Richard Burr - a political lightweight in the fight of his career vs. an unnamed candidate

Recently the DC press has taunted North Carolina Democrats over our seeming inability to recruit a top-tier challenger to run against Richard Burr in 2010. While the DC press is looking for a big name, Democrats in North Carolina are looking a little deeper. We know we don't need what others might consider a "top-tier" candidate. Senator Richard Burr has never won a serious political challenge without the assistance of a turn in voter sentiment or long coattails from the top of the ticket.

In the latest approval ratings provided by Public Policy Polling more than a third of voters polled were undecided on how they feel about Richard Burr – or whether they even know who he is. In his hands the power of incumbency is greatly reduced.

To make matters worse for Burr - as if they could get worse - he has a team of amateurs running his campaign. Of course, when all you've had to do is sit back and ride a wave into office or grab onto George Bush's coattails, you don't have to know anything about actually running a campaign.

Burr first ran for office in North Carolina's 5th Congressional District against a popular Democratic incumbent, Steve Neal. In what has been his only competitive race, Burr lost handily. The following cycle, Neal decided against running for re-election leaving the seat open for the first time in 18 years.

Burr won in 1994 but not without the help of Newt Gingrich, his Contract with America and a wave of public opinion that favored Republicans nationally. During the ten years he represented the 5th District, Burr never faced strong opposition in a campaign. This is, after all, the same district that continues to return Virginia Foxx to the House each cycle. It doesn’t take much more than an “R” after your name to get elected in this district.

After proving his lapdog creds in the House, Burr was recruited by Karl Rove to run in the 2004 Senate race. Burr rode the coattails provided by President George Bush and found himself in the United States Senate where he quietly hid for almost five years doing the bidding of the Bush Administration.

Now, Burr finds himself barely beating an unnamed opponent, though his chances may be improving according to Public Policy Polling.

Richard Burr's approval ratings are as mediocre as ever and he's still polling under 50% against every Democrat under the sun, but he's looking better for reelection right now than he has in about four years.

It's not even because Democrats don't have a name candidate against him yet- that didn't hurt them two years ago- it's simply because the winds are blowing in a Republican direction right now and if it continues that way they'll most likely take him along with.

Jensen may very well be right that Burr can win if fair winds continue to blow for Republicans. It’s the only way he has won in the past and may be the only way he can win.


Fair winds for Burr

mean foul winds for the rest of America. If that's the only thing that can lift his tail-feathers, fogetaboudit.

I do hope some exciting candidates get involved on the D side

this year. I know a lot are holding back and that is their perogative. No need to say I'm running now and then drop out later due to lack of (interest, backing, money, etc.).

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

I believe it will be the race to watch

Can't remember who I heard say that recently but I agree then and even more now. Republicans just don't DO anything. They are against everything. They don't believe government works and then set out to prove it. Anyone running against him just has to show, literally, the empty senate seat where Burr should have been.

The No vote when it should have been Yes for the American people

in 2009 and the Yes vote where it should have been NO for the American people in 2004 - 2008 should be enough to sink "useless" if we project it correctly for all to see.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!


Republicans do quite a bit, and clearly believe that government works. They think that a interventionist foreign policy of nation-building, confrontation, and policing of the world is an effective way of improving either our safety or the welfare of others around the world or both (depending on the week). They think that providing 'free' prescription drugs to seniors is a great way to promote health even if the program is destined for financial ruin from the beginning. They think that government can protect us from ourselves by controlling the drugs that we use, the food that we eat, and the places where we work. Oh, and of course the Democrats are right there with them on all of the above along with the blatant theft of Wall Street bailouts and corporate welfare.

