As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stop Picking On Us, We Don't Stand For Anything

Interesting move here by Evan Bayh, to deflect criticism from his role as chief obstructionist to the Obama agenda: claim that you don't have a single core principle:

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) is also unhappy with the friendly fire. Bayh…found himself targeted by an ad accusing him of “standing in the way of President Obama’s reforms.” “We literally have no agenda,” Bayh shot back. “How can they be threatened by a group that has taken no policy positions?”

Bayh’s claim that his group has no agenda is hard to believe. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal explained yesterday, the group’s “stated goal is to…protect business interests.” Even before the group was officially formed, their efforts dampened a number of progressive policy proposals and they clearly have aspirations to expand their portfolio:

• Shrinking Economic Recovery: The group’s first significant “success” was “paring down the more than $900 billion economic stimulus bill to $787 billion,” reducing the government’s ability to spur economic recovery quickly. [Roll Call, 3/12/2009]

• Preserving The Bush Tax Cuts: Regarding Obama’s plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, Bayh said, “I do think that before we raise revenue, we first should look to see if there are ways we can cut back on spending.” [Politico, 3/3/2009]

• Delaying Cap-and-Trade: Bayh coaltion member, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), explained that the group might “push for a more lenient phase-in period for a cap-and-trade system and revenue-raising offsets to pay for expensive mandates.” [CQ Politics, 3/9/2009]

• Weakening Bankruptcy Protection: Centrist Democrats “forced changes to a House bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages, ensuring that the legislation better reflected the concerns of the financial-services industry.” [WSJ, 3/25/09]

If Bayh wants to disclaim all those "successes," maybe he can stop going on talk shows and receiving High Broderist love from his media fans. After all, he has literally no agenda.

Maybe Bayh can tell his own constituents that he has no agenda. Organizing for America is rounding up people to make calls to residents inside Indiana and other states to dog these Blue Dogs. Campaign for America's Future is doing the same thing. Bayh and his pals can play their inside game but they'll get some outside pressure, too.

Conservatives in both parties are assailing the president’s budget. Republicans seem virtually united in staking their lot with hoping that Obama fails. Having doubled the national debt under Bush when the economy was growing, they are now railing at Obama for threatening to “bankrupt the country.”

This is like a gambling addict squandering the family fortune in a Las Vegas blowout, and scolding his wife for borrowing money to keep the kids in college.

Now conservaDems are pushing to cut back needed investments, often to protect the same entrenched corporate interests.
It is vital that legislators in both parties hear from their constituents, and not just their contributors, so they get the message loud and clear: We have given the president a mandate for change and we want him to succeed. We expect you to support him or get out of the way.

The President told the nation exactly why Congress must pass his budget: "this budget is inseparable from this recovery, because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity."

Our economy simply cannot recover without President Obama's bold investments in affordable health care, clean energy and quality education.

Click here to call Congress, especially if you're in Indiana. And watch this latest TV ad from Organizing for America. ConservaDems need to hear from the people who elected them.

...MoveOn is also mobilizing.

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