Bye Bayh, Mon Cowboy

by matttbastard

Every Republican’s favourite soon-to-be retired moderate [sic] DINO gunslinger Evan Bayh refuses to quietly ride off into the sunset:

“There’s just too much brain-dead partisanship, tactical maneuvering for short-term political advantage rather than focusing on the greater good, and also just strident ideology,” the Democratic senator said on “Good Morning America” today.

“The extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises from time to time to make some progress because some progress for the American people is better than nothing, and all too often recently, we’ve been getting nothing,” he said.

[…]

“The people who are just rigidly ideological, unwilling to accept practical solutions somewhere in the middle, vote them out, and then change the rules so that the sensible people who remain can actually get the job done,” Bayh said.

Aww, diddums.

In response to Bayh’s demonstrative bleating, the Village is once again pointing fingers at Angry Intertoob Partisans (oh noes!) for his sudden departure from public service :

During the long, still incomplete march to pass a health reform bill, Democratic moderates – in particular Montana’s Baucus and Nebraska’s Nelson — routinely took incoming from liberal bloggers for dragging the bill rightward. The left was especially critical of Bayh’s take last month on Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts. Bayh told ABC News that voters up there “just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems.” He said Democrats would court catastrophe if they ignored the wakeup call. John Amato wrote at CrooksandLiars.com that Bayh was promoting Fox News talking points.

Amato addresses accusations of cruel malfeasance — and the matter of Bayh’s saddle-sore bottom:

Voting almost 48 % of the time against a newly elected Democratic president is beyond being a conservative democrat. it’s aiding and abetting the enemy of change. Bayh whined like a teenager whose parents cut off their Internet yesterday when he gave his presser and said he was so tired of the partisanship. He could have done his part and helped President Obama and the Senate put together a good health care bill, but he did not. Politics is a contact sport and he proved he couldn’t take it.

Ok. Fuck Bayh’s reflexive, Broder-ready hand-wringing about “practical solutions” and “brain-dead partisanship.”

Sensible?

My ass. Bayh instead proved to be gutless and weak in the wake of constant, deliberate GOP obstruction — indeed, he aided and abetted them nearly half the time in their — wait for it — brain-dead partisan efforts to sink the good ship Obama by any means necessary. Call me “ideologically rigid” (please), but, based on his record, it seems quite apparent that Bayh fell under the all-too-expansive category of “with Dems like these…”.

Good fucking riddance.

Update: When even the sensibly centrist, DFH-hatin’ wusses at TNR are calling you a wuss, then, brother, you are a wuss.

Pull up your big boy pants and STFU.

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Quote of the Day: A Movement of Hearts and Souls

by matttbastard

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(Originally uploaded by Barack Obama)

What’s going on is that we’ve finally got a Democratic candidate who understands exactly how the Republicans did it. As I pointed out my very first week on this blog, the GOP didn’t come to power by talking about plans and policies; they did it by using strongly emotional appeals that grabbed people by the gut and didn’t let them go. Theirs was never a movement based on reason. It was, from the very beginning, a movement of hearts and souls. And it was that deep, emotionally sustaining commitment that drew people in so deeply that they were willing to give 25 years of their lives to bringing about the New World Order their leaders promised them. We may hate what they’ve accomplished — but we’re never going to be able to do better until we can inspire that same kind of passion for change.

And Obama’s doing just that. He’s tapped into a deeply pressurized seam of repressed fury within the American electorate, and he’s giving it voice, a focus, and an outlet. Are the results scary? You bet: these people want change on a scale that much of the status quo should find terrifying. Are they unreasoning? The followers may be — but as long as their leader keeps a cool head, that’s not as much of a problem right now as we might think; and the heat will dissipate naturally in time. Is this kind of devotion even appropriate? You bet. You don’t get the kind of deep-level change we need without first exposing and channeling people’s deep discontent. Obama’s change talk may be too vague for most people’s tastes (including mine); but the fact is that if we’re serious about enacting a progressive agenda, rousing people’s deepest dreams and desires and mobilizing that energy is exactly how it’s going to happen. And Obama’s the first candidate we’ve had in a generation who really, truly gets this.

