Daniel Larison make a good point about the Bayh 12 juggernaut: it’s not just that Bayh is especially ill-suited to primary Obama (though I think he is), but that the whole idea of a centrist insurgency in either party is ridiculous:
“Centrists” do not run insurgent campaigns very well*. There are no passionate, vocal groups of voters eagerly demanding that government be more solicitous of corporate interests and more willing to start wars overseas. There are not many large voting blocs requesting the offshoring of whole industries. To be a “centrist” is necessarily to champion the interests of concentrated power and wealth and to ignore and deride as “populist” insanity anything that stands in the way of those interests. Who has ever heard of an explicitly anti-populist political insurgency? Insurgents always set themselves up as the independent outsiders who will stand up for the people against the establishment. Just imagine Bayh trying to sell himself as the establishmentarian who wants to tone down the “radicalism” of Obama’s Rubinite economics and his Clintonian hawkish foreign policy. What Lane proposes is that an old DLC-type Democrat will be positioned to win over a party that is increasingly disgusted by the overrepresentation of DLC-type Democrats in the current administration. This misreads the mood of the party and the substance of administration policy very badly.
My impression is that at this point, being a centrist simply means taking Village-approved stands on most issues — wishy-washy on social issues (against gay marriage but against that crazy constitutional amendment as well), pro-corporate, pro-blue panel ribbon of every sort, mildly-to-highly “hawkish” on foreign policy. In short, pro-status quo. No, that doesn’t make for much of an insurgency.
“being a centrist simply means”
Taking positions juxtaposed to one another.
See the balance is easy if you’re in the middle.
Maybe Bayh could lead a brave band of centrist guerrillas to establish a base in the mountains and plan a centrist assault on the barracks of power, or at least several off the record meetings with major pharmaceutical companies and coal companies.
This is all for naught. Bayh just said on Morning Joe after being asked that he is NOT running for President in 2012. He said Gen. Sherman was a “wimp”, and went above and beyond that in disavowing a primary challenge to Obama.
If anything, he probably runs for Governor of Indiana in 2012.
I’m not surprised. Lane is the idiot here, not Bayh.
My feeling about Bayh is that he took Sarah’s advice. When the going gets tough.. leave.
Evan Bayh is the Harold Ford of the Senate. Also too, he’s a whining titty ass baybee.
Saw him on Morning Ho this morning. He ain’t running for president but I bet Mr. Bipartisan Obama will have him on the ticket as the veep. And as always its very good news for President John McCain
Ok because I’m super petty and still dumbfounded, BTD argued here yesterday that identifying a Michael Barone piece as “wingnut spin” was “lying”. That’s really an amazing assertion.
I can’t be the only one who noticed the concern-trollish tone of Bayh’s announcement, bemoaning how hardly anyone in Congress these days is a sensible centrist like himself and how they wouldn’t all just do what he said.
Brick Oven Bill
Not many people know this, but the British sent a warship up the Potomac to destroy Mount Vernon, late in the war. George’s distant cousin, Lund the property manager, sent a boat full of provisions to meet the British Captain, urging restraint, which the British Captain showed.
Upon learning this, George admonished his cousin in a letter:
“It would have been a less painful circumstance to me, to have heard, that in consequence of your non-compliance with their request, they had burnt my house, and laid the Plantation in ruins.”
It’s an “relative insurgency” when the Village paints the other guy as a Dirty Fuckin’ Hippie Socialist who is out of touch with what the people want, the “people” in this case being David Brooks and Peggy Noonan.
The status quo is what the Village wants.
It will be interesting to see Bayh does with the $13 million he was going to use for his reelection.
It will be interesting to see what Bayh does with the $13 million he was going to use for his reelection.
@Jennifer: You are not.
Me no understand. How can a guy who is more corporate friendly economically and more hawkish on foreign policy than the current administration even think of running against Obama in 2012? When sitting presidents get primaried by thier own party, it’s always someone either who is ‘more idiologically pure’ than the current POTUS. Reagan-Ford in 1976, Kennedy-Carter in 1980.
What would be his platform? More wars in the middle east and abolishing the estate tax? Making the bullshit claim that Obama is too far to the left? I am honestly confused. Granted, I’m confused most of the time, but your claim makes no damed sense.
