Why Bayh Is Quitting the Senate

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
From John Fund at wsj.com
Before Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh suddenly announced he will not seek re-election in November he had issued several warnings to fellow Democrats. Last month, for example, he told Gerald Seib of this newspaper that his party's liberals were "tone deaf" to the fact that they'd "overreached" in their agenda. "For those people," he said, "it may take a political catastrophe of biblical proportions before they get it."

Mr. Bayh knows something about high-water political floods. As a 24-year-old law student he helped run his father's 1980 Senate re-election and saw him go down to defeat under the Reagan landslide. In 1994, Mr. Bayh was governor of Indiana and thankful he wasn't before the voters when they revolted against Bill Clinton. "Every 14 or 16 years we seem to have to relearn this lesson," Mr. Bayh said. "I do have a sense of deja vu, and the movie doesn't have a happy ending."

He isn't the first observer to note the misfortune that befalls modern Democrats when they gain control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. After Jimmy Carter won the White House, Ronald Reagan assembled a group of his former aides in Los Angeles in early 1977 for a pep talk about how the GOP loss would only be temporary if they learned from the party's mistakes and returned to first principles. He quoted from a John Dryden ballad memorized as a youth: "I'm a little wounded, but I am not slain. I will lay me down for to bleed a while. Then I'll rise and fight again."

Conservatives, he said, should be of good cheer. Democrats win the White House when they campaign as moderates, but once in office they find it impossible to do so even if they want to "because the unions and their Congressional leadership won't let them."

But governing as liberals meant Democrats undermined the trust voters placed in them. They also enacted policies that increased economic uncertainty and retarded job creation. "When liberalism fails, people notice. They may even protest," Reagan told his aides, pointing to California's nascent Proposition 13 tax revolt—the "Tea Party" of its day. "And it's then they'll listen to you again if you have a clear set of ideas based on sound principle."

Aides such as Peter Hannaford realized he was planning to run for president again envisioning just such a scenario. The rest is history.

In early 1993, before he succumbed to Alzheimer's, Reagan met with some of his appointees in New York City. The circumstances were remarkably similar to those of 16 years prior—Republicans had lost heavily in the last election due to scandal and economic miscalculations. Larry Kudlow, a Reagan budget official who is now a CNBC host, recalls that the Gipper reminded those at the meeting of what he'd said in 1977.

Bill Clinton had also campaigned as a moderate but was already governing as a liberal—and Reagan said it wouldn't fly with voters. "He said the failure of liberalism would again present Republicans with an opportunity if they ran on a pro-growth, antitax agenda that reasserted America's place in the world," Mr. Kudlow says.

And now, once again, Democrats have overreached and are in danger of suffering a historic defeat.

All of this makes one wonder if Democrats will ever have a "Tony Blair" moment and make a conscious return to the political center. After his Labour Party suffered three straight defeats, Mr. Blair took over as leader. He marginalized its left-wing extremists so the middle class could trust his party with power.

Mr. Blair told the Times of London he realized the "default mechanism" of Britain was closer to that of the Conservative Party, and that his party must move to the center. He then won three straight elections. Now that Labour is returning to its class-warfare roots under Gordon Brown, it once again faces electoral defeat.

So far, Democrats show no signs of thinking the U.S. is a country whose "default mechanism" in politics is to the center-right. They retain faith that Barack Obama can work some magic and make things better. But should he continue to slide in polls and the horror movie Mr. Bayh refers to is replayed this fall, they may want to rethink matters.

At age 54, Mr. Bayh is leaving Congress but declines to rule out another run for office. Should Democrats ever be open to a Tony Blair message, no doubt Mr. Bayh could be persuaded to return to the arena. He's won five times in a red state while compiling a voting record significantly more liberal than Arlen Specter's or Olympia Snowe's. Yet today he's viewed by many Democrats with disdain as a conservative collaborator.

Nothing better sums up the Democrats' self-inflicted problem.
Full article here.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
I was under the impression that the disquiet with the dems came from a combination of the stimulus + the economy combined with not reaching their "agenda". For instance not closing guantanamo, not withdrawing the troops quickly enough, and not being successful on healthcare reform.

What exactly does he go on to claim was "overreached" macnut? Not all of us have a subscription to the wsj.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
The Democrats are going to have their work cut out for them this year if they want to regain their seats. Not that it will be easy for the Republicans either. This will be a wide open race, no seat is safe.

I was under the impression that the disquiet with the dems came from a combination of the stimulus + the economy combined with not reaching their "agenda". For instance not closing guantanamo, not withdrawing the troops quickly enough, and not being successful on healthcare reform.

