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Tilting at Windmills

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March 18, 2009

BAYH AND THE BLUE DOGS.... We knew center-right Democrats in the Senate were planning a Blue Dog-like caucus for the upper chamber, and today, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) made it official.

Bayh gave an exclusive to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough -- no one seemed to appreciate the irony of Bayh making the announcement on the show of a former far-right Republican congressman, who's been making ridiculous attacks on Democrats -- to talk about his new group:

"About 15 of us in the United States Senate -- moderate Democrats for lack of a better description -- have been gathering, and we finally decided to make an announcement that we're coalescing in a group to try to focus on making the changes the American people need, but to make sure that they're done in a practical way that will actually work. We're not ideologues, we're pragmatists. We're not strident partisans. We care about our country more than our party."

Bayh made it sound as if this group expects, in effect, to dictate the entire public policy agenda of the U.S. government for the next year in a half. They want to work the White House, Senate leadership, and committee chairs, but made it clear that this nameless "centrist" caucus believes it will make or break any and all legislation. Who's in this caucus? Bayh said some of the names are secret. Seriously.

Joe Scarborough (conservative Republican) was thrilled to hear about Bayh's new venture. Pat Buchanan (conservative Republican) was glad to hear it. Far-right blogs think this is a great idea. This should offer a fairly significant hint to Bayh about the value of this endeavor.

It's all rather painful. The president -- you know, the one who just easily won a national election and enjoys strong approval ratings -- will face governing challenges in a Senate in which his own party has 58 (eventually, 59) members. Part of the problem is Republican obstructionism, and part of it is Bayh and the Blue Dogs who feel more comfortable driving with their foot on the brake.

A couple of weeks ago, Matt Yglesias had a great item explaining how "moderate" Democrats like Bayh view the policymaking process.

[T]he key legislative players aren't reasonable, moderate people they're "reasonable" "Senate moderates." A "Senate moderate" is someone who takes his party's proposals, objects to them, waters them down a bit, and then congratulates himself on a job well done. Which is great if his party's proposals are unduly immoderate. But it's big-time trouble if his party puts a reasonable, moderate agenda on the table.

After all, you don't maintain the painstakingly achieved Nelson/Bayh "Senate moderate" brand by clapping politely. You need to bitch and moan and be quoted in inside-baseball only media outlets that none of your constituents pay attention to, and hold conferences and have meetings at the White House where people hold your hands. You need to be praised by the opposition party, and extract your pound of flesh from the proposal. Then when it looks like it might go down to defeat, you can vote for the somewhat-watered-down version and be the hero who saved the day and nobody will mention that you saved the day from yourself.

But you really do need to do that stuff. You can't just say "well, this is a reasonable proposal so I'll back it." Then your moderate license gets taken away.

The answer, then, is for President Obama to readjust his approach to negotiating. The president seems to believe in honesty -- work hard to create sound ideas, and then encourage reasonable lawmakers to vote for them. What nonsense. Obama apparently needs to high-ball every proposal so Bayh and the Blue Dogs can water them down to "reasonable" levels and feel good about themselves.

Steve Benen 11:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

The irony to me is that these seemingly moderate upper-chamber members are driven by ambition and ego rather than a desire to create staid and moderate legislation - as that is exactly what the Obama administration has proposed to date! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 18, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Hard to believe this a-hole was a finalist for VP. Though in retrospect maybe he should have gotten the job so he could do less damage to the administration from there. I wonder how much of this is Bayh being pissy because he isn't VP?

Posted by: Shalimar on March 18, 2009 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

This is exactly why Democrats have so little faith in Democrats.

Posted by: Run Up The Score on March 18, 2009 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

I can give Evan Bayh a better description of himself - "Corporate Tool Moron" and that is the most corteous description I can think that fits. The man was a contemtible shit when I lived in Indiana and it doesn't sound like he has changed.

Posted by: C-Red on March 18, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Bayh, Leiberman, Geithner, Summers--it will be Obama's "friends" who will turn his administration toxic and bring it to its knees.

