Democratic Party

The Utter Weakness of Bayh and Lincoln

I was glad to see the president (politely) urging Senators Bayh and Lincoln to stop kneejerking to their right -- the culprits behind our current predicament -- just because it's easy.

"If the price of certainty is essentially for us to adopt the exact same proposals that were in place for eight years leading up to the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression -- we don't tinker with health care, let the insurance companies do what they want, we don't put in place any insurance reforms, we don't mess with the banks, let them keep on doing what they're doing now because we don't want to stir up Wall Street -- the result is going to be the same," he said. "I don't know why we would expect a different outcome pursuing the exact same policy that got us into this fix in the first place."

Yes, these two senators are from very Republican states, though Indiana narrowly went for the president. Nevertheless, the magic bullet for Democrats in states like this tends to be this weak old-Democrat style of politics whereby they constantly adopt Republican frames whenever the going gets tough.

What they ought to be doing is making a pitch for Democratic ideas in a more effective way. Of course they're not doing this because they think it's too hard. But if Bayh and Lincoln can't make a case for healthcare reform back home when the Senate bill cuts the deficit by more than a trillion dollars over 20 years, they're weak and ineffectual politicians. If they can't make a case for financial regulatory reform in a time of significant populism, they're supremely weak.

Make the case, conservadems. And if either you're unable or unwilling, then be honest about it and make way for politicians who are.

And by the way, Creigh Deeds ran to his right and against the president.

Adding... Per the drum I've been beating lately, it's also the responsibility of activists like, say, the progressive movement to be changing minds on the ground. Making effective pitches for progressive ideas will allow conservadems to move leftward.