Will Obama Become An Evan Bayh Democrat?

In the dark days of "triangulation," President Clinton delivered his 1998 State of the Union Address:

If we maintain our resolve, we will produce balanced budgets as far as the eye can see. We must not go back to unwise spending or untargeted tax cuts that risk reopening the deficit. Last year, together, we enacted targeted tax cuts so that the typical middle class family will now have the lowest tax rates in 20 years.

My plan to balance the budget next year includes both new investments and new tax cuts targeted to the needs of working families: for education, for child care, for the environment. But whether the issue is tax cuts or spending, I ask all of you to meet this test: approve only those priorities that can actually be accomplished without adding a dime to the deficit.

Now, if we balance the budget for next year, it is projected that we will then have a sizable surplus in the years that immediately follow. What should we do with this projected surplus? I have a simple, four-word answer: save Social Security first.

Tonight I propose that we reserve 100 percent of the surplus, that is every penny of any surplus, until we have taken all the necessary measures to strengthen the Social Security system for the 21st century. Let us say, let us say to all Americans watching tonight, whether you are 70 or 50 or whether you just started paying into the system, Social Security will be there when you need it. Let us make this commitment: Social Security first.

(Emphasis supplied.) Next month, will President Obama be a Bill Clinton Democrat, intent on putting Social Security first? Or an Evan Bayh Democrat, cutting taxes for the rich and cutting Social Security. I'm not optimistic.

Speaking for me only

< Balancing The Budget: Catfood ForThe Poor, Tax Cuts For The Rich | A Progressive Proposal For Addressing The Budget Deficit >
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    My prediction tax cuts to the rich, (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:02:48 AM EST
    unlimited extension of the war in Afghanistan and cuts to Social Security and Medicare and other social services to pay for them.

    You're right on the first point (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:17:11 AM EST
    As to SS and Medicare, it's just a matter of time. They don't need to win the battle this round. They'll just keep at it until they do. And the more disasters they create the stronger the reasons for cuts become.

    I would use "Evan Bayh Democrat" as a (none / 0) (#16)
    by rhbrandon on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:59:34 AM EST
    perjorative for giggles. It's somewhat horrifying to realize that is now more descriptive than insulting.

    Equally dismaying is the prospect of the normative use of "Sarah Palin Republican."

    Ultimately we will get "Palinista," follower of a charismatic vacuous rightist without the benefit of a spouse with a lick of sense.


    Become? n/t (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:07:50 AM EST

    Evan Bayh (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:30:12 AM EST
    A not electable Democrat

    Only because people know what (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 11:28:48 AM EST
    an empty suit the guy is now, but at one time he was the great shining hope of the future Democratic Party - sound familiar?

    Obama? A Democrat? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:35:33 AM EST

    Well, I've decided that I am (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:50:59 AM EST
    most definitely a Dinosaur Democrat; the party I have identified with for my entire voting life - almost 40 years - is on the verge of extinction.

    I've been a lot of things in my life, but being on the endangered species list is new.

    And I'm not happy about it.

    We've had yellow dog Dems, (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:57:20 AM EST
    blue dog Dems, and Reagan Dems. Now the Dinosaur Dems.

    Unfortunately, the party that I identified with became extinct several years ago. Now I'm a voter without anyone to vote for at least on the national level. Not happy either.  


    Look at who was behind his run -- (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by esmense on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:57:02 AM EST
    he has always been a mushy Midwestern Democrat, the alter-ego of Daschle. Which means pretty much on the same page, in terms of ideology, as Bayh.

    That's why I didn't support him in the primary. The Clintons may be too conservative for my taste, but they are to the left of the bland, terrified-of-conservatives-moderate-Republicans-in-Democratic-clothing Midwesterners. Plus, they have at least demonstrated less fear and more political savvy when it comes to dealing with the conservative crazies from the South and West.

    But, hey, I thought the people who supported him in the primary WANTED a midwestern appeaser.

    They evidently wanted someone to (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:59:27 AM EST
    put Social Security on the table. It was part of his campaign.

    A footnote* (none / 0) (#21)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 01:04:48 PM EST
    *Evan Bayh was Clinton's principal support in Indiana during the 2008 primary season.
    (Although I admired the father, Birch Bayh, and worked for him as a student in Bloomington, the son has maneuvered to the mushy middle.)

    No historical revisionism please (none / 0) (#37)
    by Politalkix on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:19:13 PM EST
    The Clintons have always been very centrist Democrats, IMO, who have pandered to Southern conservatives, Evan Bayh was one of the strongest supporters of HRC during the primaries, HRC's primary campaign was bankrolled by the healthcare, defense and financial services industries.
    There were many good reasons to support HRC just as there were many good reasons to support BHO during the primaries. However, there is no good reason to engage in revisionism of facts.