What exactly does he go on to claim was "overreached" macnut. Not all of us have a subscription to the wsj.
The link is wide open. I don't subscribe either.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
I don't want to crap your thread up but no luck. Must be a regional thing I'll have to go to bed with this wordly mystery hanging over me!
I just posted the full article.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,986
Over reached my ass, the liberals didn't get a ****ing thing they were aiming for. :rolleyes:
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
From John Fund at wsj.com Full article here.
John Fund's WSJ editorial on Sen. Bayh's shocking announcement may indeed be tied to Democratic Party "overreach" but most see Bayh quitting the Senate as one more message that Obama has yet to understand. The summer of Town Meeting citizen discontent, continuing deficit spending, lingering unemployment, a shocking reversal of a former Democrat stronghold in Massachusetts, and Obama's plunging polls all point to the failing hard left progressive agenda in Washington that voters do not seem to want. It is not hard to understand why a Blue Dog Democrat Moderate like Bayh wants out - he knows what is coming in November of 2010.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,986
That is the point, they aimed to high.
Yea, things like fixing the healthcare system with competition (public option) was too hard for stupid americans to figure out. What other things are "too high"? Energy independence?
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
Yea, things like fixing the healthcare system with competition (public option) was too hard for stupid americans to figure out. What other things are "too high"? Energy independence?
People want reform but they want it done right. I don't think that is the main issue though. People want less spending.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,986
People want reform but they want it done right. I don't think that is the main issue though. People want less spending.
What liberals are pushing for more spending? Hell there aren't even many liberals in our system! To me this sounds like nothing but a cop out
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
What liberals are pushing for more spending? Hell there aren't even many liberals in our system! To me this sounds like nothing but a cop out
You should know this, what ever party is in office when everything goes to hell will pay the price, this is the Democrats turn to take a beating. The Republicans took it a few years ago.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,986
You should know this, what ever party is in office when everything goes to hell will pay the price, this is the Democrats turn to take a beating. The Republicans took it a few years ago.
It would be nice if we would be honest with ourselves at least that there are few actual liberals in our government, far too little to get their agenda through, much less to take the blame for this kind of ****.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
It would be nice if we would be honest with ourselves at least that there are few actual liberals in our government, far too little to get their agenda through, much less to take the blame for this kind of ****.
It is the majority that takes the hit, not a small few.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
13,986
It is the majority that takes the hit, not a small few.
Yes, but its constantly the minority that becomes the scapegoat. There will never actually be a liberal presence in this country if everyone is out to make them look bad. I'm sick of this country being to the right but lying to itself about it.
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
5,496
OBJECTIVE reality
Fund and Bayh are the ones who don't get it. The voters are looking to elect liberal populists, people who will represent them instead of Wall Street, and all the Democrats keep offering them are wimpy conservatives. And Obama seems constitutionally incapable of kicking ass in order to fulfill the campaign promises he made. That's why his numbers are down.

On the other side of the aisle it's even worse: Republicans who don't even pretend to give a **** about the people anymore, and at the far extreme, tea party loons who can't put together a coherent protest sign, let alone a coherent convention.

If the voters elect Republicans this fall, it'll only be to protest the fact that the Democrats have given them no liberals to vote for. It sure as hell won't be some kind of endorsement of conservatism.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 4, 2002
21,542
7,801
CT
Fund and Bayh are the ones who don't get it. The voters are looking to elect liberal populists, people who will represent them instead of Wall Street, and all the Democrats keep offering them are wimpy conservatives. And Obama seems constitutionally incapable of kicking ass in order to fulfill the campaign promises he made. That's why his numbers are down.

On the other side of the aisle it's even worse: Republicans who don't even pretend to give a **** about the people anymore, and at the far extreme, tea party loons who can't put together a coherent protest sign, let alone a coherent convention.

If the voters elect Republicans this fall, it'll only be to protest the fact that the Democrats have given them no liberals to vote for. It sure as hell won't be some kind of endorsement of conservatism.
I really don't think the country is as liberal as you think it is. People want politicians in the center not the far left or right.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
basically he warning is that that the dems in Congress are not listening to what the people want and he is right and they will revolt over this.
You have to look no farther than the Massachusetts election for the senate.

over 1/2 the people who voted for the Rep voted for him because they felt that the dems in congress were not listening to them.

Rather sad that 50% of the votes were for that reason. Dems are going to suffer a lot of painful losses come election day.
 

paddy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2005
653
0
TN
What a shortsighted country to even think of voting Republican again. Not saying the Dems are great but seriously, just vote third party.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,408
Not for me. I get the blurb you posted + another paragraph and then a "subscribe to read the full article".
You can generally get around their pay wall if you access through Google news.

As for Bayh, **** him. Centrist Democrat my ass. He's just another corporatist. His wife serves on the board of Wellpoint.

Every time I hear about another incumbent, from either party, not running, I get a stiffy.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
The third party here is even worse.
Agreed, Americans have a poor choice in political parties. Both the Democrats and Republicans suck. It just confuses me how Americans can trust the Republicans when not just too long ago, they screwed up this country. Now the Democrats are screwing up the country, but it doesn't mean we can trust the republicans again. But, the problem is that we don't have any viable third parties to vote in.