writes that it “shouldn’t be a problem for a machine,” which might be true if the entire state was comprised of Gary. But the reality is that it’s simply much harder to get voters to write in a candidate’s name than to pull the lever for the designated Democrat on the ballot. I would imagine that this strategy would cost the Democrats at least a couple of percentage points — and they really can’t afford that, when it’s going to be awfully hard to win in this environment, in that state, even with a (good) candidate on the ballot. Given the circumstances, a Democratic write-in victory is, it seems to me, just an impossibly heavy lift.

Meanwhile, with regard to what Bayh is thinking with his odd timing, Hotline writes:

Bayh could still file to run, then drop out. But if he does not file his signatures tomorrow, no other Dem is expected to collect the required…signatures by [tomorrow's deadline], meaning Dems will get the chance to pick their own nominee. Some DC Dems say the process is the best-case scenario short of having Bayh on the ballot for a 3rd term; allowing the party to pick a nominee will avoid a primary.

Daily Kos expands on this:

Unlike Democrats, Republicans already have candidates vying for their party’s nomination, including former Rep. John Hostetler and Senator-turned-lobbyist Dan Coats. Because the signature deadline is tomorrow, that pretty much sets the GOP field. Unless both Hostetler and Coats were to withdraw, Republicans won’t be in a position to choose a nominee as will Democrats. The implication of that: Bayh’s timing appears to make it nearly impossible for candidates like Rep. Mike Pence (who says he will not run despite Bayh’s retirement) or Gov. Mitch Daniels to get on the ballot.

So…Bayh’s timing here may actually give Democrats the best chance at holding onto the seat.

Interesting. But of course d’Ippolito is the massive (potential) fly in this ointment. It might’ve been wiser for Bayh to wait till tomorrow morning to make this announcement, rather than give d’Ippolito 24 hours to try and rally her troops (and the netroots troops, and the Tea Party troops, and…).

P.P.P.S. Incidentally, it appears that d’Ippolito is explicitly forming alliances with Tea Partiers, in hopes of getting the requisite signatures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Why, I know some Tea Partiers who are perfectly nice people. :) Hehe. But it may not exactly be music to partisan Democrats’ ears. And if I may offer some more unsolicited advice, d’Ippolito may want to ponder the possible ulterior motives of her newfound friends.

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Comments on "Post-Bayh procedural fireworks in Indiana?"

21 Responses to “Post-Bayh procedural fireworks in Indiana?”

  1. David K. Says:

    Gotta say, this is kind of an asshole move on his part.

  2. Instapundit » Blog Archive » BAYH’S BOW-OUT: Is he planning a primary challenge against Obama? UPDATE: Rumors of a Barbara M… Says:

    [...] ANOTHER UPDATE: Post-Bayh procedural fireworks in Indiana? [...]

  3. firstvolcav Says:

    why isn’t the easiest course of action mentioned? Let her qualify and run a write in candidacy. have the Dem machine coalesce around one person and win that way. It was done that way somewhere else, I think OH. Shouldn’t be a problem for a machine.

  4. JD Says:

    But who do the Republicans have running? From what I know the big House names have passed, and they’d be under the same deadline pressure.

    To drop out when the deadline is tomorrow is indeed an idiotic move.

    The situation looks a bit like the reverse of Iowa in 2008, where the Republican with no political experience won a primary no one really paid attention to and had a website that might have passed for a state Senate candidate…in 2000. In the end, he was the sacrificial lamb to Tom Harkin everyone expected. The difference in the Indiana situation is the status of the candidate of the opposing party.

  5. ddcfamily Says:

    Dan Coats (former State Rep) has been collecting sigs for two weeks – (or so I have been told by IN folks. Expect him to make the deadline

  6. mattmcg Says:

    Tamyra d’Ippolito runs a charming Italian restaurant down here in Bloomington. (Ragazzi Arte Cafe). (Well, it gets awful reviews, but I liked it). She’s tried to position it as a place where people come and enjoy a convivial atmosphere of food, wine, and chit-chat about the arts and politics.

    She intends to be a serious candidate, but is far to the left of Bayh, and of Indiana in general. I don’t think she’s had any traction at all. But as a conservative, I would happily sign a petition to get her fixed as the Democratic candidate.
    Her facebook campaign page is here:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamyra-For-Senate/178606233224?ref=ts

  7. Brendan Loy Says:

    Firstvolcav, that’s a good point, and I admit I didn’t think of it. However, given the disadvantages Democrats will be facing in Indiana in November, a write-in candidacy is an awfully heavy lift. You say it “shouldn’t be a problem for the machine,” which might be true if the entire state was Gary, but the reality is that it’s much harder to get voters to write in a candidate than pull the lever for the designated Democrat. I’m sure there are studies that peg this at a set percentage; I don’t know what they say, exactly, but I’d imagine that being forced to coalesce around a write-in candidate would cost them at least a couple of percentage points (it’s been proven that simple ballot order — i.e., who’s first, who’s second, etc., among people who are listed — is worth a point or two), and they really can’t afford that when it’s going to be awfully hard to win in this environment, in that state, even with a candidate on the ballot.

