Event Calendar
July 2014
(view month)
* * 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 * *
<< (add event) >>

User Blox 4
- Put stuff here

Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24


Advanced Search

Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

Nobody loves a centrist

by: Jay Stevens

Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 06:59:54 AM MST

Traditional media types love the notion of a "centrist," whatever that is.

Take Evan Bayh's sudden gut shot to the Democratic party and president Obama. Read Charles Lane's analysis:

Millions of Americans long to tell their bosses "take this job and shove it." Hardly any have the power and money to do so, especially in these recessionary times. Sen. Evan Bayh (D) of Indiana, however, is the exception. His stunning retirement from the Senate is essentially a loud and emphatic "screw you" to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. For months now, Bayh has been screaming at the top of his voice that the party needs to reorient toward a more popular, centrist agenda -- one that emphasizes jobs and fiscal responsibility over health care and cap and trade. Neither the White House nor the Senate leadership has given him the response he wanted. Their bungling of what should have been a routine bipartisan jobs bill last week seems to have been the last straw....

Quitting the Senate was a no-lose move for the presidentially ambitious Bayh, since he can now crawl away from the political wreckage for a couple of years, plausibly alleging that he tried to steer the party in a different direction -- and then be perfectly positioned to mount a centrist primary challenge to Obama in 2012, depending on circumstances.

For Lane, Bayh's sudden departure was a noble, gutsy maneuver that should propel him into the middle of a primary challenge of Obama, as if he's become a "centrist" rebel. Daniel Larison picks that notion apart, nothing that party voters tend to eschew losers like Bayh who quit the team and over issues they actually like. But even if Bayh, say, chose to run as an independent, he'd probably run into the problems that NYC mayor Bloomberg did when he put out feelers in '08:

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.

Good bye, Bayh. Don't let the door hit you in the *ss on the way out.

Jay Stevens :: Nobody loves a centrist
Tags: , , , , (All Tags)
Bookmark and Share
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Slightly off topic, but (0.00 / 0)
Some of the most frustrating persons I come across are those who are angry because "Washington is getting nothing done," but who refuse to place blame on specific individuals or either party.  They say they want Democrats and Republicans to stop fighting and work together.

One guy told me, "I don't care who's in charge so long as they get something done." Bayh might be his hero, I guess.

Things aren't getting done for specific and possibly fixable reasons.  First, there's the filibuster that allows the minority party to sabotage legislation just to make the majority party look bad. Second, there are blue-dog Dems like Bayh (and Baucus) who work to weaken good legislation and replace it with crap. Third, there is a president too willing to compromise with those whose sole motive is destroying his presidency.

Angry centrists behave as though they are the children of feuding parents.  "Please, Daddy!  Please, Mommy!  Just stop fighting!" They need to stop acting like six-year-olds and grow up.  

Don't let the door hit you in the *ss? (0.00 / 0)

I love the 'Big Tent' that the Dems have - LOL

Such a bold (0.00 / 0)
display of apostasy deserves severe punishment, otherwise others may dare to follow.

[ Parent ]
So unlike that one, big, happy family known as Republicans (0.00 / 0)
Right Eric?  Go Teabaggers!

[ Parent ]
Pete, shoud the apostate (0.00 / 0)
be burned at the stake for speaking heresy?  http://www.politico.com/blogs/...

"If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months," Bayh said.

[ Parent ]
Craig, (0.00 / 0)
Republicans have apostates.  Democrats don't, a fact which beta-mensch like Mark lament at every turn.  And I notice that you, the king of fact check, didn't call Bayh on his blatant lie.  Even Republicans are now letting it slip out that the stimulus has created some jobs.  So, is Bayh the newest member of the holy order of rich white men, or just another self-absorbed liar?  Do give us your view, Craig.

[ Parent ]
Wulfgar, you know better (0.00 / 0)
than that as you have demonstrated on many occasions where you have defended rhetorical excess.

[ Parent ]
Evan Bayh (0.00 / 0)
Go to opinionjournal.com and read Another Liberal Crackup.  

Don't bother. (0.00 / 0)
It's just another steaming heap of wingnut lies.

[ Parent ]
Please help identify (0.00 / 0)
what they are.  From the article:

The political retirement of Evan Bayh, at age 54, is being portrayed by various sages as a result of too much partisanship, or the Senate's dysfunction, or even the systemic breakdown of American governance.
 T or F?

For the fourth time since the 1960s, American voters in 2008 gave Democrats overwhelming control of both Congress and the White House. Republicans haven't had such large majorities since the 1920s.
 T or F?

