I screwed up.
I missed a wonderful opportunity to meet yesterday with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il).
Luckily, other folks did meet with the Senator, and here are some reports:
Well, it turns out that Durbin still has Rwanda on his conscience. He was told that if we didn't send 5000 troops, there would be genocide. He couldn't persuade Bill Clinton (fresh off his humiliation in Mogadishu and its shameless exploitation by the Republicans, including John McCain) to send the 5000 troops. As a result, 800,000 people died.
Senator Durbin says that the priority of the Senate on Iraq is to come up with a consensus amendment that will get as close to 49 Democratic votes as possible (counting on the fact that Joe Lieberman will never vote for anything having to do with ending Iraq. Durbin also likes Jack Murtha's idea of tying troop deployments to readiness, and he expects that will have the effect of making it look like the Republicans are eager to send ill-equipped troops into combat zones.
Durbin supports the Dodd-Menendez bill to restore habeas corpus, and called those who ramrodded the bankruptcy bill through the Senate "heartless bastards." You read that right. He did seem willing to put together bills that may fail for the purposes of getting vulnerable Republicans on the record about various issues. This is how habeas and bankruptcy may go, trying to throw wedges in to split the Republicans (and certain Democrats as well, on those bills).
He says his office has a good relationship with Senator Lieberman’s office, and that they “don’t spend time worrying about” Lieberman.
He also said he would like to see Obama as the nominee, and that whatever happened as a result of his candidacy would be good for the Democratic party. He compared his state’s junior Senator to Bobby Kennedy, “Eugene McCarthy and Howard Dean defined the anti-war movement, but Kennedy widened the circle, and Obama’s like that.”
So, very nice reporting by those folks.
All this supports the contention that the bloggersphere, esp. on the left, is becoming a force, a 'thing' that matters. Otherwise folks like the Senator wouldn't bother.
But by asking to meet with folks, Sen. Durbin doesn't give us credibility, he instead realizes that we are credible commenters on the issues of the day.
Thanks, bloggers, and thanks, Sen. Durbin.