    Re: what Bayh is thinking with his timing, Hotline writes:

    [N]o other Dem is expected to collect the required…signatures by then, meaning Dems will get the chance to pick their own nominee. Some DC Dems say the process is the best-case scenario short of having Bayh on the ballot for a 3rd term; allowing the party to pick a nominee will avoid a primary.

    Daily Kos expands on this:

    Unlike Democrats, Republicans already have candidates vying for their party’s nomination, including former Rep. John Hostetler and Senator-turned-lobbyist Dan Coats. Because the signature deadline is tomorrow, that pretty much sets the GOP field. Unless both Hostetler and Coats were to withdraw, Republicans won’t be in a position to choose a nominee as will Democrats. The implication of that: Bayh’s timing appears to make it nearly impossible for candidates like Rep. Mike Pence (who says he will not run despite Bayh’s retirement) or Gov. Mitch Daniels to get on the ballot.

    So…Bayh’s timing here may actually give Democrats the best chance at holding onto the seat.

    Interesting. But of course d’Ippolito is the massive fly in this ointment. Might’ve been wiser for Bayh to wait till tomorrow morning to make this announcement, rather than give d’Ippolito 24 hours to try and rally her troops.

  8. sidehacker Says:

    How come every time a “crisis” happens to Democrats, the automatic answer is to “change the rules” until the outcome is suitable to those same Democrats?

    Nobody made Bayh do this to his own party. He knows the rules, or should. He is a highly intelligent, distinguished US Senator after all.

    The Dems got away with this to get Lautenberg elected in New Jersey.

    All they have to do is cry, “No Fair! We can’t compete because of our own incompetence or our own criminality. Ba, wa, wa, wa!” and suddenly the rules change.

  9. gahrie Says:

    How do you pronounce d’Ippolito? Looks like it can be prounced as “Lamont”.

  10. gahrie Says:

    By the way, isn’t it at least a little sad that even leftists now openly expect (and encourage) the Democratic Party to ignore or change election rules for their political gain?

  11. Daily Pundit » Another One Bites the Dust Says:

    [...] rules in Indiana leave them stuck with running a progressive whackjob in November (via Instapundit):Post-Bayh procedural fireworks in Indiana? Put another way, as blogger Hoosierpundit says: “If Tamyra D’Ippolito is on the ballot, then [...]

  12. Brendan Loy Says:

    Okay, first of all, gahrie, I’m not a “leftist,” unless by that term you mean simply anyone who is left of center, no matter of how far left. In which case “leftist” loses all meaning, in terms of distinguishing among left-of-center folks, which seems silly.

    Secondly, I’m not “encouraging” the Democrats to ignore or change election rules. My “free advice” is purely strategic/Machiavellian, not intended as a normative endorsement of the righteousness of any particular course of action. I think that’s pretty obvious from a fair-minded reading, particularly given my statement “Can you say New Jersey?” But perhaps I could have been more clear. For the record, if the rules are clear and admit no exceptions on their face, they should be followed. (Having not read them, I don’t actually know what the rules say; I am relying on second- and third-hand information.) However, it is my default expectation that either party will play any and all electoral rules/exceptions/loopholes to the maximum advantage that they feel they can get away with, up to and including disregarding the letter of the law, hypocritically casting aside their own past positions, etc. — just recently, Norm Coleman clearly demonstrated that this sort of behavior is not limited to Dems; and you yourself showed a willingness to bend the rules in arguing that Scott Brown should be seated immediately, even though the Senate rules don’t allow for that, and recent precedent is clearly against it. The Democrats have likewise repeatedly shown they are willing to bend/break the rules to achieve a desired result. I do not find this behavior particularly laudable, to the say the least, but I recognize that it is the bipartisan and trans-ideological reality. This post was not a defense of (nor an attack on) the morals of any particular set of actions; it doesn’t address the morals at all, really. It’s just discussing what I think might happen, dinging the Dems a bit for being idiots (“because this is all perfectly obvious, the Democrats will undoubtedly do the exact opposite”), and generally being impishly gleeful about the electoral chaos of it all.

  13. Jazz Says:

    My first reaction was similar to the original post: Bayh’s 11th hour announcement was designed to ensure that the Democrats would be able to choose their nominee and avoid a primary. I hadn’t considered the Limbaugh/Reynolds effect.

