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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bayh's decision to forgo re-election run can't help but highlight the spectacular incompetence of Obama-Reid-Pelosi

Handicapping the 2008 presidential race from way back on April 23, 2007, I predicted: "Thompson/Romney defeats Obama/Bayh." And I still respect three of those four — all except The One who won.

My respect for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) — one of the most intelligent, articulate, and reasonable Democrats in public office — goes back to his days as a two-term governor of Indiana. (NB: "Respect" isn't the same as "support"; I have substantive policy disagreements with Bayh that would prevent me for ever supporting or voting for him.) Evan Bayh has never quite taken off as a national candidate, but he's been on the national stage for some time; indeed, he's the kind of solid and appealing alternative whose failure to catch on seems baffling as we watch bozos like Howard Dean and John Kerry seize the Dems' spotlights and microphones. Although former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats was perceived to be offering Bayh a tougher re-election challenge this year than Bayh had faced in previous bids, the fact is that Sen. Bayh remained well liked at home, he had already distanced himself from both Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership, and he has an unbroken string of elections and re-elections in Indiana.

Thus, Sen. Bayh's announcement today that he would not seek a third term in the Senate in 2010, just on the brink of the deadline for filing for his party's nomination, has stunned those who follow politics on both the Left and the Right:

Since 9/11, I have fought to make our nation safe with a national security approach that is both tough and smart. I have championed the cause of our soldiers to make sure they have the equipment they need in battle and the health care they deserve when they get home.

I have often been a lonely voice for balancing the budget and restraining spending. I have worked with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike to do the nation’s business in a way that is civil and constructive.

I am fortunate to have good friends on both sides of the aisle, something that is much too rare in Washington today.

After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned. For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is too much partisanship and not enough progress — too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples’ business is not being done.


To put it in words most people can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress. I will not, therefore, be a candidate for election to the Senate this November.

Dem spinners will blame Republicans for the "partisanship" that Sen. Bayh decried in his statement. But Bayh's party has overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Congress that Bayh has described as "disfunctional." Most voters are too smart to believe a pro-Dem spin in the face of that incontrovertible and overwhelmingly significant political fact. And one would labor fruitlessly in trying to find any explicit blame directed exclusively, or even mainly, at the GOP in Sen. Bayh's statement. To the contrary, the one fellow senator Sen. Bayh went out of his way to laud was fellow Indianan Richard G. Lugar, a Republican.

If Sen. Bayh were adhering to the party line, in fact, he would of course have blamed George W. Bush for his decision.

Re-reading my prediction from 2007, I'm tempted to wonder how differently, and potentially better, Barack Obama might have fared during his first year in the White House if he'd had Bayh as his Veep instead of the blithering idiot he actually picked as a running mate. Unfortunately — for Obama, and for America — I'm quite confident that the answer is: "Not much."

The reason is that Barack Obama's arrogance is boundless. There's simply never been, and there never will be, any chance that someone like Bayh will ever have Obama's ear in a significant way.

No, Obama insists on being Clown in Chief. He's eclipsed even Biden in that regard, and he's obviously determined to run his one-term presidency into the ground rather than change course in any significant way. There is, of course, a large silver lining in that fact as we inch slowly toward January 2013 and Obama sets new records for ineffectiveness in the meantime. But the dark cloud remains, and America will pay the price, literally and figuratively, for Obama's fecklessness for decades.

There was one obviously insincere sentence in Sen. Bayh's announcement today: "My decision should not reflect adversely upon the President."

Oh, Sen. Bayh, I can understand why you felt compelled to recognize the inevitability of observers drawing inferences about the Obama Administration from your decision. Likewise, I appreciate and applaud the fact that you couldn't bring yourself to tell a similar outright lie about whether, and how, your decision should reflect upon Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. But were your fingers crossed behind your back when you wrote that line about the President? Or were you rationalizing it by recognizing that even your startling decision not to run for re-election couldn't possibly add meaningfully to what's already obvious — to all except the willfully self-blinded and -drugged — about the spectacular deficiencies of Barack Obama?

Posted by Beldar at 06:23 PM in 2010 Election, Congress, Obama, Politics (2010) | Permalink


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(1) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Feb 16, 2010 1:12:10 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: After The One's indifference to Blanche Lincoln's plea to tell the Democratic lefties to back off and give the comparative moderates in the Dems a chance, this withdrawal should strike terror for any Democratic officeholder whose state does not touch salt water. Even Reid is to be cut loose, though Reid's pumping up a fake Tea Party to run a candidate against him, may cause difficulties.

What place for "moderates" in the Democratic party? All the zanies bawl for The One to go even farther left. However counterproductive this may be, it surely must tempt The One on the "who cares about tomorrow?" theory of governance. For all the laughs this will give us on the Right, it has to be dismaying if you believe that the Democratic Party should be able to have a Joe Lieberman among its members. Fat chance of that these days.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(2) Michael J. Myers made the following comment | Feb 16, 2010 9:19:34 AM | Permalink

Well aside from the fact that Obama enjoys the "spiffy ride" of Air Force One, he's finding that being President is hard work. And he's never been much of a one for hard work, or, for that matter, actually doing much of anything. Hence I think he's heading for the exit door as fast as he can. But, being Obama, if others get wrecked along the way, well, that's their lookout.

Mike Myers

(3) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Feb 16, 2010 12:14:23 PM | Permalink

Off Topic, Mr. Dyer:

So glad to have you back, I've added your blog to my "Websites I Like..." list.

Now, don't get giddy with glee; being new to this, my readership is often in the single digits, so I'm not real optimistic as to how much (if any) this will add to your following.

Anyway, welcome back, Sir.

(4) Whitehall made the following comment | Feb 22, 2010 3:43:43 PM | Permalink

Looks to me that Bayh is positioning himself for a primary challenge to Obama in 2012.

That's assuming that Obama even tried for a second term.

(5) RickZ made the following comment | Feb 25, 2010 8:09:47 AM | Permalink

No, Whitehall, the primary challenger to Barry will be Hillary. Just wait: She'll resign as SoS somewhere around the November 'Democrat Congressional Massacre of 2010'. Hillary, at her age, has nothing to lose in trying now for the Presidency, because in 2016 she'll be 69 years old, which is a full 20 years older than Obie was when he was elected president a couple of years ago.

Hillary has played the 'good' Dem, joining Obie's administration, and has kept her mouth shut. But she can channel some of the current anger at Obie into a real primary challenge. Were Obie to lose in a primary, that would be sweet repudiation of Obie and his marxist policies (not that Hillary is that much better -- she did her college thesis at Wellesley on Alinsky).

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