I’m still trying to figure out why it’s liberal’s fault that Evan Bayh couldn’t get 7 more votes for his deficit commission.
He’s supposed to have all these friends across the aisle, and all. Why was it liberal’s job to help him raise the retirement age for SS? They don’t agree with that, nor do they pretend to. I would think he’d be looking to conservatives. Clearly he did, and they shot him down. This is my fault?
Doesn’t his statement contradict his whole career?
@DougJ: I’m open to the argument that they both are idiots, only for different reasons
I put this up here because there is an interesting article in the N.Y. Times about the Tea Bag movement and those who are attracted to it. Surprisingly, is made up of people like Pam Stout, former Federal worker, who discovered ..”all that was before the Great Recession and the bank bailouts, before Barack Obama took the White House by promising sweeping change on multiple fronts, before her son lost his job and his house.” And the Far Right came along with a narrative that explained it all, while, as Bob Somerby has often wrote on the Daily Howler, we pretty much sneer at the Pam Stouts of the world their little bourgeois ways. But if we had decided to try to recruit them and talk to them the last few years, could it have been different? Really, how many of us would disagree with this statement:
” In Texas, Toby Marie Walker, president of the Waco Tea Party, stood on a stage before several thousand people, ticking off the institutions she no longer trusts — the federal government, both the major political parties, Wall Street. “Many of us don’t believe they have our best interests at heart,” Ms. Walker said. She choked back tears, but the crowd urged her on with shouts of “Go, Toby!”
But instead, the most conservative and selfish group of that elite has them pointing their anger at “Acorn,” “socialists,” and the “foreigners” and mobilizing them to dismantle the last structures of the New Deal.
Here is the link to the whole article. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/us/politics/16teaparty.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=all
@kay: Every failure is always the fault of the liberals. Every one. If you don’t grasp this, then you need to repeat it again. If you still doubt, repeat it again.
Is Larison the last sane conservative out there? I may not agree with him on many issues, but Jesus, we need some rational folks on the right.
Sorry, maybe I should know who BTD is but not clicking for me yet. In any case, this is two threads in a row you have mentioned this and because I’m also petty about many things, I’d like to read the post to which you refer? Link, if you please, or identify the thread name/post number. (There were a *lot* of threads going on yesterday!) Thanks!
@John Quixote: On top of being hopelessly confused, your can’t spell, either. Moran.
He’s a big failure at bipartisanship, El Cid, despite what David Gergen says.
As far as I’m concerned, John McCain screwed him over. I had nothing to do with any commission, nor do I support one. It’s just a way for conservatives to spread the blame around when they cut social security.
Why doesn’t he make some cuts, and quit screwing around? He could start with the billions in subsidies to private student loan lenders. That’s a nice chunk of change right there. Then he can cut Medicare Advantage, and save 15% on 20% of Medicare. Liberals support those cuts. It’s all money, right?
Centrists have caused this debacle that we call congress to be unable to move on any major legislation. They are more worried about pleasing their overlords than pleasing their constituents. Remember, they are the ones that have compromised away any progressive or even Democratic platform supported portions of the major legislation even though they know they will get no opposition votes. Time for them to learn they can not have their cake and eat it too.
Brick Oven Bill
I had intended to purchase a single cream-puff during my food stamp experiment, but was compelled to purchase instead two cream-puffs. The first one made me kind of sick to my stomach.
So last night I donated the second cream-puff to the bartender-lady. This made her very happy, and I got a big hug. But she said that the cream-puff was too big for her to eat alone, so she split it in half, and gave part of it to the other lady.
The one with the big boobs.
Who was also very happy. So now all of us are happy. Thus the benefit of the scientific method.
The fact that someone at the WaPo could seriously suggest that someone like Bayh could find a constituency of voters for a primary run tells you how out of touch large parts of the MSM are with this country. And this comes at the heels of Broder’s Palin column.
OT, but I had no idea the teabaggers in New Jersey were trying to recall Senator Menendez. I like how it’s described as a “battle of the constitutions”, as if there were some question about whether state constitutions could overrule the federal one. (Via Volokh, who thinks it’s unconstitutional but that conceivably it could be converted into an “advisory recall” allowing the people to ask their senator to voluntarily step down.)
You forgot the all-important pro-cocktail party position. Because the original-DLC Clintons were all those things, but they trashed that town and it’s not their town.
