Saturday, March 07, 2009

It's possible to be as stupid as Evan Bayh, but does anyone in his position have the right to be? PLUS: Jay Leno on Obama vs. Bush


Senator Evan with one of his prominent admirers

by Ken

Longtime DWT readers know that Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is not a favorite here. Howie and I have fairly often been driven to fairly extreme vituperation. There's no evidence I'm aware of that the guy has a working brain, because if he does, the only use he makes of it is to process his intake of prevailing-wind measurements.

He is to all appearances the worst kind of gutless panderer, and I do mean the worst kind, because he is not only willing but happy to pander to voters' deepest ignorances rather than attempt to exercise the tiniest bit of leadership and attempt to educate them. When it comes to a grasp of social and economic issues and the backbone to exercise leadership thereon, his model appears to be a leftover dish of tapioca pudding.

It's all the more distressing because his father, former Sen. Birch Bayh, was a genuine statesman of the '60s and '70s -- and since being thrust out of elective office has continued to champion the values he espoused in government in other sectors. Is there not some eerie symbolic resonance to the fact that Senator Birch was ousted from his seat by that poster boy for idle-rich imbecility Dan Quayle in 1980, in the same election that installed Ronald Reagan, the man who made the U.S. officially a country built on and devoted to imbecility? Is there any reason to think that Senator Evan is anything other than a (nominally) Democratic version of Dan Quayle?

But this is an old story. Granted, it became topical during the last presidential election cycle, when first candidate Hillary Clinton and then nominee Barack Obama seemed perfectly prepared to make this giant lunk of nothingness her/his running mate. Still, we dodged that bullet -- and while Joe Biden may not be my all-time favorate U.S. politico, every time I hear "Vice President Biden," I still remember only too vividly how close we apparently came to, well, a different outcome.

This is still old news, though. Well, Senator Evan has popped up again. He's one of 14 Democrats, as counted by stalwart progressive Mike Lux in a stirring HuffPost exhortation, "Dems Need To Drop Culture Of Caution," who were identified in a Wednesday Politico piece "as having concerns with [President] Obama's policy plans." It seems the Politico 14 are trying to counsel caution to the White House.

It's an exciting piece from our colleague and friend Mike, stressing that the great Democratic victories for social progress have never come from being cautious. Everyone should read this piece. (This seem an appropriate place too for a plug for Mike's new book, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be.) But the quote from our boy Evan still has me spluttering. Here's a post I churned out earlier to a list on which Mike's post was circulated:
At the risk of belaboring the bleedingly obvious, Politico quotes that great thinker and crack economist Sen. Evan Bayh as saying:

"The American people and businesses are tightening their belts. I think we need to show that the government can economize, as well."

Much as I admire Mike Lux's exhortation for Dems to rise above caution, this isn't even a "caution" issue, is it?

(1) Isn't the fact that NOBODY IS SPENDING a functional description of how we have sunk into, and are mired in, a depression (still masquerading in polite society as recession)? (Hence the logic for "economic stimulus"?)

(2) I know that Senator Bayh isn't very bright. I've called him things like "imbecile." But is it really possible that a prominent Democratic U.S. senator -- a man who came this close to being nominated for the vice presidency -- DOESN'T GRASP THIS? I understand that he's got a serious and apparently incurable case of panderitis, but still . . .


"Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was on Meet the Press yesterday. And he said that Barack Obama is more analytical than President Bush. Well, there's a shock, huh? I think Tickle Me Elmo is more analytical than President Bush."

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At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Leno!
There is NO haven for the old Neoconservative Right Wing on late night talk.
Only Faux newz.


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