Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big Business-Friendly Democrats Team Up With GOP To Kill Obama's Agenda For Change


They haven't officially switched parties (yet) but 8 conservative Democrats, mostly members of Evan Bayh's anti-Obama bloc have written to the White House to tell them they stand with Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl and the Republican Senate caucus in a bid to kill Obama's budget-- his blueprint for the change program he ran on. Combined with the butcher job conservative congressional Democrats are doing to Obama's budget on their own, they are also determined to scuttle his health care reforms, his energy agenda and even his proposal to slow down evictions and bankruptcies. Who needs Republicans if you have reactionary corporate shills like Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, and Blanche Lincoln? The anti-change Democrats, most of whom were perfectly comfortable with the Bush agenda,"are also resisting entreaties from Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to back a housing bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage terms through steps including reducing the principal. Bayh and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., are pushing to pick up backing from Republicans and Democrats who are uneasy with Durbin's approach for an alternative that would make the so-called cram-downs available to far fewer homeowners."
So who are the 8 right-wing Democratic senators conspiring with the GOP to derail the president? Besides, Bayh, the ringleader (up for re-election in 2010), we have Ben Nelson (NE), Blanche Lincoln (AR- also up for re-election next year), Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Pryor (AR), Carl Levin (MI), Robert Byrd (WV), and Bob Casey (PA).

Last night Rachel Maddow did a great job on describing all the damage the Conservadems are doing-- and then got Jane Hamsher on to dig even deeper. Take a look:

Earlier yesterday Jane and I were part of a conference call with Insider-the-Beltway media about the campaign to persuade reactionary Democratic politicians to come back in the fold. I wouldn't call it hopeless... but I wouldn't call it hopeful either. I wonder if Rahm Emanuel can pull the kind of stuff on them that he routinely pulled on progressives he didn't think were doing things in the party's best interests.
The Campaign for America’s Future, a liberal advocacy group, is on the offensive with a tough lobbying campaign that urges the public to “dog the dogs”-- the Blue Dogs, that is.

The group wants to pressure members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition in the House and a new alliance of centrist Democratic senators led by Evan Bayh of Indiana to drop efforts to oppose or slow action on parts of President Obama’s agenda.

Robert Borosage, co-director of the campaign, specifically attacked Bayh and seven other centrist Democratic senators for signing a March 12 letter with 25 Republicans that vowed to oppose a proposal for a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.

Bayh has begun holding regular meetings attended by more than a dozen centrist Democratic senators to develop strategies on a broad range of issues.

Borosage accused centrist Democrats in both the House and Senate of “treacherous opposition” to pieces of Obama’s agenda.

“House Blue Dogs threaten constantly to join with Republicans to cut vital investments and limit basic reforms. But it’s the Senate where the opposition is most damaging,” said Borosage, who heads a think tank aligned with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Sen. Bayh’s group wants to be called ‘moderate,’ but their complaints about President Obama’s policies are conservative complaints.”

Borosage’s group and another liberal advocacy group, USAction, are launching a campaign that is expected to include e-mail, blogs and paid advertising.

Bayh isn't responding to press inquiries about his treachery but radical right Blue Dog corporatists Lincoln Davis (TN) and Charlie Melancon (LA) basically told progressives to "make my day." Davis: “If they want to beat on the Blue Dogs, they want to be a minority. Melancon: "Let them run ads if they want to. It will just show I match up with my district. I’m conservative.” That he is; the only thing that makes no sense is why he missed the boat when most of the Dixiecrats like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond and Phil Gramm jumped the fence and went from being Democrats to being Republicans.

The President's News Conference

Last night President Obama reminded conservative members of Congress (in his own party) that recovery is "inseperable" from the budget he presented them. If he's correct and they screw up-- as they look ready to do-- it could well look like a return to Republican rule in Washington, a tragedy for the American people, but something Democratic insiders will have surely earned.

UPDATE: Right-wing Dems Getting Nervous? Or Just Covering Their Tracks?

Three reactionary Democratic senators at the center of Evan Bayh's anti-Obama bloc-- Bayh himself plus Tom Carper and Blanche Lincoln-- penned an OpEd for this morning's Washington Post after watching Rachel Maddow's second attack on their nefarious enterprise. Among the Democrats who most frequently voted for the Bush agenda and who tend to consistently support corporate special interests over working families, the three claimed that the problems Obama faces are so "titanic and complicated" that they need to do what the GOP has refused to do-- act as a loyal and constructive opposition. They claim they will "strengthen and sustain" Obama's agenda and save it from being filibustered and claim their rightist and corporative Big Business-oriented politics represents the moderate center of the American political mainstream. The overwhelming election of Barack Obama on a platform of the kind of change they oppose, puts the lie to that media-nurtured myth.

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At 8:00 AM, Blogger Juan Liberale said...

Isn't this all just another failure on the part of Harry Reid?

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay Jane!

At 7:19 AM, Blogger Plain Speaking said...

Thank you Rachel and Jane! Is there anything we can do? I've written Bayh twice but I didn't realize he'd already been bought and paid for. Will it help if we write and tell him (and others like him that the next time they are up for bidding we would like to be in on the auction?

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Plain Speaking said...

Seriously, does it help to write to every Democratic Senator or just the ones in our district. Can I do anything else to help?


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