Bayh, along with the rest of the GOP assholes, should hang for their refusal to raise the debt limit. It took one crossover vote from the GOP to prevent the US from defaulting. Stupid worthless bitches.
Fuck evan bayh. I am soooooooooooooooo glad he’s gone.
I would rather have 50 solid votes and Biden breaking ties all day, then 60 votes, with 10 sellouts running to the first camera they see to undermine us.
To low information voters, they see Bayh (and they don’t know how corrupt he his), and see he’s a “Dem” who opposes a progressive bill and the voters say to themselves, “well, I don’t know if we should change the status quo, even the Dems are against their own bill”, and then support begins to erode in spiraling vortex.
Think about it the other way, if the goopers proposed a tax cut, and 5 gop senators went on every talk show to shoot it down, voters would naturally form doubts, and support would collapse, without any Dem help necessary.
I don’t know if he thinks it’s possible to take down Obama through the Democratic party or through some other means, but if he does, he’s a raging dumbass.
That’s also why it’s hard for independent candidacies to make much of a difference. And that, in the end, is what we need to worry about, if we need to worry about anything at all: Bayh running as an Independent. Can he try to primary Obama from the right? Sure, just like a number of people can. But he’d get precisely nowhere, because if there is an opportunity to become the nominee, there would be plenty of other people who would have a shot that would love to try. And if he tried to run on a third party ticket, he might make enough of a difference to hurt us, but he wouldn’t win. But more than anything, if he spends the remainder of his time in office voting against the major party initiatives, who will be supporting him? Who is going to want to vote for him because he voted down health care?
I’d also like to mention a slightly outside the box prediction: Biden won’t be on the ticket in 2012. This is not because he’s bad, mind you, but for two other reasons: the party will want someone to take over in 2016, and/or Obama might need a slight boost. The latter depends on a lot of different factors, but it’s primarily a question of whether the economy is doing somewhat better. If the Republicans look like they might be more competitive than we’d like, it’s possible to cut them off at the knees with a woman or a Hispanic or some other candidate that brings something unique to the table.
In the last 24 hours I have read several people (the last one being Chait over at TNR) mention their impression of him was that he is not very smart.
@robertdsc: Personally, I wouldn’t mind if the Repub’s had had to cough up twenty votes for that.
Maybe he’s not dumb in the sense of, say, Sarah Palin, but rather just so full of himself that he really believes he could storm the country as a wishy washy moderate Democrat.
True. He’s not very smart. Watch him on tee vee — he does very poorly. Let’s face it, he got to where he is on his famous father’s coat tails, he good looks (think palin), and not rocking the boat. His father lost his seat, in part, because he was a progressive “boat rocker” demanding equal rights for women. That’s why evan stayed away from progressive issues, he was afraid the backlash in a low-information voter state.
On the whole, I feel the same way you do, but he built up a pretty big war chest and would have had little trouble holding the seat. I don’t know if holding the seat is a lost cause. I’d like to say no, because there are a number of Democrats in the state who seem like they could make a run for it, but it just means we need to devote more resources here when we could have devoted them to, say, Florida or New Hampshire. Let’s hope that the Republicans balance this out by nominating that turd J.D. Hayworth in Arizona so we can try to take that seat.
Tea Party Movement Hopelessly Divided Into Enraged, Apoplectic Factions
In other news Mitt Romney Pussed out:
As josh marshall asks, “can Romney’s national security cred in the 2012 GOP primaries survive not retaliating against an unprovoked foreign attack? Perhaps even by a Canadian?”
sounds like GOS
But being a centrist, in this case, means being the repository for all the mega-bux of industry, freed up by the recent SCOTUS ruling. He won’t be pushed as ‘centrist’, he’ll be pushed as the nice, reasonable wing of the Democratic party, the one who won’t push you into the made socialist, fascist, atheist, muslim (not-white) wing of the party that makes people scared. And ad-men with more money than they’ve ever seen will be busy crafting the subtle and not-so-subtle marketing campaign.
They’re not aiming for people who read blogs like this. They’re aiming for people who think that Sarah Palin’s a raving nutcase but who’re open to slick advertising that can make them buy into ‘safety’ and ‘security’ and waving flags.