    Who said the Clinton's weren't right of center? (none / 0) (#38)
    by esmense on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 09:22:27 AM EST
    You are revising my statement, I didn't revise facts. Evan Bayh's support has nothing to do with the statement I made. Bayh's support of either candidate is meaningless. Much more meaningful is the fact that Obama inherited Daschel's Senate staff and campaign advisors and, as I suggested, ran almost as a Daschle stand in. For instance, taking Daschle's position on healthcare, which was to the right of the Clintons, etc.

    You mean like the fact that Obama ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Yman on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 05:10:05 PM EST
    heh (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 12:00:12 PM EST
    Obama triangulated when he had overwhelming majorities in the congress and senate.  Clinton waited until he had to compromise to get anything done.  Clinton learned from his mistakes and would have done things differently, such as not taking the advice of Mr "Girls can't do math".  
    Obama didn't learn from Clinton's presidency, how come?  He was too busy trying to be beloved like Reagan.
    If I were you I would pray Obama had the same sense, liberal values and brains as Bill Clinton but I am sure my prayers would be in vain.

    Bayh?..not that far left. (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:01:47 AM EST

    we may need new comparisons (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:02:27 AM EST
    might bring back the term Reagan democrat

    Reagan Democrats could not be (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:34:16 AM EST
    persuaded to become this sort of "Conservative" though.  Ronald Reagan himself never openly fought for or visibly supported such "Conservative" measures.

    Bob Samuels (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:54:45 PM EST
    Well they are both from the midwest (none / 0) (#9)
    by vicndabx on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:43:25 AM EST
    .....just sayin'

    I don't think (none / 0) (#10)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:46:32 AM EST
    Obama's that dumb but I wonder what he's thinking with all this "we have to listen to every proposal and we have to drop political rhetoric" and "tough choices" b.s.  He gets nothing out of that politically (although I suppose it pleases the Beltway) and it just adds more uncertainty from the average voter's POV.  What is the point?  Does he think he can spend the next 2 years running out the clock and just "listening"?

    even the beltway (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 10:50:32 AM EST
    is starting to make jokes about his tireless efforts to open with republican arguments instead of doing what any sane democrat would do and starting with democratic principals and then compromising if and when it is necessary.

    that part really is not rocket science.


    well, (none / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 11:13:31 AM EST
    scaring and insulting bloggers is one thing.  But what kind of politician wins by saying "I make no promises!"  I mean, WTF

    A tricky tightrope, isn't it? (none / 0) (#22)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 01:09:44 PM EST
    The CBS poll today (heard on radio when waking up) said that approximately 70+ percent of 2010 voters wanted both parties to listen to the other side, compromise, etc. etc. (And, for the President, @79% wanted that attribute.) Yoiks! Maybe it is a kabuki all its own: Speak softly and carry a big stick (per TR.)

    yeah (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 01:13:07 PM EST
    and I would bet 90% of the people who said that voted for teapartiers who RAN on not compromising.

    Now, that is funny, Capt....and too true (none / 0) (#24)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 01:16:24 PM EST
    The polls indicate that the majority of (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 02:02:10 PM EST
    Americans of all political parties want the government to raise taxes on the rich and not cut Social Security. The polls also indicate that the majority of Americans want the government to create jobs and tax the rich. Somehow, the only time that this administration pays any attention to the polls is when it supports their position of adopting Republican policies under cloak of bipartisanship.  

    People always hear what they want to hear (none / 0) (#26)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:08:55 PM EST
    And perceive what they want to perceive. We all do...human nature. I completely agree that it is nuts to go overboard on the "bipartisanship" thing (because it does take two). Yet, it makes sense from a broad perspective to offer the other guy a chance to be part of resolving an issue...in our personal relationships, in business, in labor, and in government...before the karate chop. This Administration has had a tendency to extend the hand for too long in some situations, and that gets misinterpreted and/or misused. I'm guessing that they have learned.

    And, as Capt. says, who knows who said the "apple pie" stuff?


    No (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:41:49 PM EST
    they haven't learned a thing. So far Obama has deferred to everything the GOP wants.

    I hope they have learned (none / 0) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:47:32 PM EST
    but as of now I see no evidence of it

    Since the election... (none / 0) (#31)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 04:35:57 PM EST
    I've seen no evidence either way. Speculation, guesses, but no evidence in the past two weeks.

    I'm guessing they (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 03:57:31 PM EST
    are once again going against public opinion and will extend the tax cuts to the rich by cutting benefits for the poor and middle class. Adopting Republican policies and deferring to Republican ultimatums is extremely poor policy and politics.

    People always say that... (none / 0) (#33)
    by masslib on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 08:02:46 PM EST
    They think whatever they believe would also be the bipartisan approach.

    Good point! (none / 0) (#34)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 08:37:02 PM EST
    Become? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 11:28:56 AM EST
    Obama already is the Joe Lieberman presidency we never had.

    Can he just go away?

    To where (specifically: to whom) would you move? (none / 0) (#35)
    by christinep on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 08:37:45 PM EST

    Do you happen to know who's running? (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Thu Nov 11, 2010 at 09:18:01 PM EST