Bayh warns that “far Left” has seized the Democratic Party; Update: Lanny Davis concurs

posted at 11:36 am on January 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Rumors had Senator Evan Bayh on the short list to be Barack Obama’s running mate in the summer of 2008, and the choice would have made more sense than Obama’s eventual pick of Joe Biden.  Bayh could have given Obama some credibility as a centrist as well as regional clout in the Rust Belt, which Obama won anyway in the general election.  Now Bayh has to face those same constituents for re-election this year, and after the shocking victory for Republicans in Massachusetts, Bayh has a warning call to his colleagues on the Hill:

Even before the votes are counted, Senator Evan Bayh is warning fellow Democrats that ignoring the lessons of the Massachusetts Senate race will “lead to even further catastrophe” for their party.

“There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.” …

“The only we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates,” Bayh said.  “Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country — that’s not going to work too well.” …

“It’s why moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren’t buying our message. They just don’t believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems. That’s something that has to be corrected.”

That is as clear a shot across the bow for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama as we’re likely to see in a Senate race — and an indication of where the Obama agenda is headed in a Senate with 41 Republicans.  Bayh has warned repeatedly over the past year about overreach and a leftward tilt in Congress, although thus far he hasn’t put his votes where his mouth has been.  He went along on ObamaCare after the public option got stripped out of the final Harry Reid version, and didn’t even get a deal like Ben Nelson wangled for Nebraska.

Bayh sounds as though he’s heading off the reservation in the wake of the Democratic fiasco in Massachusetts, but sounds won’t be enough for Indiana voters.  Bayh will have to follow through on his long-held threat to form a moderate coalition to block Reid’s agenda, similar to what John McCain did to George Bush’s judiciary nominees in 2005.    Even that may not help Bayh at this point; a gallows conversion rarely impresses anyone, and that’s exactly what it will resemble.

That doesn’t make Bayh’s advice to Democrats any less valuable.  They seem convinced that the only way to rescue themselves from the trap in which they have caught themselves is to chew off the foot that’s still free.  If they double down on their hard-Left agenda, nothing Bayh does will save him in Indiana, and leftists like Barbara Boxer may discover that they’re not immune to the anger that this Congress has generated, either.

Update: Former Clinton aide Lanny Davis makes a similar case in the Wall Street Journal:

Somehow, in the last 12 months, we allowed the party of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to morph into the party of George McGovern (or more accurately, his most ardent supporters) and Howard Dean, who called for the defeat of the Democratic health-care bill if it had neither a public option or Medicare buy-in. (He couldn’t possibly have been speaking for the 31 million uninsured people in taking that all-or-nothing position.)

In 1996, Mr. Clinton was the first Democrat to win re-election since FDR—expanding the electoral map once again into western, southern, and sunbelt states. He did so by creating a new ideological hybrid for a still-progressive Democratic Party: balanced-budget fiscal conservatism, cultural moderation, and liberal social programs administered by a “lean and mean government.” This New Democrat combination appealed to Ross Perot independents concerned about deficits, and also to traditional Republican suburbanites who were culturally moderate on issues like abortion and gay rights but opposed to high taxes and wasteful, big-government bureaucracy.

Then, in 2008, Barack Obama added something extra: a commitment to a “new politics” that transcended the “red” versus “blue” partisan divide. He explained this concept clearly in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote speech and during his 2008 presidential campaign. It meant compromise, consensus and bipartisanship, even if that meant only incremental change. The purists on the left of the Democratic Party who demanded the “public option” or no bill at all apparently forgot that candidate Obama’s health-care proposal did not include a public option; nor did it include a government mandate for everyone to either purchase insurance or pay a significant tax approximating the cost of that insurance—the “pay or play provision” in both the Senate and House bills.

Somehow?  Look very carefully for the one name Davis neglects to mention: Nancy Pelosi.  There isn’t any somehow about this.  Obama abdicated his agenda to Pelosi, either because he secretly supported a far-Left agenda or couldn’t be bothered to make up his own mind about what he wanted.  The outcome was entirely predictable.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

In short, stop lying.

highhopes on January 20, 2010 at 12:58 PM

In addition, it wasn’t a tax cut, it was an adjustment to the tax tables so that less taxes were deducted during the year. The total tax owed at the end of the year did not change.