@SiubhanDuinne: BTD is Big Tent Democrat. He’s a poster at Talk Left and tends to come over here to rant and rave. I tend to ignore him and I am not sure what the latest kerfuffle was about. BTD at times makes B.O.B seem sane.
J. Michael Neal
@J. Michael Neal:
Capital Gains and Games, the blog where Bartlett posts, is essential reading.
Yes. Bayh came across as sanctimonious & just full of himself, kind of reminding me of Palin’s I’m quitting to do good for Alaska/USA presser.
This centrist meme is meaningless mush. I think centrism is just a handy term for conservatives & media to use in place of ‘let’s just keep the status quo for us’. Populism is labeled extreme left. It diverts attention away from the weak actions of legislators who are too scared or lazy to push hard for policies that will boost the middle/lower classes & the me-me-me legislators who don’t want to rock their money/power boats.
I know I’m ready for some healthy populist changes. Dems need to remember why there was such a large voter turnout in 2009.
The fascinating thing about the fdl-type “progressives” is how powerfully they are drawn towards the far right where they find justification for their anger and contempt. Michael Barone agrees that the Senate HCR reform is political poison. Grover agrees that Rahm is a sleazebag. On one particularly stupid “progressive” site during the primaries they were starting to quote the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
“Your Neutralness, it’s a Beige Alert.”
“If I don’t survive, tell my wife hello.”
All he needs is a copy of Joe Trippi’s talking points. A certain segment of the left will pull off their undies no matter who is regurgitating them. No experience required. Both Dean and Edwards were staid center right Democrats so I don’t see what would stop this mutton head from seeing the light and the usual dingbats drinking it up.
Success with actual Democratic voters is something else.
His 7 that sponsored and then voted against the Commission were Repugs, including McConnell and of course, McCain. I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t single them out since they so upset the poor little feller. No guts.
It’s funny, my winger-friend says that he’s a centrist. When asked to define centrist views, he spouts off all of his political views (which are basically the same thing as GOP talking points).
BTD = Big Tent Democrat = Armando = King of the PUMA Concern Trolls. Also makes me immediately think of Homer Simpson when he wore a muumuu (like a big tent, see), but that’s just me. Emphatically not worth listening to.
Howard dean passed the FIRST civil union law in the nation.
He also passes universal health care for children and pregnant women and a prescription drug program for seniors.
And he opposes the Iraq invasion looooooong before Trippi came aboard.
That’s some staid centrist.
who’s the queen of the PUMA concerned trolls?
Now for something completely different:
Get set for new spin coming up on the arrest of the taliban commander from the wingnuts.
Will go something like this: “All credit goes to Bush, Obama sucks, blah blah blah, democrats are weak on terror, deficits are huge”
Probably the Jane Hamshers of the Left.
It doesn’t matter that they caught him because they are busy reading him his rights.
Ohhh, which one? which site?
@demo woman: Who used to be Armando over at the GoS in better days. Armando/BTD is really a gifted commentator (speaking for myself only), but then someone or something will trip his “GO INSANE” trigger, and he, well, does. It was always a popcorn moment for me to read one of his insightful front page articles at the GoS, then watch in the comments as he devolved into a savage neanderthal, raging against everyone, spewing personal attacks, and spiraling into incoherence.
A bit sad, really.
I always thought I was a centrist because I favored market-based solutions to problems where feasible. You know, stuff like cap and trade. Which turns out to be fascist, I guess. This word “centrist” I keep using; I do not think it means what I think it means.
you’re spot on about Edwards seducing broad swaths of the left by reading Trippi’s focus tested lines. In a way, Trippi is like Cyrano de Bergerac.
Heck, for that matter, pushing any policy which would benefit the vast majority while costing the wealthiest super-elites is considered “populism”.
You know, it’s not rational policy-making — which consists of further enriching the wealthiest super-elites. If anyone supports policies at the expense of the wealthiest super-elites, it must just be them trying to ‘reach out to the base’ or ‘submit to pressure from the left’ or other such cynical nonsense.
It couldn’t be rational policy-making for the best of the nation, so therefore it must be some weirdo style of politicking carried out by the immature — since mature and sober politicians’ main function is to push through over the objections of the vast majority things which would benefit the wealthiest super-elites.
@jibeaux: That dude is a clown and I still can’t figure out why he leaves the warm embrace of his blog to come over here if we are all so stupid, as he claims.