You don't like politicians who don't "do" anything? It seems to me that for the last 8 years Congress has been exceeding your wildest dreams by vastly expanding the role of government at the federal level. Then there are the people like Ron Paul who don't "do" anything by voting against legislation that has no Constitutional basis whatsoever. Good thing those crazy libertarians like him don't run the show, because we wouldn't have the chance to demonstrate our stamina as a nation by being bogged down in two completely unnecessary and disastrous wars on the other side of the planet. We wouldn't have been privileged to learn the valuable lessons of what happens when you let a government-sanctioned banking cartel create the largest financial bubble and collapse in world history. If libertarians ran the show, you might not value your privacy quite as much because you wouldn't ever consider the possibility that the federal government is intercepting your communications. Thank GOD for Republicans and Democrats. Thank GOD for all those well-intentioned political cheerleaders who helped the mainstream media elect a yet another puppet of the American Empire's oligarchs to the White House.

The left-statist ideology is just as dead as the right-statist ideology, although the latter's corpse is at a more advanced stage of decomposition. It's because the philosophical underpinnings of the ideology of the left (if any) are no longer examined or debated by its adherents (while the opposite is true for those who subscribe to the most intellectually robust ideology: libertarianism). No one on the left cares to discuss philosophy, ethics, morals. Instead it's all a bunch of skin-deep appeals to emotion with the occasional "duh" criticism of the right-wing theocrats (huh, maybe gay people should receive the same legal rights as others - how groundbreaking!). No wonder the left keeps getting hijacked over and over again. Sure, kick Burr out.. who are you going to put in, yet another politician out of the Democrat Party machine? Another Hagan who has done virtually nothing substantial to challenge the status quo? Oh, sorry, should I be giving hope a chance? Ahaha I laugh every time I see one of those ridiculous bumper stickers.

"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.

You're hanging out with the wrong leftists

And I must take issue with the very notion of an "intellectually robust ideology." Libertarianism is no more or less robust an ideology than any other ideology. The only difference is that no majority of humans anywhere on the planet seems willing to apply that ideology to the management of their affairs ... which means it is an ideology that cannot be tested against the practicalities of governance. That may qualify as "robust" in some universe, but not the one I live in.

All that said, I generally agree with your sentiments. An "intellectually robust" third party would help mitigate the risks we're facing from our two corporatist parties ... too bad Libertarians can't get past their intellectualism to be effective in that regard.

There's a big difference

Libertarianism has real answers to problems while everyone else keeps offering up the same failed solutions every time (lets just appoint some people to "fix" this problem in society, using violence).

Conservatives and liberals have been lacking any serious competition, and have become so used to debating against an opposing ideology that is just as flawed as their own that they have become intellectually lazy.

Libertarianism is the only ideology willing to identify the true source of the vast majority of social maladies: the state. Surprisingly, when you tell the egotistical busy-body control freaks that run the state that they are the problem you don't seem to have too much success in the political arena.

no majority of humans anywhere on the planet seems willing to apply that ideology to the management of their affairs ... which means it is an ideology that cannot be tested against the practicalities of governance.

The fact that a majority is not on your side (and this includes progressives - you know who you are) has no relevance. It only answers the question of what is popular. Libertarianism is not an ideology that addresses how the affairs of a collective body are to be 'managed', but is rather a logically coherent, morally consistent, and factually supported case against the premise that social management by a state is desirable to begin with.

It's unnecessary for libertarians to take the reins of power to illustrate the destructive nature of the state - governments run by liberals and conservative provide all the evidence anyone should need.

"The natural wage of labor is its product." -- Benjamin R. Tucker
A liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to.


Consider the destructive nature of the state brightly illustrated.

Now what?

Cal Cunningham has been ramping up appearances

Cal Cunningham

This was taken last Saturday at the Triad Progressive Democrats dinner. He's in Watauga County tonight.

For a guy who hasn't announced, Cal's running one of the most energetic campaigns I've seen!

This, folks, is what it's going to take to mobilize our people next fall. Energy. Charisma. Brains. Leadership. Stamina.

I hope for a diverse array of democratic candidates

Whether or not they are considered "top tier"

I'd love to see Kenneth Lewis & Cal Cunningham & Elaine Marshall, and several others behind the podiums, on the airwaves, and at community gatherings debating what a US Senator from NC should be doing for the people he or she represents, all the while Burr is getting no attention.

I think a healthy & very public debate on our side is exactly what we need to raise the stature of our candidates to "top-tier" & into household names.