Posted by: Choke Cherry on March 18, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Two more things. First, memo to Bayh: THE REPUBLICANS LOST. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THEM ANYMORE. Stop trying to appease them.

Second, exactly where the hell is Harry Reid?

Posted by: Run Up The Score on March 18, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

(Speaking as someone who voted a straight ticket Democratic ticket in the last election)

Time to vote Green in the general election folks. No point in voting for the lesser of two evils if you can't tell the difference between a "moderate" democrathug and a rethug.

Posted by: anon on March 18, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Just for the record, Evan "I'm a Pale Imitation of My Father Birch Bayh" Bayh does know that if he wants to become president, he has to actually, you know ... win the Democratic Primary?

Positioning yourself as the Chief Obstructionist to a president who's wildly popular among Democratic primary voters seems like a pretty stupid strategy to me.

Posted by: Hoosier Paul on March 18, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Second, exactly where the hell is Harry Reid?

Probably a member of the secret caucus.

Posted by: wilder on March 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK


Those guys are like vandals, they prove they exist by damaging something.

Posted by: john sherman on March 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

...moderate Democrats for lack of a better description... -Byah

I've got better descriptions for you, you scum sucking conservative in Democratic clothing, but most of them aren't fit for polite conversation.

Obama is a moderate pragmatist. You, Sen. Bayh? You're a leech with a fetid, prickling stench and no applicable expertise in any field whose only skill is having been extracted from the right vagina.

You'll never be your father, but you're the spitting, moronic image of Dan Quayle, only he was a better liar.

Posted by: doubtful on March 18, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama apparently needs to high-ball every proposal so Bayh and the Blue Dogs can water them down to "reasonable" levels and feel good about themselves."

That's what the Bush Administration did in their dealings with Congress. They set the proposal higher than what they wanted, so the negotiated, final bill would be essentially what they wanted. But the Bush's legislative team played hard ball so well, cosmetic changes were all they had to agree with most of the time.

It's different now because Bush had an endless supply of robot lickspittles in both houses who would have voted for him anyway and there was always a signing statement to allow him to do what he wanted regardless. President Obama should try the technique anyway.

Posted by: Todd B. on March 18, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

How about instead of "Blue Dog" Democrats we call them "Limp Dick" Democrats instead. Let's be pragmatic here!

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on March 18, 2009 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

The electorate didn't vote for Birch Bayh's agenda (or the Blue Dogs) it voted for Obama's. Bayh et al ideologically oppose Obama's agenda. There's nothing moderate about setting yourself up to try to alter the agenda that was supported by a majority of voters.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with a media that lionizes the conservative Democrats as somehow the "pragmatists."

There is nothing pragmatic about preventing the passage of effective legislation on key issues like health care. These people need to be called out, but there is no one to do the calling.

Posted by: Vicki Linton on March 18, 2009 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

NO ONE should be allowed to call these assholes "moderates." They are conservatives--and let's go down the road to making that word as toxic as "liberal."
And if it's so wonderful and reasonable to be "moderate", why all the secrecy? Say it loud and proud so we know who to challenge in their next primaries.

Posted by: Frak on March 18, 2009 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

What is so hard about accepting the idea that if you need 50 votes to do something then you need the 50th most liberal Senator and if you need 60 votes then you need the 60th most liberal Senator?

That means that Bayh and his 15 Senators will be able to control anything that needs 50 votes. It means that Spector, Snowe, Collins and a couple of others will also have significant control.

I am not some Republican troll. I am significantly to the left of Bayh.

However, I am just stating facts. If you don't like them then get the Senate to change the rules. I think you would need 67 Senators or you would need the Nuclear Option. The first ain't gonna happen and the second is called Nuclear for a reason.

Posted by: neil wilson on March 18, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Bayh is a traitor to the party, I wonder if the people in Indiana want health insurance? He should name the cowards who do not want to be named. Everyone should email and phone his office.
It is very funny that he announced all this on smarmy Joe Scarborough's program.
Bayh needs to go!

