Posts Tagged ‘Blue Dogs’

Waiting for the Blue Dogs to Bark

August 24, 2009

There’s word today that the White House, behind the scenes, has pretty much given up on getting any GOP votes for health care reform and is putting together a strategy for passing that legislation on a party-line vote.

If true, how long before one or all of the Blue Dogs announce they won’t support a bill that lacks “bipartisan support”?

It’s coming.  Easily before the week is out.  Personally, I don’t think we’ll get to the end of tomorrow before it happens.  We’ll see.

(NB: My definition of “Blue Dogs” isn’t limited to the House.  I include the Ben Nelsons and Evan Bayhs and so forth.)

In Which I Do Not Rant

June 26, 2009

The new, positive me sez Ezra Klein makes a good point, partially justifying the Dems’ weak-kneed approach to health care reform:

If President Obama had begun health reform with a speech aggressively laying out the case for single payer, the next morning’s newspapers would be filled with stories suggesting that 40 Republicans and 30 Democrats had pronounced Obama’s health reform effort dead on arrival. And when that got torn apart, Obama’s credibility on the issue would’ve been substantially shredded.

Good Point

June 22, 2009

Krugman and Digby on the “public option undermines free market competition” argument coming from many Republicans and conservative Dems, including bonus Arkansas content.

My friends, Evan Bayh is a wanker.

April 5, 2009

Lotsa chatter these days about the formation of a Senate equivalent of the House Blue Dog caucus — the group of conservative, budget-hawking Democrats.  The leader of the pack in the Senate is Evan Bayh.  (Of note to some here, both Arkansas senators are members.)

Ezra Klein has the best summary of Bayh in 3 posts or less.

Personally, I find Bayh a mirror image of John McCain: he puts on an eye-catching, centristy show, but it’s really all about him.  McCain’s colleagues have long disliked him for being The Senator Most Likely to Score Cheap Political Points on Everyone Else’s Dime.  McCain likes to be the lone no vote on unpopular legislation he supports but can oppose without imperiling.  While his colleagues hold their noses and vote for it because it has to be done, McCain sees that the necessary-but-unpopular legislation will pass without his vote, so makes a big show of voting against it.

It gets him a mavericky reputation and makes David Broder swoon, but truth be told, he’s just a wanker.

It looks to me like Bayh is bucking to be the Dems’ John McCain — make himself look like the responsible one without having to take actual responsibility for anything.  In this case, he gets to oppose deficits — always popular, downright heroic to the Beltway press — while also praising all the (equally popular) things Obama’s budget spends on, and supporting a huge tax cut.  (If this sounds familiar, it’s how the GOP governed for much of the past 10 years.)  Bayh gets to do all this without having to propose an alternative budget or suffer the consequences that would ensue if the Senate actually failed to pass Obama’s.  In other words, with no responsibility.

He’s a freerider.  A McCain.  A wanker.

Like McCain, Bayh has long-harbored presidential ambitions.  He briefly took a run at it last time around.  Is he setting himself up to challenge Obama from the right in 2012 if the economy doesn’t recover?  Wouldn’t be a bit surprised.  Or maybe he just wants to be the Democratic senator the media praises as the responsible centrist.  Either way, it sure looks like he’s full of crap.