By Roger Bybee at Feb 16, 2010
Where Sen. Birch Bayh was a consisentlyoutspoken liberal in the 1970's who opposed the Vietnam war and was one of the first in Congresss to see the fast-approaching wave of deindustrialization, his son Evan, who won a Senate seat from Inidiana, was a perpetual drag on any progressive impulses that might be left in the Demodratic Party.
Now Evan Bay is leaving, which is welcome news-- except that he is once more showing his true colors by giving his party 24 hours notice to find a worthhile replacement. Thus his last-second exit increases the chances that his seat will go to a reactionary Republican who will go goose-stepping in synch with the rest of his or her caucs.
With his wife earning some $800,000 from sitting on the boards of insurers including hte Indianapolis-based Wellpoint, Evan Bayh was no advocate for progressive health reform despite tens of thousands of workers and their families losing coverage during the Great Recession which has decimated Inidiana's industrial cities.
Bayh, despite the high unemployment plaguing his state, cliamed to be fighting "excessive" government spending despsite the urgent need for public investment to fill the void left by the lack of private-sector activity. Yet, as Matthew Yglesias pointed out, Bayh supported tax cuts for the super-rich--which are just as much a drain on federal revenues except that they generate no jobs. Buy that doesn't stop Bahy from strongly reinforcing the pericious Republican theme against deficiti spending and publicly chiding fellow, Democrats with more pirnicples:
“I think for some of them, it’s that they don’t pay as much attention to the deficit. They just don’t focus on economics,” he told Fox News’s Greta Van Sustren.
Evan Bayh is currently serving in 111th Congress. The 111th Congress is taking place at a time when the state of the economy demands higher short-term deficits, but lower long-term deficits. How has Bayh responded to this series of imperatives?
— He votes to cut taxes on millionaire heirs and heiresses, doing nothing in the short-term but adding about $44 billion a year to the long-term deficit.
— Then he threatened to force a default on the debt unless congress created a new, toothless statutory commission that would make the procedural hurdles to deficit reduction harder to clear."
On issue, after issue, Bayh was a quisling who obstructed Democratic programs and abetted the Republican program of returning to 19th century capitalism. As John Nelson wrote, "Now that Democrats are likely within reach of 60 votes on major progressive priorities like establishing a universal health care system and capping CO2 emissions, Senator Bayh is determined to sabotage his party."
There's plenmty more to excoriate about Bayh's absymal representation of one of the most-suffering states. But keep in mind that he was well -re3arded with campaign contriutions for his efforts:
"These industries have donated more legalized bribes to members of Congress than any other sector-- $2.2 billion since 1990. and while most of the money has gone to actual Republicans (55%), take a look how some of the very worst Democrats have raked in the tainted money in return for voting against their constituents' interests (the 10 worst listed in order from corrupt to even more corrupt):"
Jeanne Shaheen ($997,310)
Mark Udall ($1,669,706)
Blanche Lincoln ($1,671,292)
Tom Carper ($2,160,628)
Mary Landieu ($2,399,134)
Mark Warner ($2,431,066)
Ben Nelson ($2,667,406)
Bill Nelson ($3,056,968)
Evan Bayh ($3,987,896)
Joe Lieberman ($9,981,924
Barack Obama haas plnety fo answer for.--escalatiang in Afghanistan, cntinuing the war in Iraw, botching healthcare reform by letting insurers write the bills (and excluding a senssible single-payer plan from the starrt), and turning the auto "bailouts" into disastrous downsizing plans that further destroy America's productive base.
But a huge factor in Obama's disappointing reign has been the strong righward pull incessantly coming from corporate-owned Democrats like Bayh. Good riddance.