The energy of Obama’s rallies scares the hell out of reason-bound, well-educated liberals; but it’s nothing new to anyone who’s spent time in the overheated revival-meeting atmosphere that conservative politicians have used to rouse their voters for decades. Stirring up their base in exactly this same way is how they won. Our chronic inability to move people like that is why we’ve continued to lose.

– Sara Robinson, The Cult of Obama (h/t Oliver Willis)

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Should the Big Dog Be Muzzled?

by matttbastard

billary.jpg

Josh Marshall is concerned:

In the week or so leading up to the Nevada caucus I feel like I heard more from and about Bill Clinton than I did about Hillary Clinton. Is that the media’s doing rather than the campaign’s? Maybe. But I don’t find the argument convincing and I’m not sure it would matter if it were true. What seems difficult to deny is that his rising profile is threatening her position as the dominant force in her own campaign.

And, as Michael Tomasky notes, that profile hasn’t been a positive one recently:

I don’t know who on this planet has the stature to go face-to-face with Bill Clinton and look him in the eye and tell him he behaved in a discreditable fashion. His wife? His buddy Vernon Jordan? Whoever it is, someone had better stop him. He campaigned against a fellow Democrat no differently than if Obama had been Newt Gingrich. The Clinton campaign may conclude that, numerically and on balance, Bill helped. But, trust me, to the thousands of committed progressives who supported him when he really needed it, who went to the mat for him at his moment of (largely self-inflicted) crisis but who now happen to be supporting someone other than his wife, he’s done himself a tremendous amount of damage.

The final price of victory is the splintering of base Democratic voters. African Americans solidified behind Obama, 79-18%. Hispanics, behind Clinton, 64-23%. Young voters went heavily for Obama. Old voters heavily for Clinton. These divisions threaten to flower into schisms. There will be plenty of time to put the pieces back together. But if Clinton becomes the nominee and black voters feel that Obama was treated unfairly … well, let’s imagine that black voter turnout in November is down by 10% in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio. That could mean the difference between victory and defeat in those three states.

The short term effect of Bill’s ruthlessness on the stump may well lead to Senator Clinton receiving the Democractic nomination. But, like Obama’s courting of independents and dissident Republicans, it is a dangerous strategy to employ during a primary campaign. And, as Tomasky observes, the last thing anyone in either Donkey camp wants is a fissure to open in the Democratic Party base that leads to voters staying home in November due to disgust over tactics employed during the primary season.

As noted in a recent Politico article, the GOP electorate is demoralized and disorganized; this election is the Demoratic Party’s to win or lose. But the circular firing squad mentality that has developed in recent weeks among the two major Democratic candidates gives the Republicans more of a chance in the general election than the party of Lincoln should realistically have. If the US ends up putting a Republican into office in November it will only be because some Democrats let ego overrule pragmatism and lost sight of the ultimate goal.

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Hey, Whatever Happened To That Edwards Guy…?

by matttbastard

(h/t Greg Sargent @ The Horse’s Mouth)

Via Steve Benen, is the Edwards campaign getting “screwed” by the MSM’s fixation with the Clinton/Obama horse race? Greg Sargent believes the numbers seem to indicate just that. TNR’s Jason Zengerle is skeptical, however:

…I think Edwards received plenty of media attention in the year before the caucuses and primaries began. Maybe he didn’t receive as much as Hillary and Obama, but then his candidacy wasn’t as historic as theirs, plus he trailed them in the national polls. Edwards ran a very good campaign and I think you can make the argument that he actually had the biggest impact in terms of policy on the race–setting a progressive standard that the other candidates tried to meet–but he lost, and the fact that he lost wasn’t the media’s fault.

Conceding several points, Sargent still stands by his original post:

Whether it was the constant coverage of the $400 haircut; the subtext in much coverage that Edwards’ personal wealth rendered his populism little more than a phony and ineffective gimmick; or the constant and relentless portrayal of the race as a showdown between two political superstars, there’s just no denying that in terms of the scope and tone of the coverage, Edwards has basically gotten screwed.

I’m certainly no John Edwards partisan, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that, post-Iowa, Edwards has been noticably absent from the campaign news cycle thanks to minutia-obsessed MSM coverage of the “gloves off” Clinton vs. Obama slap fight. Whether the marginalization is circumstantial or deliberate, the effect is still the same: Edwards is now persona non grata.

Update: Speaking of persona non grata (yes, he’s still running–no, srsly!)

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