Democrats failed in the latter half of the 1960s, as the twin burdens of the Great Society and Vietnam ended the Kennedy boom and split their party. They failed again after Watergate, as Congress dragged Jimmy Carter to the left and liberals had no answer for stagflation. They failed a third time in the first two Bill Clinton years, as tax increases and HillaryCare led to the Gingrich Congress before Mr. Clinton salvaged his Presidency by tacking to the center.
T or F?

Democrats had the chance to restore economic confidence and fix the financial system with modest reforms that would let them take credit for the inevitable recovery. Yet only 13 months later, Democrats are down in the polls, their agenda is stymied by Democratic opposition, and their House and Senate majorities are in peril as moderates like Mr. Bayh flee the scene of this political accident.
T or F?

Democrats have responded by blaming "obstructionist" Republicans, who lack the votes to block anything by themselves; or a failure to communicate the right message, though President Obama is a master communicator
T or F?


Wulfgar, you are way smarter than many of us on these matters and we could use your help.

[ Parent ]
Okay (0.00 / 0)
1)  True

It is being "portrayed" such.  That would be the "liberal media", right?  I use quotes there, because the opinion piece called it such, when there is a vast wealth of eveidence that the media, especially the Wall Street Journal, is anything but "liberal".

2)  True, and also completely beside the point of complaint.

3)  False.  The tax increases in question were enacted under GHW Bush, not Clinton.  Also, this quote ignores the complete lie that was The Contract on America. Has any plank of that contract come to pass?  No.  Not a one.  (Plank two could be argued for, but a fat lot of good it did us.)  And this still is deception.  The Congress turned Republican in 1994 for a large number of reasons. The "liberal media" of the WSJ, simply chooses to hide those things.

4)  False.  A blatant assumption.  Prove other wise.

5)  True.  Also, you're cherry picking the article.

So, I've taken your pop-quiz.  Now answer the question I asked above:  Is Even Bayh lying when he says:

"If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months,"

[ Parent ]
I think (0.00 / 0)
Evan Bayh has more knowledge than either you or me as to such matters given his position. I don't think Congress ever creates jobs.  It only enacts legislation.  

[ Parent ]
So you don't think government is an industry? (0.00 / 0)
That people employed by government aren't real employees? That contractors hired by the government to do the people's business aren't really working? Sure, Congress can only act by passing legislation. How else would they operate?

I find it hugely amusing that people ignore the fact that every tax dollar spent eventually makes its way into the pocket of a worker (even if that worker is a (CEO). Just as readily as every dollar that a business spends out of its revenue or loans makes its way into a workers pocket.

There is no difference between the government contracting for goods and services, or a private business contracting for goods and services when it comes to effects on jobs.

That's why this country is in such a mess. People like Evan Bayh replace logic with patronizing statements like he did. And people are led to believe that the government can't create jobs. Which is why republicans can only see tax cuts as a solution.

Ever hear of the WPA, Craig? At its height it was the largest employer in the country--3.3 million people. When the private sector fails--and it had failed then, as it is failing today--then the people through their government have the choice to act and create jobs directly for the unemployed, or accept massive suffering. They made the right choice then. Today, they have not.

[ Parent ]
I am sorry JC (0.00 / 0)
that you are so out of sorts over Bayh.

We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong . . . somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. . . . I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot.

--Henry Morgenthau, FDR's Treasury Secretary

This was in 1939 when Morgenthau was appearing before powerful the House Ways and Means Committee.

[ Parent ]
You didn't even respond (0.00 / 0)
to my challenge on the assumption that government doesn't create jobs.

As to Morgenthau, so what. That was his opinion. No more, no less. It was well known that Morgenthau was not a keynesian economist. I wouldn't expect anything else from him.

FDR came into office in 1933, and he made the statement in 1939. That's 6 years. Treasury secretary who couldn't even add. Reminds me of some recent treasury secretaries that have about zero credibility with the american public.

You can jump on the historical revisionist bandwagon if you want. But it doesn't negate anything I said about Bayh or his quote about congress creating jobs.

[ Parent ]
Morgenthau (0.00 / 0)
was there during the Depression and the WPA.  JC, learn to read.  

Bayh's statement is that Congress didn't create jobs.  There are more branches to government than Congress.  

[ Parent ]
I know how to read Craig. (0.00 / 0)
But thanks for the tip, anyways. Lets me know you care. How special.

I expect as much out of Morgenthau as I expect out of Geithner or Paulson at this point in time, which is to say jack sh*t. Looking out for Wall Street, first. Morgenthau was FDR's version of Obama's cabinet of rivals. I really don't view his take, and the Great Depression revisionistas that worship him, with anything more than a huge grain of salt.