MarkTheGreat on January 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Yellowdog12 on January 20, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Debra Medina has a Facebook page.

Dr Evil on January 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Who here frequents KOS and the other progressive whacko sites? I bet they are more scared of losing the control they have over the dems than they are about the loss in MA.

csdeven on January 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

<blockquoteThen, in 2008, Barack Obama added something extra: a commitment to a “new politics” that transcended the “red” versus “blue” partisan divide. He explained this concept clearly in his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote speech and during his 2008 presidential campaign. It meant compromise, consensus and bipartisanship, even if that meant only incremental change.

Um, what? I have yet to see any evidence that Obama has made even one tiny gesture that could be considered bi-partisan. It’s not like Obama’s actions show a desire to reach across the aisle and Pelosi & Co are steamrolling that. That whole campaigning on new politics was just another lie. And more people are waking up to it. He’s just as complicit in this as Congress is.

BakerAllie on January 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Does anyone think that the Tea Parties might be taken more seriously now? I am so sick of their dismissal of the 1000′s of people who demonstrated in a peaceful way to tell them they were on the wrong track. No they didn’t listen and said horrible things about us. Well, maybe (ya think?) they got a wake up call last night. Everyone of us knows what’s wrong. Everyone of us could hae told them what would happen. “No we were a bunch of jerks.” I wish I was home to see nanci’s face as she’s questioned today. Good bye dingy and I hope there is someone to take on nanci in san fran. Chrissy must be just sick. He can’t “spain” it away!

Bambi on January 20, 2010 at 1:41 PM

“We won.”

Yeah. How’s that working out for you, champ chump?

Roc on January 20, 2010 at 1:42 PM

It has an impact on the national level, but the result was obviously more a product of Coakley’s epic ineptitude than anything else. Only a filthy, lying, idiot-coward like you would think otherwise.

crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

If it was because of Coakley’s ineptitude, then it won’t have national implications.

Speaking of filthy, lying, idiot cowards, you should find a mirror.

MarkTheGreat on January 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Still waiting on that apology.

crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Be prepared to wait a long time, because around here you never get what you aren’t entitled to.

MarkTheGreat on January 20, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Everyone should note the typical methods of the troll, in this case crr6

There are so many blatant factual inaccuracies, lies and obfuscations.

Right out of the gate crr6 spews words that are an attempt to bias anyone reading her posting and yet utterly fails to follow up with any of these so-called ,

‘blatant factual inaccuracies, lies and obfuscations ‘

One should note that her arrogance is on full display with the condescending statement:

it’s almost foolish of me to spend my time trying to correct them buuuut, I’ll be charitable and educate you a bit today.

Apparently we should all bow down and just thank god that she even deemed to favor us with her presence today and speak to the great unwashed as we are.

One should also notice that she continually attempts to bait everyone with petty insults and requests for apologies. Clearly an attempt to draw people off the main topic and into other irreverences.

Juno77 on January 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Obama abdicated his agenda to Pelosi, either because he secretly supported a far-Left agenda or couldn’t be bothered to make up his own mind about what he wanted.

Um, ‘abdicated’ or ‘delegated’?

Count to 10 on January 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

3. Polls have consistently shown high public support for the public option, including this one here. Previous polls showed even higher support, some in the excess of 70%.
crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Bwahahahahaha!!!! You are an unmitigated moron!

The poll question was:

a plan that includes some form of government-sponsored health insurance for people who can’t get affordable private insurance, but is approved without support from Republicans in Congress);

I give you three guess what is missing and the first two don’t count!

Hint for you:

When the COST and the LOSS OF CHOICE are added to the question, your majority turns into a minority. And those polls have only gotten worse since August and way more since October.

csdeven on January 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Juno77 on January 20, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Still waiting on that apology.
crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Here instead of addressing my response to her posting, crr6 attempts to bait me further with a spurious claim to an apology.