Posted by: JS on March 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

"The irony to me is that these seemingly moderate upper-chamber members are driven by ambition and ego rather than a desire to create staid and moderate legislation"

Are you suggesting that ONLY those antagonistic towards the President's agenda are driven by ambition and ego? I would suggest that most (not all) senators are driven first by self-preservation and second by party-preservation. Few senators truly represent the unique interests of their represented constituencies. That is the true shame.


Posted by: gmr on March 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

With any luck, we'l;l win 6-7 new Senate seats and can afford to lose Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh and Mary Landrieu. Better to have actual Republicans there, so we know who the enemy is.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 18, 2009 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

oops, they didn't vote for EVAN Bayh's agenda. Birch Bayh's would have been much more popular!

Posted by: Vicki Linton on March 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Unless....this is the formation of a new party to replace the GOP, so Bayh can run for President after all...idiot.

Posted by: argus on March 18, 2009 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

"The electorate didn't vote for Birch Bayh's agenda (or the Blue Dogs) it voted for Obama's. Bayh et al ideologically oppose Obama's agenda. There's nothing moderate about setting yourself up to try to alter the agenda that was supported by a majority of voters."

I voted for one Representative, two Senators (multiple election cycles) and one President. Each ran on separate platforms. My Representative most closely shares my views and it is my preference for him to pursue those issues for which I voted -- even when contrary to that of the President. Otherwise, why do we need Senators and Representatives?

Posted by: gmr on March 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

And send Rahm to deal with Evan and the obstructionists. Primaries, anyone?
Charles

Posted by: charles on March 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Evan Bayh, Senator of Indiana with the most horrendous unemployment in the country is refusing to buy into a popular president who has proposals to increase work, stimulate the economy. Bayh is the Sanford (GA governor) of Indiana I guess. Bayh must be seeking revenge for not reciving a political appointment.

Posted by: mljohnston on March 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Blue Dog?" "Bush Bitch" might be more appropriate.

Posted by: Greg Worley on March 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

"About 15 of us in the United States Senate -- moderate Democrats for lack of a better description -- Evan Bayh

For one thing, we should not accept their self-definition as "moderate". If every true Dem who ever spoke on the radio, TV and to the press referred to them -- correctly -- as "conservative" (or "very conservative" or "right-wing Dems"), then the prize of the "moderate" or "centrist" would be denied them and, with it, much of the weight of their judgment.

Posted by: exlibra on March 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Noboby is recognizing this is good for Obama and the dems in general.
Instead of a two way battle in 2012 between a weakened, yet still ideological GOP and the Obama lead Dems. We now have a three way battle between Obama Dems, Center Right (yet rational thinking) Dems, and a further marginanlized Looney Bin Palin GOP.
I would rather have opponents who were sensible then opponents who were nuts. Especially when Obama wins a second term and the Looney GOP will try and stick something, anything to him for an Impeachment.
If the GOP is further marginalized, it won't get out of the think tank office. If the GOP gets any sort of recovery in the next 3 years it just might. They are that crazy.

Posted by: cboas on March 18, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Its important to remember that Evan Bayh is, essentially, a legacy Senator. That is, he got in because his father was a more famous and important and progressive voice than he is. He's what's left over when you get ahead not because of your novelty but because of nostalgia. That being said, there are two ways to deal with this asshole: buy him or sell him. bribe him or beat him. I suggest a two pronged attack: A) as Ezra argues bid way, way, way to the left of him so he can feel good about himself by negotiating you down. B) call him in and tell him you are going to publicly castrate him if he gives you any more trouble, then offer him an ambassadorship to get out of your way.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on March 18, 2009 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bayh and his corporate buddies had better be prepared tomorrow for SEIU's Nationwide Protests

They won't know what hit them.
Readers of this blog should also join in...

www.takebacktheeconomy.org

Posted by: Ohioan on March 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Evan Bayh was an ass, is an ass, and will always be an ass.

Evan Bayh's wife, Susan, sits on the boards of 9 corporations and received close to $900,000 for that in 2008. 2 Pharamaceuticals & 3 biotechs, all of whom have interests addressed by committees that Bayh sits on. This is in addition to their close ties to Eli Lilly, which owns the governor and most of the pols of both parties in Indiana.

Call Evan Bayh what he is - a corporately owned self-centered DLC/DINO/Rethug-Lite asshole.

Unfortunately, he has banked almost $12 Million in campaign funds and no dumbocrap will challenge him in 2010 and the rethugs will not put up a serious challenger.

Posted by: AngryOldVet on March 18, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

In addition...
In the Primaries you go to the base. So by that measure Obama wins the 2012 primary. And Looney GOP candidate wins his primary. In the general election, you run to the middle.
And "Getting soft" looses your base if your are the Looney GOP candidate.

Obama wins again 2012. Presto!
Opposition party democrats= Best thing for Obama in 2012.

Posted by: cboas on March 18, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

This farce by a group of DINOs shows why Democrats have such a hard time gaining power, and why even when they do, they can't hold on to it. Say what you will about the Repukes, but they understand the critical importance of some party loyalty. To Dems, it seems to be a foreign, distasteful concept.

Posted by: Vertigo on March 18, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

aimai, @12:15,

I don't think that bidding "way, way to the left" of pricks like Bayh so as to offer Bay a chance to haggle and preen is much of an option. 1) It's against the grain to Obama, who's a true-blue moderate himself. 2) Obama's tackling hard to the left would scare the bejeesus out of the populace.

I'm more for your second solution myself :)

Posted by: exlibra on March 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Having lived in Indiana, I can tell you it is more conservative than the rest of the country. I think most everyone reading this would agree.

So why is it such a terrible crime for a state like Indiana to elect a Senator who is about the 55th to 59th most liberal person in the Senate?

Do you really think that a liberal like John Kerry would beat a Republican in Indiana?

Would you rather have Bayh or another Dick Lugar?

I find it amazing that a state like Nebraska elected a Democrat. The reason the Democrats are so close to 60 is that there are some moderates.

You are kidding yourself if you think Bayh is a conservative. Do you think Bayh would feel more comfortable as a Republican? Do you think he is more conservative than Spector or Snowe or Collins?

Posted by: neil wilson on March 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Where were these Dems when Bush was destroying America with his disasterous policies and spending during the last 8 years?

Posted by: jill on March 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

If this is moderate, then perhaps Obama should re-examine his stance. As far as Obama tacking to the left, doubt he would be scaring anybody, given the current anger at corporate enablers and the public's own tack to the left on healthcare.

Posted by: impartial on March 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Go F*CK yourself Neil...

Living in Indiana, I would rather have another Dick Lugar. I detest Mitch Daniels (gov-IN) but if he runs against Bayh, I will vote for Daniels.

To cboas & everyone like him that believes that it is about Obama or about dumbocraps or about rethugnicans: Go F*CK yourself - it needs to be about our country!!!

Posted by: AngryOldVet on March 18, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh... this isn't really 'moderation,' nor does it have much, if anything, to do with policy. It's a power play, and one that the conservative Dems routinely deploy against their own party. The problem is that they are often necessary and could have made themselves truly useful many times over the years of GOP rule by carving out some Dem territory in a hostile environment, but instead they acted as a bunch of pathetic suck-ups to the right and let their own party slowly asphyxiate. Specter, Collins, & Snowe are all very prominent right now because, to be blunt, Republicans understand power and how to exercise it effectively; their team lost badly, but that makes their more liberal members more important wrt governing, not less so. Democrats-- and this is pretty much across the spectrum, not just the Blue Dog types-- don't understand the real dynamics of power and mistake press coverage and other vanity exercises for significant influence. It's a sort of lack of social skills, I guess, in which the left simply cannot or will not understand the real dynamics of influence, and end up only causing trouble when they decide to assert themselves at inappropriate times.

Posted by: latts on March 18, 2009 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

gmr - I did not mean to imply what you inferred from my thread response -

To make a statement as he did on Morning Joe, Sen. Bayh is implying President Obama needs to be watched or checked by "moderates" in the upper chamber who he conveniently refuses to name. Simply by doing so in public, Bayh is raising dust that need not be, unless he himself has designs on more "playing time" such as a future run at the presidency. That smacks of ego and ambition rather than genuine concern for America and his home state of Indiana.

I have yet to see anything radical being proposed from the Obama WH. Until then, any Democrat who unsheathes his rhetoric of doubt is doing all of us a disservice as such doubt is what will perpetuate partisan politics as usual.

Finally, I was merely pointing out the irony of the circumstance. You are the one who inferred my observation to be a case of ONLY! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 18, 2009 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kevo,

I watched the announcement this morning and thought Senator Bayh was very respectful of the President, the President's staff and Senate leadership. I believe you are wrong about the President's agenda -- it is radical. That does not make his agenda wrong. Any significant movement -- left or right -- from the status quo is "radical".

I do not believe the President needs to compromise his vision for this country, however, it is appropriate for the Public, Congress and the media to continually vet the agenda -- for that is the essence of our republic.

Posted by: gmr on March 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

neil wilson: '...Do you really think that a liberal like John Kerry would beat a Republican in Indiana?...'

Didn't Evan's father. Birch Bayh get elected in Indiana ?
He was a liberal and he managed

Evana Bayh is just trying to gin up his corporate campaign contributions
He wants to get on the Sunday morning talk shows


This is nothing more thean a re-incarnation of the DLC

Democratic 'moderates' in the Senate voted for:

The Iraq War
War with Iran (Kyl-Lieberman)
Tax Cuts for the Rich
The Patriot (sic) Act
De-regulation
'Free Trade' (sic)

Thanks a lot guys (and gals)
Worthless BOZOS

Posted by: MSierra, SF on March 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Lets get a list together and find some progressive challengers for there primaries

Posted by: Pat on March 18, 2009 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Bayh (and people like him) are the reason why nepotism and hereditary political leadership is held in such low regard. He is not the solution to what ails the country (A mediocre and mendacious political, financial and media establishment), he is part of the problem.

Posted by: finchdog on March 18, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Moderate: On who, when told by one party that snow is white, and another that snow is black, insists that the true, non-partisan answer is that snow is gray and then will proceed to pour dirt into the snow until he is correct.

Posted by: Diogenes on March 18, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

To Pat @ 1:48 PM

I currently reside in Indiana. Last week, at a meeting of all of the progressives in the state, we discussed finding a progressive to run against Bayh next year. The 7 of us decided that it would not do any good.

Indiana has republicans and republicrats and, with the passing last year of Julia Carson, virtually no progressive democrats.

Evan Bayh is symptomatic of one of the problems with national level politics. He was first elected to office at the state level due to his father's name & reputation & fund raising ability. He proved, at the state level, that he could be bought by corporate interests and he proved that he would stay bought.

He has enough 'seniority' in the senate that he gets committee assignments that provide the basis for increased fund raising. I mistyped in an earlier post. His wife is on 7 (not 9) corporate boards. She received slightly over $837,000 for that in 2007.

A web site that has an interactive map of the interrelationships of Bayh, his wife, their corporate interests, and his senate committee assignments is http://news.muckety.com/2008/05/27/bayhs-build-a-fortune-with-separate-but-overlapping-careers/3012

Bayh has amassed a massive ($12 Million) campaign war-chest that makes it prohibitive for a progressive (non corporate owned) to challenge him in next year's primary. Mitch Daniels (R-Gov), who was Bush's 1st Budget Director and ran for gov on the platform of fiscal integrity, is said to want to challenge Bayh. It has been concluded that Daniels probably will not - because even a rethug cannot be corporately owned enough to overcome starting $12M behind in campaign funds.

I wish that Bayh could be dis-elected next year, but that is highly unlikely. I do have 1 1/2 years to talk to everyone I know about how horrible a senator Bayh is. Doubt it will make any difference. Short of someone putting him in the crosshairs, he is like many rethugs & dumocraps - senators for life.

Posted by: SadOldVet on March 18, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Any significant movement -- left or right -- from the status quo is "radical". -gmr

Radical should not be, or rather is not, defined in terms of the governments' status quo, but in terms of the general attitude of the American people.

Obama is a departure from a radical ideological government and a return to what has consistently polled as normal.

Posted by: doubtful on March 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Bayh, if this is such an important and worthwhile caucus, why is its membership secret?

Posted by: short fuse on March 18, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Foolish question for Angryoldvet and all the other Bayh haters.

Can you name a single issue where you agree with Dick Lugar's vote and disagree with Bayh's?

I don't know what you expect from the Republican Party in Indiana but I think Lugar is about as good as we can hope for. I shudder to think of the Republican who might defeat Bayh or might replace Lugar.

I would much rather have Bayh than anyone who could survive the Republican primary in Indiana.

Please tell me where I am wrong.

Posted by: neil wilson on March 18, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

For one thing, we should not accept their self-definition as "moderate". If every true Dem who ever spoke on the radio, TV and to the press referred to them -- correctly -- as "conservative" (or "very conservative" or "right-wing Dems"), then the prize of the "moderate" or "centrist" would be denied them and, with it, much of the weight of their judgment.

Exactly right.

Posted by: shortstop on March 18, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Bayh made it sound as if this group expects, in effect, to dictate the entire public policy agenda of the U.S. government for the next year in a half."

"the next year in a half" Typo?

Posted by: Ross Best on March 18, 2009 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

gmr - I am not in disagreement with your most recent observation. I guess we just disagree on the term "radical" as I would be a bit more circumspect in throwing out such a term. -Kevo

p.s. I do believe the vetting process is utterly important for any public issue/circumstance or personnel, and I would agree with others who have noted President Obama has struggled a bit with the vetting process.

Posted by: kevo on March 18, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

"They want to work the White House, Senate leadership, and committee chairs"

Another typo: should be "work with"

Posted by: Ross Best on March 18, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Reading this pissed me off so bad, I sent the following email to Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina.

"I can't believe I voted for something like you so that will go to Washington and undermine good changes that Obama intends to do. I will not repeat that mistake again. I was unemployed for 2 years after getting laid off and I sweated every day that I wouldn't get sick because I didn't have health insurance. Now Obama is trying to make changes that may keep 18,000 Americans from dying every year and you intend to veto any changes in budget reconciliation. Have a lousy day, one term senator."

I suggest more people do the same. Let them know how you feel.

Posted by: tko on March 18, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

The ratio of "net tax takers" to "net tax payers" has grown significantly in the last half century and especially in the last decade. The Blue Dogs are standing up for tax payers - they understand that the trillions of dollars being doled out in the name of stimulus will be earned by and taken away from a shrinking base of "net tax payers." It's great that the dems have a moderating faction. The market is down 35% since the inauguration because investors realize the policies being presented by the Obama Administration will result in higher taxes, higher interest rates, higher inflation and more burdensome labor laws. Why do you think banks are not lending? It's because business plans that were once viable are no longer viable once these variables are adjusted to reflect the likely result of Obama's policies. The Blue Dogs play a valuable role in moderating the impact.

Posted by: Glenn Luck on March 18, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Indiana, and I'm voting against Bayh in the next primary (if he's unopposed, I'll write myself in) and, God help me, probably voting against him in the general. Because even though I swore I'd never vote for a Republican ever again, if I'm going to have a Republican senator anyway, I'd rather have one honest enough to admit what he is.

Posted by: Tropical Fats on March 18, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

"I live in Indiana....if I'm going to have a Republican senator anyway, I'd rather have one honest enough to admit what he is." Tropical Fats @ 7:40 PM.
As a fellow Hoosier, I can only add my complete agreement. Bayh is now what the Republican Party was 50 years ago: unwavering support for big business coated with a thin (very thin!) layer of social liberality to make it palatable. I didn't find that appealing then and I don't now.

Posted by: Doug on March 18, 2009 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

It occurs to me that an actual, functional Conservative party could coalesce around these goons and people like Arlen Specter, though they couldn't call themselves that.

They would have to go with something like the Plain Guy Party.

Posted by: alan on March 19, 2009 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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