I think the best approach with him is to ignore him and roll on by his comments. He’s looking for a fight, or to get banned. There was a thread last week that he commented on, saying something negative about John and nobody took the bait and responded to him and he went away.
I noticed on the thread cited that it took him 5 or 6 insulting comments before someone engaged with him. I say, never engage. It’s never worth it.
@BruinKid: No, I couldn’t handle that. The homeless people on the streets are probably not the last people who remember how deeply Evan believe in a social safety net, i.e. not at all
I realize we’re not really discussing raising the retirement age for SS, but let’s start with the thought that, ok, if the social security status quo is unsustainable over the long haul and that if people are living longer, it’s not a completely crazy idea, and it isn’t. But the next thought is the one that some people never seem to get to. If your job is Congresscritter or professor or pundit or writer and you have your wits about you (inverse for Congresscritters, naturally), then, sure, you can work well into your old age. If your job is long-haul truck driver or line worker at Firestone or diner waitress, then, no, chances are you aren’t going to be able to keep working at the same pace much past 65. Odd, isn’t it, that right-wingers go around talking about how elitist and out of touch with real Amuricans liberals are but they can forget that there actually are still people doing, you know, WORK?
I can’t wait for the centrist mobs to storm Washington demanding estate tax repeal and the evisceration of Social Security to pay for the Iranian invasion.
I’m not sure anyone’s blaming the liberals, not even Bayh. I think he and everyone (except the media) blames the Republicans who signed on to it and then voted no. Bayh realized the Republicans weren’t working in good faith, so he left Congress because he no longer feels he can get anything substantial done
I sometimes wonder if I were in Congress now, would I run for reelection? I just don’t know.
How can we be sure that Michael Barone and Grover Norquist don’t now represent the new American left, if the country has gone so far towards the right?
@Mike Kay: Not for nothing, but all of these things were be considered centrist to the progressive left
@Comrade Scrutinizer: I just went to the link that root left. BTD certainly does not like to be challenged. I did miss the Armando link so thanks for telling me about that connection.
I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if they can’t get enough done, they either need to (a) change the procedural rules that let the Republicans obstruct anything and everything and/or (b) elect the kinds of Democrats that can help get things done. I don’t know enough about Bayh’s role in Indiana to judge the latter, but has he done anything at all about the former? Maybe he has, but I haven’t heard anything. If not, why not? He could leverage his EXTREMELY MODERATE RESPONSIBLE DEFICIT REDUCING credentials to go on every program imaginable to say that the Republicans have gotten too nuts for even someone moderate like Evan Bayh.
@Nick, if Bayh realizes it’s the Republicans’ fault, why didn’t he pledge to always vote for cloture on the bills brought up by his leadership, even he’s going to vote no in the end. He was part of the problem, and now he’s making it more likely that the obstructionists he claims to oppose will be further enabled when his seat goes to another one of them.
I wish just once Obama would come out and brag about this arrest like Bush would have. They also arrested an al Qaeda courier in Oman last wk that had hundreds of al Qaeda member’s telephone numbers, addresses, and photos on him. I imagine there will be crickets on both arrests, but then again, maybe high value arrests should be muted. Al Qaeda was so concerned about the courier arrest that they posted info on several websites that members should change numbers and move from their current add. It must have been the mother load.
IF evan bayh debated PAlin, Bayh would lose. That’s how bad he is.
@cat48: It doesn’t count unless they water boarded him. Every one knows the dems are weak on terrorism.
It’s not a ridiculous idea to suggest raising the retirement age as part of a reform package. I’m not saying it’s necessary or even a good idea, but it’s not so ridiculous, for some people at least, to look into doing it. But for others, like you suggest, it’s not really possible. Those who suggest that it is a one-size-fits-all approach are nuts, though.
@Brian J: Let’s see if Evan gives us the 13 million or if he f*cks the party and state the same way he did the country
Yup. It ain’t bragging if it’s true. Take credit, give credit to the people who made it happen, and get your deserved bump.
I do wonder what happens with all of that money. I’d be PISSED if I were someone who contributed to him and then he bailed out so suddenly.