And Bayh's statement is bullsh*t, as I explained above, and which you so inartfully are dodging by trying to deflect the conversation off onto Morgenthau.

I'll ask you once again to go back and read my comments about Bayh, and respond directly to them, if you can. His statement about Congress' ability to create jobs, and record of creating jobs in the last 6 months is false. I know people personally who have been hired for stimulus jobs. Tell them that Congress didn't create their position by funding it.

But you're free to believe all the falsehoods you want. I'm not stopping you.

Bayh just needs to get out of Congress as quick as he can and get to work on K Street working as a lobbyist, so he can convince Congress to give money to his clients, so they can create jobs. Then he'll be happy and be singing a different tune.

[ Parent ]
Now *thats* rhetorical excess. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I've been learning (0.00 / 0)
at your knee.   ;?)

[ Parent ]
Wulfgar, you are way smarter (0.00 / 0)
Smarter? This is a joke, right? LOL

[ Parent ]
Thought Experiment (0.00 / 0)
Imagine everybody from every point of view participating in a democratic system of politics where those points were articulated and debated. Imagine that no one ideology was dominant simply by virtue of it's coercive power ( say for instance, Market Fundamentalism) and that various factions coalesced where strategically beneficial. Now imagine an engaged populace sharing relatively equal empowerment and resources ( education, leisure time, health) thatwere required to take turns representing their communities interests and could be recalled at any time.

Now open your eyes and see the Spectacle parading before us, mocking us ( Hows that Hopey Changey thing workin out for ya?)even as it more and more boldly enslaves us. We all sit there transfixed as David Gregory asks Evan Bayh what his kids will take at Yale.

too many posts on a luzer (0.00 / 0)

    Bayh is a luzer Republican (DINO) i remember when he came to USC Los Angeles Law School to start his exploratory on running for President in '03/'o4. It was his last, as i heard.
   Evan Bayh is a 1st rate obstructionist, is a one celled i me mine thinker. And virtually NO Help to a Progressive let alone a Liberal Agenda. (To bad Obama isn't a Prog or Liberal - just a lowly Neo-lib who has run out of time).

   If you think this Blue-Dawg will run for POTUS in the future - i'll bet you a dollar to a do-nut hole he won't run.

   Good riddance. To bad most of Indiana is like him.

     And i wanted to speak to this post at the bottom here by JC i think...

      "...  , Market Fundamentalism) and that various factions coalesced where strategically beneficial. Now imagine an engaged populace sharing relatively equal ...

      It is an impossibility that a Free Market Fundamentalism (Baucus) can exist with an EQUAL share... this would be a physical/economic impossibility... IMO
      What is true though, is that we are now legally and permanently shackled by Corporations having Full Voice thru their Coffers.  We are Slaves.
      The great Freedom Rider, Sojourner Truth, once said she could have freed thousands more slaves if they had only realized the condition they were in.

"Left" and "liberal" are mutually exclusive terms. If you are a "liberal" you can't be Left. "Liberal" means you want a kinder gentler capitalism. "Left" means you are anti-capitalist.

That would have been troutsky, (0.00 / 0)
not me that said that. And I'm not sure you're reading his point correctly. I don't think your assertion (an impossibility) is contrary to his. He was laying out an alternative universe to speculate about, and contrasting with what is before us.

But I agree whole-heartedly with you about Bayh.

[ Parent ]

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Bookmark and Share

Purely Hypothetical, of course, but - The best candidate for the Republicans for US Senate is:
Corey Stapleton
Dennis Rehberg
Marc Racicot
Champ Edmunds
Steve Daines
Harris Himes
Kreyton Kerns


Blog Roll
  • A Secular Franciscan Life
  • Big Sky Blog
  • David Crisp's Billings Blog
  • Discovering Urbanism
  • Ecorover
  • Great Falls Firefly
  • Intelligent Discontent
  • Intermountain Energy
  • Lesley's Podcast
  • Livingston, I Presume
  • Great Falls Firefly
  • Montana Cowgirl
  • Montana Main St.
  • Montana Maven
  • Montana With kids
  • Patia Stephens
  • Prairie Mary
  • Speedkill
  • Sporky
  • The Alberton Papers
  • The Fighting Liberal
  • The Montana Capitol Blog
  • The Montana Misanthrope
  • Thoughts From the Middle of Nowhere
  • Treasure State Judaism
  • Writing and the West
  • Wrong Dog's Life Chest
  • Wulfgar!

  • Powered by: SoapBlox