Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion I feel a little sorry for our own Senator Ben Nelson. Senator Nelson's decision to not run for re-election must have been painful but prudent after testing the water to determine the mood of Nebraska voters. We've noticed a considerable number of recent ads in the news media, all at great expense by the Nebraska Democrat Party, expressing the Senator's intention to take good care of us after the election next year. Then a poll was taken and it was determined that his chances of being reelected were next to nil. The voters have a good memory and they are angry. It is time for our Democrat Senator to make a graceful exit to "spend more time with his family." It is a familiar refrain for politicians facing a grim future.
Senator Ben's life must have been pretty darned tough these past few years. The Senator had to have known that he was voting contrary to his voters desires yet he had the more immediate problem of facing the wiles of Speaker Harry Reid's all-powerful political machine. With good intentions, Senator Ben carved out an exemption for his Nebraska constituency when he was pressured to vote YES for Obamacare by the Senate leadership. That exemption, now known derisively as the "Cornhusker Kickback" must be a continuing frustration, good intentions gone bad, for the good Senator. I am sure that the embarrassment of the "Cornhusker Kickback" for most of us Nebraskans played a good part in the continuing disfavor he has found in the recent polls of his voters.
Senator Ben was unfortunately a part of the Liberal Democrat faction that has been in charge of our country for all too many years. He subscribed to the belief that ever bigger government was what is best for our country. The mantra was spend spend spend which had an added advantage of influencing votes for any politician who promised to do more for "his" constituency. He was a lover of pork, now called "earmarks," because he could see the results of federal money that he steered our way.
Many people have told me that Senator Ben was good for this part of the State. Those people also regret his resignation because they feel we will be left out of "our share" of future spending.
Well, the mood of the country has changed. Most people understand that our country is broke and profligate spending has to stop. Our current U.S. Senate, of which Senator Nelson was a part, has not adopted a budget in years.
Entrenched politicians are the problem, not the corporations or the lobbyists that they so often blame. Not all Republicans are the knights in shining armor that this country so sorely needs as all too many love the earmarks and misguided spending as much as their Liberal Democrat brethren.
President Obama rails against the "Tea Party" Republicans who vote "NO" in accordance with their voters who sent them to Congress to rein in the incessant liberal spending of his Democrat colleagues. Change is in the air and Senator Nelson is wise to step aside and let it happen.
Personally I feel, along with probably 90 percent of current active duty and veteran military personnel, objection to the role that Senator Nelson played in terminating the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military. Senator Ben was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee yet never served in the military himself. We veterans resent his vote that catered to the whims of the gay voting block that has lined up to reelect President Obama. We have not yet seen the problems that will arise from that mistaken initiative by our liberal Congress. Private Bradley Manning, the traitor who leaked huge amounts of classified documents to WikiLeaks, is a case in point.
Still, I can offer best wishes to former Senator Ben Nelson in whatever the future brings. Possibly he will be chosen to be an Ambassador to some small African country. Possibly he will return to the insurance industry where he was quite successful before entering into politics.
Even if he chooses obscurity he can comfortably retire on the overly generous pension and premium healthcare benefits that he will be granted from his two terms as a U.S. Senator. He is, after all, a hometown lad who has led a somewhat stellar career and we can all wish him Godspeed.
That is how I saw it.