    The option to choose a nominee is probably a pretty big deal in Indiana for the Democrats, who find themselves in a bit of a bind come November: in all likelihood, they’re looking at a low-50 seat majority, which means they’ll have to coddle moderate Republicans to accomplish anything. Coddling moderate Republicans encourages moderate Democrats to be ornery, so the more liberal the replacement for Bayh, the easier is their (difficult) task of herding cats. But a liberal Democrat probably can’t win Indiana. So then it becomes a matter of degree, how liberal a nominee can they put up and still have a reasonable shot at winning?

    Which is where the nominating advantage could be meaningful. They’d have the advantage of seeing who cleared into the Republican primary, have a bunch of Rasmussen reports to divine who’s likely to win, and then some Nate Silver-ian analysis about what their best move might be. At that point, as Democrats, they’d of course do the opposite. Just kidding – obviously the choice is a lot easier to manage if they buy time, which it appears the Bayh announcement was designed to do, though it may well backfire.

    BTW – I’m totally slow – who’s the other senator down getting the Dems to a 57-senator base?

  14. Brendan Loy Says:

    Byron Dorgan, retiring incumbent Dem in North Dakota. That seat is now widely regarded as Safe GOP.

    You can make an argument that Delaware is pretty clearly going red, too, with Mike Castle running and Beau Biden not. I saw today the Cook Political Report, or Rotherberg or somebody, had it colored solid red on the map… which looked mighty odd, but is probably accurate. In which case we could be looking at a 56-senator base. And that’s before getting into Harry Reid’s troubles in Nevada, among other things.

  15. Brendan Loy Says:

    BTW, Operation Chaos is in full swing. Red State, Hot Air, etc. etc. are all on the case. At least now I don’t have to feel bad about starting it — there was a Politico article about this that really got the ball rolling. I doubt Ben Smith got the idea from my blog post.

  16. gahrie Says:

    Out here in California, Boxer isn’t a shoe – in like normal either.

  17. Brendan Loy Says:

    Yup… California is at last marginally in play. It’s one of the seats the GOP would need in order to take to take away the Dem majority, which remains unlikely but possible.

    The GOP is certain to pick up North Dakota, and very likely to pick up Delaware and probably now Indiana. That’s 56. The Dems are also in deep, deep trouble in Nevada and Arkansas. 54. Pennsylvania, Colorado and Illinois are definite pickup opportunities for the GOP. Sweep those three, and hold onto the states where the GOP is playing defense (principally Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire and Kentucky) and the Dems are at 51. To get ‘em below that, the GOP needs to look to California, Wisconsin or New York (Gillibrand). Win two of those, or win one and get Lieberman to switch parties, and the GOP takes back the Senate.

    Easier said than done, but not impossible, which is remarkable in itself, given where we were a year ago, and given that the 2012 “map” is actually not all that friendly to the GOP, on paper.

  18. Brendan Loy Says:

    (My guess… when the dust settles, 52-48 Dems. But GOP retakes the House. Best thing that ever happened to Obama.)

  19. Alasdair Says:

    gahrie – “By the way, isn’t it at least a little sad that even leftists now openly expect (and encourage) the Democratic Party to ignore or change election rules for their political gain?” – does it seem to you that our gracious blog-host is just a tad ummm *sensitive* about his leftist pendantry ?

    (pendantry – n. – the exhibited characteristic of swinging/tilting/leaning towards, as in towards a political stance/posture …)

    (grin)

  20. gahrie Says:

    I am willing to take Brendan’s word about his politics……and I’m sure that any day now he will post something supportive of the right and critical of the left.

  21. Brendan Loy Says:

    Since relaunching the blog last June, I haven’t been doing as many substantive posts on politics, period, as in the old days, because I simply don’t have time. And on those rare occasions when I do, they usually criticize the Right, for the simple reason that I find more to criticize on the Right than on the Left right now. I’ve repeatedly explained why, and am not going to repeat myself here. But there’s nothing inherently “leftist” in opposing what I regard as the childish, populist know-nothing-ism of the Tea Party movement & its ilk (just as I opposed the childish, earnest-liberal know-nothing-ism of the far-left protest movements that were dominating liberal conversation in the middle part of this decade). You’re obviously free disagree with my position, but it doesn’t mean there’s any reason to doubt — or snarkily pretend not to doubt — my consistent-through-the-years political self-description as a moderately-left centrist, any more than there was any such reason back in 2003-2006, when I was constantly criticizing the Left for similar reasons to why I’m criticizing the Right now, and was consequently being called a right-winger, DINO, etc. by the Gahries and Alasdairs of the Right.