Juno77 on January 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Am not fooled by what any of these politicians like Bayh,Leiberman. They better know that we know who voted for cloture already. We know them all. They could’ve stopped this monster but didn’t. They think we don’t care or are just plain stupid. Americans are sickened by these elitist thieves. After Massachusetts win, they better know we care!Lukewarm (democrat-lite) so called Republicans are being watched and their votes tallied also!

kitkat-n.c. on January 20, 2010 at 1:50 PM

The Democrats had “I could’ve had a V-8” moment this morning.

yoda on January 20, 2010 at 1:52 PM

If it was because of Coakley’s ineptitude, then it won’t have national implications.

Speaking of filthy, lying, idiot cowards, you should find a mirror.

MarkTheGreat on January 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM

It has national implications, because the Democrats lose their filibuster proof majority. That doesn’t change the fact that Brown was elected largely because of Coakley’s utter ineptitude. As AP himself wrote a few days ago

This, of course, is why The One feels okay about going up there. Even if she gets blown out, he can turn around and claim that she only lost because she was a walking disaster whom no one could save. And everyone will believe him. Because he’ll be right

Ugh. And it looks like everyone’s favorite freshman, undergrad is back for more. And without an apology. The nerve!

Right out of the gate crr6 spews words that are an attempt to bias anyone reading her posting and yet utterly fails to follow up with any of these so-called ,

‘blatant factual inaccuracies, lies and obfuscations ‘

Juno77 on January 20, 2010 at 1:46 PM

No. 1 called you out on an obfuscation. No. 2, 3 and 4 at best corrected factual inaccuracies from your post. At worst they refuted lies.

Honestly though, I probably shouldn’t have assumed you were lying, you’re just woefully ignorant. You’re stupid, not evil.

crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Yellowdog12 on January 20, 2010 at 1:25 PM

Debra Medina has a Facebook page.

Dr Evil on January 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I researched her yesterday. It seems she’s the real deal. We need more independent minded, Constitution led conservatives starting grassroots insurgent campaigns just like she has. It’s purely organic and Tea Party fueled. We need if only to keep the GOP accountable. She’s smart as heck too, frankly, and I say this with respect, I was more impressed with her ability to cite and articulate Constitutional doctrine than I am with Governor Palin’s.

True_King on January 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM

It is my fervent hope that nothing will save Bayh in Indiana. I will do all that I can to see to it that this vaccuous bit of fluff joins many other Democrats on the unemployment line.

SKYFOX on January 20, 2010 at 2:02 PM

When Bill Clinton starts looking like the soul of true conservatism, you might be Stalinists.

When Massachusetts repudiates you as too far left, you might be Stalinists.

When Warren Buffet has to walk away from you, you might be Stalinists.

[/foxworthy]

Maybe there is hope. Not counting on it, though. Only when the House and Senate are no longer salons for soft-Marxism will I believe that the nation has regained some semblance of sanity.

spmat on January 20, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Maybe the real dems ought to form their own tea parties and take their party back from the radicals. First, they would have to find another Sarah Palin which will be impossible. But get your own name guys, tea party is taken.

Kissmygrits on January 20, 2010 at 2:06 PM

It has national implications, because the Democrats lose their filibuster proof majority.

crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Wrong. It has national implications because many Democrats in Congress suddenly see their reelection chances in November looking much less optimistic than before. Forget 60 votes in the Senate; Obama will need luck to get even 50 votes for his radical agenda now. Ditto in the House with an ever slimmer majority of hard leftwing holdouts.

jwolf on January 20, 2010 at 2:07 PM

No. 1 called you out on an obfuscation. No. 2, 3 and 4 at best corrected factual inaccuracies from your post. At worst they refuted lies.

Honestly though, I probably shouldn’t have assumed you were lying, you’re just woefully ignorant. You’re stupid, not evil.

crr6 on January 20, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Wow.
This election must have really got to you, to have you posting your temper like that.

Count to 10 on January 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Don’t let Bayh’s latter-day pragmatic musings fool you. He is a political opportunist, pure and simple. He is considered a “conservative” or centrist Democrat because liberals in Indiana don’t easily get elected to national office.

Bayh will say or do anything to keep in power. Hoosier conservatives like me are working hard to see him defeated in 2010. We are hoping to convince Mike Pence to run for Bayh’s seat. He could beat Bayh, and Bayh knows it. That is why he will begin to sound more and more conservative in the coming months–but don’t be fooled.

