Steve Benen flags a frankly remarkable quote by outgoing Sen. Evan Bayh on income inequality: "What we need to be focused on is growth, how do we create jobs, how do we expand businesses. That needs to be job one right now. And all these other issues involving, oh, fairness and things like that can wait."
It should be said that Bayh is by no means typical of the Democratic Party, but it's frankly shocking for one of the premier animating concerns of progressive thought and the Democrats to be so easily dismissed. I mean, I think it's important for the Democrats to have a moderate wing, but if Bayh really believes that expanding business is more important that alleviating poverty and reducing income inequality, then he's clearly picked the wrong party to be a member of. And I say this as someone who would rather keep the Blue Dogs than lose them despite all their bullshit. Bayh's deficit penitence--which doesn't apply to cutting the estate tax, naturally--is a particularly galling example. Despite all this I would prefer to keep him over an even worse Republican, though I certainly won't be too sad to see him and so many of his ilk go.
The next few years should be really interesting for the Democratic Party. By the beginning of 2013, I fully expect Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman to be out of the Senate (I expect Lieberman to lose handily to an actual Dem in 2012). I've long had a special dislike for those four (to slightly varying degrees, of course), and I think they embody a lot of the worst elements of the Clinton-era Democratic congressionalist politics from which they all emerged. It will sure be interesting to see what happens to the Dem caucus after that, though I expect this Senator-to-be will pick up some of the slack.
The Man, The Myth, The Bio
- East Bay, California, United States
- Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.