Evan Bayh and the Republican Reaction
Evan Bayh will not seek reelection. So what does that mean? If you ask Republican talking heads it is proof positive that the Democrats are running scared. It obviously means that not only does America not like President Obama, but they plainly prefer the Republican agenda. It’s just that simple.
I don’t buy that for a minute and neither should the Republicans. They are setting themselves up for the same fall the Democrats are taking now. Some assume that every election victory, or defeat is a mandate for, or against, an entire ideology. It’s this thinking that got the Democrats in the tank. They assumed that Obama’s victory was all about their entire agenda when, in fact, his election was much more about the hope that Obama could get Washington past the “petty partisanship” and “silly season” he so frequently talked about at campaign events. If America had wanted a pure agenda driven government we would have seen Hillary Clinton running against Mitt Romney, not Obama vs. McCain.
Unfortunately, “the party” got to Obama. Or maybe he was already there and we were just fooled. Either way, we aren’t getting what we asked for. Instead of starting with the low hanging fruit and getting some momentum going, they (the Democrats) decided to take on the biggest issues on their plate. I assume the reasoning was based on their supermajority status. They believed that this was their best chance to get the whole enchilada. Well, thankfully it didn’t work. Perhaps the Democrats should consult John Kotter’s 8 Step Change process. I’d say they made it step 5 or 6, but certainly never got it all done.
So they went far left and in the process alienated people like Evan Bayh and empowered the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Bayh was never a considered a strident ideologue. If anything, it was people in his own party that had issues with him, even accusing him of promoting Fox News talking points . He again made no friends in powerful Democratic circles when he told ABC News , “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.” So with all this, why are the Republicans painting this as an anti-Obama move? Do they feel the country looks no further than the (D) or (R) behind a politicians name? It’s because both parties want keep and expand their influence and power.
If the party powers had their way Congress would be like the Electoral College, where the only thing that mattered was the number of electors sent in Washington. Bayh was not one of these political zombies and it appears that he got tired of banging his head up against a wall.
So what do I hope the Republicans do? First off, they should publically call out the good work that Bayh did. They should recognize the areas of agreement and contrast that with the Peolosi’s and Reid’s in power. It would also be wise for the Republicans to think about what they should not do as well. They should seriously look at the opportunity this election cycle represents and think “how could we screw this up?”, then make sure they avoid doing exactly that. Looking at the recent past, the answer to the question seems to be by reaching too far to soon. So they should be careful to resist this temptation.
America wants progress not any strict ideology. Start in the middle ground and let the far right and far left gently mold bills from both edges until you find out exactly what both sides like and can still agree to. Should the Republicans start out on the extreme right and cede all control of the agenda to the party elite nothing will get done . Again.
Side note: Here is a link to a great video about the different types of government. I believe we as a country are becoming an oligarchy of officials unelected by the people and thus largely unknown by the people. This is on both sides of the aisle. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY