Wednesday, February 17, 2010

G'Bayh and Good Rid-Luck

Evan Bayh’s twisted reasoning for calling it quits deserting fellow DINOs while the quitting is good, makes no sense. It may sound great to decry “too much brain-dead partisanship” until the question is asked: on whose part? Democrats -- really? Progressives -- really? Bull.

For progressives, nothing’s lost if nothing was gained. When Evan Bayh said the “the extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises,” when was the left unwilling to compromise or come to the table? Specifically, Bayh cited a deficit commission that was abandoned by seven Republican co-sponsors for partisan political reasons. He also decried a “bipartisan” jobs bill crafted by those two Senate corporatists, Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley, that was stripped of $70 billion in tax giveaways to coporations by Harry Reid. There were some COBRA and unemployment extension measures that will be separately proffered.

Isn't it quaint when corporatist Democrats tap into popular discontent by echoing the demagogic line of “a pox on both houses?” Evan Bayh knows better; he knows where the obstruction is coming from. RNC Chairman Steele has a point when he said, “Senator Evan Bayh and moderate Democrats across the country are running for the hills because they sold out their constituents and don't want to face them at the ballot box.”

Exactly. When large and consistent majorities of the American people favored the public option, whose interests did Bayh and fellow DINOs represent when they voted against it? Polls in Massachusetts showed that Brown voters were upset with the Senate for reneging on a more progressive healthcare bill that included the public option.

Senator Bayh claims his “passion” for helping “people” was “not highly valued in Congress.” So he quit? Who or what are these “people?” Are they the corporations the Supreme Court has defined as persons? Are they Goldman Sachs (consistently over the years Bayh’s top contributor), Ely Lilly, United Healthcare, or Merrill Lynch? Are they the seven corporations on whose boards Mrs. Bayh sits, and from whom she collects a neat million-dollar-plus annual salary?

The Senator’s “advice” to Democrats on the left is to make common cause with moderates and independents. When did they not? This sounds more like self-serving political pitching than a realistic assessment of the political climate in Congress. It wasn’t progressives who stood in the way of “60-70 percent” of what they’d petitioned for, let alone the 30-40 percent that remained. And it wasn’t progressives who refused to come to the table and pass Bayh’s precious “half-a-loaf” 60-70 percent corporate giveaway on healthcare reform.

Senator Bayh must be suffering from short-term memory loss. He seems to forget that progressives made concession after concession after concession just to get something, anything, done on healthcare. When Bayh’s “moderate independent” pal, Joe Lieberman, killed the public option and Medicare buy-in, progressives took the hit to the solar plexus and stayed in the game, while Bayh, Lieberman et al, celebrated with corporate donors.

This transparency thing is an inconvenience for corporatist Democrats. Time was, it was much harder for the public to find out who is bankrolling their senators and representatives. The only Independent Democrats can rely on in the Senate is socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont. When Evan Bayh, Traitor Joe, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, and Ben Nelson essentially won, what the hell else does Senator Bayh want? A valentine’s card praising his middleman role convincing health insurance companies to behave like good corporate citizens?

No thanks. Senator Bayh is such a people-person that he waited to make his retirement announcement until a few days before the filing deadline, precluding Indiana Democrats from having a primary in which the people would pick the nominee. As Senator Bayh said, the chances of the right Democrat carrying Indiana are “pretty good.” The Republican Party has a five-way primary while the Democratic candidate will be chosen by the Indiana Democratic Party with, no doubt, considerable input from Senator Bayh.

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