If you want to learn more about how Bayh treats his contituents, then read the piece I wrote about a visit to Bayh’s Indianapolis office last summer: http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/08/hoosiers-should-say-bye-bayh-in-2010/

drewas on January 20, 2010 at 2:15 PM

FLASH: Brown aftershocks trigger moderate brainwaves in frightened Democrats…

T J Green on January 20, 2010 at 2:18 PM

crr6

Everyone note that she unable to come up with a decent response to even part of my posting.
Here it is again:

The GM takeover doesn’t count, McCain would have done the same thing.

1. I said McCain would have done the same thing,

How is that a FACT?

Juno77 on January 20, 2010 at 2:20 PM

Say it with me:

“As a lifelong Democrat who voted for Obama, I think we should consider nominating someone more centrist, such as Evan Bayh, for 2012.”

Remember, liberals don’t care whether the underlying facts are true.

We must sow the seeds of discontent.

JohnJ on January 20, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Obama will insure we will have no more liberal Presidents for the next 60 years after 2012.

He is so smart, that he has confused himself because of a severe case of self enchantment.

saiga on January 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Lani also neglects to mention Obama’s own words, “I WON.” To try and say that Obama is equal to Bill Clinton on policy and that his agenda got stolen by The Democrat Machine is classic Liberal rewrite of facts and history. The big comments last night from MA voters were that Obama is arrogant and so our the Leaders in Congress. That’s not bipartisanship by any stretch of the imagination. Nice try with your lawyering Lani. Reminiscent of your Talking Points during Clinton’s Impeachment trial where you said that it was only about having consensual sex.

Sultry Beauty on January 20, 2010 at 2:37 PM

JohnJ on January 20, 2010 at 2:26 PM

I don’t think we have to even do that – the Far left National Socialists have hijacked the Democrat party, there have to be some reasonable people in that party that really don’t like the direction the it has taken.

Chip on January 20, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I have a suggestion for the members of the House Blue Dog Coalition. If you would like to keep your seat in November, your ONLY chance is to leave the Democrat Caucus now and commit to voting for a Republican for Speaker of the House. Are you willing to commit political suicide so that the wacky left can retain power? It is time for the Blue Dogs to call for a vote of no confidence in Pelosi. It’s you or her.

motionview on January 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Obama is Jimmy Carter squared, and Jimmy made sure we had no liberal president for 30 years after him.

Obama is so intensely consumed looking at the trees that he can’t see the forest. Obama care is nothing more than a new welfare program to reward people that don’t want to have to work for what they get. It breeds more of them to be sure, and it does far more harm than good. The dems see it as a powerful vote farm, and they know they couldn’t get elected without these indentured voters.

Look at the welfare class today. Are they moving up, is this class shrinking? Is education sticking any better than before? Is crime down? Think about it….If the dems really wanted to help these people, they would put pressure on them to do better in some fashon. Instead, they pay them to continue to do what they do, and attract more people to climb up on the gravy train and get the free money. ITS ALL ABOUT VOTE FARMING

It will ultimately kill the USA economy, culture, and society. It must be stopped before the indentured vote farms get bigger than the working class.

saiga on January 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Hey guys! So can anyone name a “single far-left” thing Obama has done?

Do Anita Dunn, Van Jones, and The Creepy Perv Safe Schools Czar (to name a few) qualify as answers to your pop quiz?

I didn’t think so.

ziggyville on January 20, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Bayh warns that “far Left” has seized the Democratic Party

And Bayh has been, where, for the past forty years??

oldleprechaun on January 20, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Obama figures that the achievers don’t need help, because they take care of themselves. His priority is on the non-achievers, and he hopes they will knock the achievers down a few notches to spread the failure around.

He forgets that the fruits of the achievers make everything else he wants possible.

China is on the rise because they understand that a rising tide floats all boats, and an embrace of capitalism is the most productive way to float more boats.

saiga on January 20, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I have lived in Indiana for many years and do not think that Bayh can be beaten that easily. He was a moderate Governor in a state that voted for Bush and Reagan and he managed to serve 2 terms and leave office with a very high approval rating. People here are just wondering what happened to the Bayh they knew for so many years. I think he realizes that.

Terrye on January 20, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Somehow? Look very carefully for the one name Davis neglects to mention: Nancy Pelosi. There isn’t any somehow about this. Obama abdicated his agenda to Pelosi, either because he secretly supported a far-Left agenda or couldn’t be bothered to make up his own mind about what he wanted. The outcome was entirely predictable.

You didn’t expect Lanny Davis to actually come clean on this, did you? After all, Bill Clinton did the exact same thing in 1993, abdicating his agenda to Tom Foley and Dick Gephardt. That liberal Congress produced the biggest tax increase in history – passed by a single vote in the House, a gun control bill, HillaryCare, and at least a first draft of an economic stimulus bill that would have poured billions into useless makework government projects. And Clinton seemed perfectly content to go along with all of this.

Back then, the conventional wisdom was the Jimmy Carter had failed because he did not work from the start with the Hill Democrats, pissing them off immediately with a veto of a pork-laden water projects bill. So the Clintonites, advised heavily by the likes of Lanny Davis, told Clinton he needed to be deferential to Foley and Gephardt in the House and George Mitchell in the Senate. And they absolutely screwed him.

Obama himself spoke a few times during thne campaign that he wanted to be a transformational President in the mold of Reagan, not another Bill Clinton. It’s been clear to anyone who has paid attention that he despises Clinton for his failure to enact HillaryCare and for his tack back to the center after the 1994 debacle. So I don’t see any way he will follow Clinton’s prescription for modest success based on compromise with Republicans and moderate Democrats. That won’t get his face on Mt. Rushmore.

rockmom on January 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Just hearing someone with a megaphone discussing the “far left” — a term I have never really heard outside of conservative circles — is music to my ears. I think this is the real earthquake here, that the media and a few dem politicians (and I think that number will grow) are talking about the left’s rampant ideological extremes, which have been sold to the American public as “mainstream” views for at least the past 30 years. They aren’t mainstream. They never were mainstream. That Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are now tied to the title of “far-left extremists” is just unbelievable to me. It’s about damn time.

Rational Thought on January 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM

The President who didn’t announce a withdrawal date, didn’t quibble about fighting the Taliban, and turned down a Taliban offer of a cease fire, was more hawkish than the President who wants a Taliban cease-fire, objects to describing the Taliban as the enemy, and announced a withdrawal date.

I’ll let crr6 say who’s which.

Chris_Balsz on January 20, 2010 at 3:40 PM

This comment does NOT obey your 5-7-5 rule. Worst Haiku ever! ;-)

WashJeff on January 20, 2010 at 12:04 PM

You’ve inspired me.
Here’s my very first haiku
Hope you don’t hate it:
.
Dems are like dead fish
They cannot smell their own stench
Please remove them now

NightmareOnKStreet on January 20, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Let Bayh put his money–and his principles where his mouth is, and campaign for the opponents (primary and general election) of Reid, Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxer, and collectivist company.

njcommuter on January 20, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Posted on wrong thread
I can’t brain; I have the dumb
My mind will never be right
.
This is not funny
My brain won’t stop the haikus
Is this forever?
.

We sent a message
Dems know what we think for sure
Drop dead Ted! Oh wait…

NightmareOnKStreet on January 20, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Then, in 2008, Barack Obama added something extra: a commitment to a “new politics” that transcended the “red” versus “blue” partisan divide.

When I read things like this I’m always taken aback for a moment by the realization that some Democrats thought this was anything other than a convenient lie.

Lehosh on January 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Scott heard round the world:
Just the beginning, liberals.
Run, Tea Parties, Run!

Animator Girl on January 20, 2010 at 4:40 PM

(HAIKU, CAN YOU?)

Animator Girl on January 20, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Today doctors announced a new medical syndrome. They named it “Scott Brown Syndrome” and it afflicts democrats exclusively. The single symptom is an extremely tight sphincter. The malady is expected to worsen until November 2, 2010. It is expected to be politically fatal.

darwin-t on January 20, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Let us assume that the Democrats in the House are truly smart people and by extension smart politicians. If they were, Nancy would be sitting on the sidewalk next to the trash by next Tuesday and they would select another speaker. But since I don’t expect this to happen, then she will fire up the country to replace Democrats from the left coast to the right coast and all the states between. I don’t hope for a change of 40 seats, I expect the number to be much higher.

Highplains on January 20, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3