Washington (CNN) – Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, is the first member of the Democratic leadership to suggest that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should resign.
When asked by CNN if McChrystal’s comments in Rolling Stone magazine warrant resignation, Dorgan replied “if he said what it was reported that he said, the answer is yes.”
Dorgan, who chairs the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, was visibly annoyed about McChrystal’s comments, just as many of his colleagues have been all day.
But Dorgan went further than his fellow Democratic senators, most of whom have called McChrystal’s reported comments about the president’s national security team inappropriate and troubling, but have also said it is up to President Obama to decide if McChrystal should be fired from his job as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“We can’t have a general calling the national security adviser a clown, or whatever had been attributed to him with respect to Vice President Biden, the national security adviser, and others. It’s just unbelievably inappropriate and just can’t be allowed to stand,” Dorgan told CNN.
Washington (CNN) - 2010 has opened on an unsettling note for Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
Connecticut's Chris Dodd and North Dakota's Byron Dorgan - two longtime power players in the chamber - have announced their intention to step down at the end of the year. If history is any guide, the party now faces an uphill struggle to maintain its 60-seat supermajority.
Failure to do so could have serious ramifications for President Obama as he tries to look past the health care debate and tackle global warming, ballooning budget deficits and a range of other politically contentious issues.
The fight over health care reform has clearly demonstrated that 60 votes is now the minimum threshold for passing major legislation through the Senate. Anything less leaves the majority party at the mercy of a minority increasingly willing to employ the filibuster to grind the legislative gears of the Senate to a halt.
Washington (CNN) - North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2010.
"It is a hard decision to make after thirty years in the Congress, but I believe it is the right time for me to pursue these . . . interests," Dorgan said in a written statement announcing his decision.
The Democrat also said Tuesday that his decision had nothing to do with his prospects for re-election this year.
"[M]y decision has no relationship to the prospect of a difficult election contest this year. Frankly, I think if I had decided to run for another term in the Senate I would be reelected," Dorgan said.
Two well-respected, nonpartisan political reports, the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, had rated Dorgan's seat as safe in the 2010 elections, and Dorgan won re-election by a large margin in 2004.
North Dakota's other senator, Kent Conrad, is also a Democrat. Conrad predicted Tuesday that Dorgan's exit from the political stage was a temporary one. "Although Senator Dorgan is leaving the Senate at the end of 2010, I have a feeling that this will not be the last of his public service," he said in a statement. "It is my guess he will be on a short list of future Cabinet nominees to the Obama Administration in the coming years."