    In other words: maybe I’m wrong about the current state of conservatism (though of course I don’t think I am), but if so, I’m not wrong because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool liberal pretending to be a centrist; rather, I’m wrong (if at all) simply because I am midjudging the issue as I view it through my standard mindset, which has not changed since the mid-2000s, back when you used to like many of the conclusion I reached using the same mindset. So it would be more fruitful to criticize the substance of my viewpoint, instead of accusing me of being a “leftist,” or of failing to criticize the Left enough. The whole bloggy debate over “you don’t say X enough, you say Y too much” is almost always a useless exercise that proves nothing.

    Having said all that, some time ago (on Facebook, I believe), somebody was accusing me of never criticizing of making fun of libs/Dems/Obama, and I compiled — but never posted — this list of tweets/links where I did just that. Admittedly, these are short quips, not substantive posts, mainly for the reason I mentioned above (I just don’t do that many substantive posts these days), so it’s a slightly different issue, but FWIW:

    …with regard to your earlier assertion that I never criticize or mock the current administration, particularly over relative trivialities, here are a few recent examples of me mocking (or approvingly quoting other people mocking) Obama or Biden, or in one case liberals generally:

    “Obama working closely with fictional GOP congressman Sheldon Bachus; even took him to visit the 56th and 57th states – http://digs.by/KfU

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/6b752d7f/obama-working-closely-with-fictional-gop

    “Obama bows to royalty, again: http://twitpic.com/ssrzh. LOL.”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/8148c118/obama-bows-to-royalty-again-lol-rt

    “Reagan was wrong. The 9 most terrifying words aren’t ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ They’re ‘I’m Joe Biden and I’m your acting president today.’http://bit.ly/JVwQ3″

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/052884cd/reagan-was-wrong-9-most-terrifying-words-aren-t-i

    “Loyette handed me a $20 bill from my wallet. Me: ‘You’re just like President Obama. You’re very generous with other people’s money.’ :)”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/c41ee21c/loyette-handed-me-20-bill-from-my-wallet-you-re

    “Obama really needs to stop going to Copenhagen. Nothing good ever happens for him there. http://bit.ly/7cf9kz

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/7daf9ee1/obama-really-needs-to-stop-going-copenhagen

    “Biden’s Monday schedule: commit gaffe, throw out first pitch for Orioles, commit another gaffe, say something dumb, eat dinner – http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4045393

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/97c35e86/biden-monday-schedule-commit-gaffe-throw-out

    “President Obama needs to stop hanging out with Joe Biden. He’s got the Gaffe Flu! http://tinyurl.com/qtwp35

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/42dddf36/brendan-thinks-president-obama-needs-to-stop

    “Got an Obama mass email titled ‘We don’t fear the future — we shape it.’ Briefly misread it as ‘We don’t fear the failure — we shape it.’”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/10183a8c/got-obama-mass-email-titled-we-don-t-fear-future

    “Brendan suspects that the newly discovered ‘direct link between apes and man’ currently being trumpeted by Drudge is, in fact, Joe Biden.”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/f9a5cd68/brendan-suspects-that-newly-discovered-direct

    “the Lefties who think Google = RACIST because of that ‘Michelle Obama monkey’ picture? Idiots.”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/d5d10865/gadsdenista-redstate-e-g-lefties-who-think

    “LOL @allahpundit: How I like to imagine Obama broke the news to Van Jones: ‘Let me be clear: Pack your s**t’”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/9765914a/lol-allahpundit-how-i-like-to-imagine-obama

    “ALL UR INTERNETS R BELONG 2 OBAMA. http://bit.ly/dqeZx

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/779f7b80/all-ur-internets-r-belong-2-obama

    “Heh: ‘Obama’s birthday is a reminder of why health care is so important. As you probably know, due to a lack of health care coverage, Obama’s mother was turned away from a number of hospitals and was ultimately forced to give birth in a manger.’ –Jimmy Kimmel”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/8790275b/heh-obama-birthday-is-reminder-of-why-health

    “‘Cut a latte or two out of your annual budget and you’ve just done as much belt-tightening as President Barack Obama asked of his Cabinet on Monday.’ Indeed.”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/5710cc81/cut-latte-or-two-out-of-your-annual-budget-and-you

    “They let *Biden* come to the Gates-Crowley beer summit? Good lord… we’re officially doomed. I wonder if Biden told Professor Gates how articulate and clean he is?”

    http://friendfeed.com/bloy/491d7d1f/they-let-biden-come-to-gates-crowley-beer-summit

    It’s also probably worth noting that the current top post on my blog right now is titled Insurgent amateur-hour Indiana lefty seeks “Tea Bagger” support. But no, you’re right, I never say anything critical or mocking of people on the left.



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