I’m also curious about what happens as far as selecting the candidate goes. It’s now up to the state party, from what I read, but who knows when they will pick. They clearly weren’t expecting this. And this is just another way in which he screwed the Democrats. If they take, say, a month to pick a candidate, that’s valuable time that the candidate now doesn’t have that he or she needs in order to travel the state. I know there are eight months until election day, but still, it’s just another obstacle that we didn’t need when we are trying to do well in the Senate races.
It’s just crazy populism, but the deficit hawks could occasionally focus on revenue increasing policies, rather than just looking for excuses to cut social spending.
Another weird way to address the revenue side would be having more millions of people with jobs and jobs with better cash incomes and not increasingly going to health insurance.
It’s crazy talk, but it’s true — you can address deficits and debts by reducing spending, but even a lot of businesses find that they can make more money by making more money, rather than exclusively focusing on cutting costs! Really! It happens!
@kay: I was wondering the same thing. Exactly what has the great Eavn Bayh accomplished as a senator? Does anyone know?
There are no passionate, vocal groups of voters eagerly demanding that government be more solicitous of corporate interests and more willing to start wars overseas.
@Brian J: It IS a stupid idea all the way around. Even if you could assume that every job was easily done into your 70’s, the problem is what you’re doing is adding a whole ton of people to the workforce without adding the jobs to go with them. This drives up unemployment and drives down wages.
Of course, one way to look at the American “Centrist” movement is that their ultimate goal is to drive down wages in order to ensure that their class gets richer.
@El Cid: Or better yet, you can put a SS tax on ALL income under a certain amount, and put investment income on the same level as honest work income.
Mary aka Comrade Mary
Like with anything else, projections of programs like this go are built with certain assumptions in mind, as you know. Wage growth would help. So would immigration growth, or so some sources suggest. Supposedly some relatively big changes in immigration, but relatively small changes overall compared to the size of our population, can make a pretty significant difference overall in the health of the program.
Or, as Dean Baker suggests in the comments here, instead of uncapping the income limits, we could redistribute income downward by trade policies that do not place limits on professionals like doctors and lawyers.
You can look at this problem in a number of ways, but to me, it seems downright nuts to assume that we know what things will be like ten years from now, let alone forty years from now. We shouldn’t ignore the problem, just be realistic about it.
@Mary aka Comrade Mary:
You don’t think there are lawyers working to get her name tossed out?
Well, I guess it depends on how big a difference one extra year in the workforce would make to the overall health of the program. If there are enough workers who don’t work in physically demanding jobs and it wouldn’t hurt younger workers trying to get jobs that much, perhaps it’d be worth trying. People are living longer, after all.
You forgot 100% cuts in Afg and Iraq war/occupation moneys, and 50+% cuts in rathole (DOD) spending, among cuts liberals support.
@Brian J: The Social Security maximum taxable income is an immediate solution, not depending on future wage growth estimates. It is also unrelated to questions of protectionism among professional job classes.
There are numerous ways to accomplish the same sort of goal. If it’s a choice between higher taxes or reduced barriers to trade, I’d go with the latter. Plus, I’d guess it’s slightly easier to reduce the barriers to trade than it is to increase taxes.
A bit off topic, but I am musing about centrism and the way the progressives have internalized the logic and framework of the Right.
The Right has had as its underlying theme the notion of “starving the beast” of government.
So now as a result the state of Utah is considering eliminating 12th grade; the city of Colorado Springs is turning out the street lights. Everywhere I look I see governments that are half starved, collapsing and incapable of doing even the most basic of services.
We need to make the case that we SHOULD want higher taxes. These “starve the beast” schemes are not making government more efficient, they are making it less so.
We used to pay pennies in taxes for schools, but now some parents pay thousands for private tutors to replace what the schools no longer teach;
What little we pay for FEMA was wasted, since after years of starvation and hostile indiffierence, when it was needed in Katrina, FEMA was paralyzed by incompetence and corruption.
I personally would be happy to pay more in taxes if only we could have a national health care system as good as Canada’s; or a high speed rail system as good as China’s; or an educational system as good as Japan’s.
There was a time when America thought big, dreamed big, and the taxpayers were willing to pay to make those dreams happen- Social Security, the Interstate Highway System, Hoover Dam, the California system of colleges and universities; these were all Big Ideas, brought about by a muscular, well fed government that created and maintained a middle class, while still allowing the rich to keep the proceeds of their efforts.
We need to make the case that if we are going to have government at all, it should be fully funded and capable of doing its job.
We need to make the case that when it comes to delivering services universally, government actually IS the most efficient vehicle for doing it; the private sector can deliver many things, but rarely can it deliver anything universally.
Universal access to highways stimulates automobile sales and makes commerce easier and more efficient; Universal access to electricity stimulates the consumer demand for electronics; Universal access to college makes for a better educated workforce.
Whatever inefficiency contained in federal infrastructure-building, is worth it since the private sector reaps the economic benefits of that stimulation.
I need the help of the others here, in fleshing these ideas out- as long as we accept and embrace the mantra that government is inherently evil, and taxes are theft, we will always play a losing hand to the Teabaggers.
We need to create a vision of hope, of an America that has a muscular “Can-Do” attitude towards Big Ideas like a high speed rail system, national health care, and a sustainable environment, where we gladly pay taxes as a fair exchange for a system that works.
How about the fact that so many of our “policies” are fifty years old or more, and might not even work in the vastly changed world we live in now?
We’ve got energy costs going up, we’ve got regulations going down, we have huge waves of change pulsing through society regarding communication, information retrieval, and health care, both good and bad… and yet a lot of our government hasn’t changed since they arrived at their offices on a horse.
If I ran my life this way, I’d be out on a ledge right now.
@KCinDC: Also of note, it wasn’t more than a few months ago that he said that to him, there is no difference between a no vote on a bill and a no vote on cloture for the bill.
So him whining about not getting shit done is incredibly disingenuous.
@Brian J: There is no reason to not do both. I am fully aware of Dean Baker’s arguments regarding the high barrier of professional protectionism’s cost on various services. It could very well be an excellent way forward on trimming consumer costs. In no way does this address the question of raising or eliminating the Social Security maximum taxable income for the wealthiest of U.S. citizens.
“… we pretty much sneer at the Pam Stouts of the world their little bourgeois ways.”
Uh, no we don’t. Never have. Pure fantasy propaganda implanted into your brain through some form of mass media.
You’d think we would run out of straw with all fake arguments put up by corporate “think tanks.”
And yet, people still haven’t learned. So for whatever it’s worth: it is just Right-wing rhetoric that liberals “sneer” at common folk.
It’s a lie.
Haven’t you just described the Obama Administration? What exactly is Bayh going to revolt against?
Tim in SF
I hope Bayh runs. My hope is that if Obama is challenged from the “center” by Bayh, that might move Obama to the left.
I doubt Bayh will be enough of a threat to move him an inch, though. The only thing a centrist insurgency can move is me to yawn.
I am really starting to wonder.
Completely irrelevant, but at first I read ‘Bayh 12’ as ‘Bay12’ and was thinking, “What the hell is Dwarf Fortress doing on this blog?”
Edit: And suddenly I can edit! How long has this been around?
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
Again I ask, in what conceivable way could Bayh position himself as more “centrist” than Obama? Bayh has voted for all of Obama’s initiatives, hasn’t he? He supports Obama’s foreign policy, doesn’t he?
@Mary aka Comrade Mary:
Not fuckity. This woman was going to run an activist challenge against Bayh. She deserves to get to run because she was willing too when Mr. 13million centrist was still planning on running.
Do any of the proposed fantasy challengers to Obama in 2012 have a plan for how to win without getting a pretty big majority of black and Latino voters? Or are we back to ignoring those demographics in favor of focusing obsessively on the “white urban liberals/”Reagan Democrats” split?
I should clarify that I don’t think anyone here is ignoring the minority demographics that are pretty important for any national Dem candidate — but the pundit classes sure seem to love riding that “liberal coastal elite/regular Joe” hobby horse to death. Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, Evan Bayh is Dan Quayle minus the comic relief potential.
A bit late here here, but isn’t this exactly what the Tea Party represents? A “populist” movement championing the concentration of power and wealth, or at least the policies that cause it, that is – in fact, if not rhetoric – an anti-populist political insurgency.
Seems a bit ironic …
Anyone else think Bayh’s likely to run for governor of Indiana in 2012?
The point he’s making, as far as I can see, is that if there’s more income growth at the lower end, we don’t need to uncap the limit. If someone goes from making $50,000 to $60,000, to take two random numbers, they will pay more in taxes on that income.