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Senator Evan Bayh Calls it Quits After Two Terms Representing Indiana

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One day before the filing deadline for the Democratic primary, Evan Bayh surprised Indiana voters by announcing that he would not seek reelection to another term representing them in the Senate. Bayh is one of the most respected figures in the Senate who also served as Indiana’s governor and was a presidential contender in 2008.

Bayh has held his seat for only two terms, a seat which his father also held for three terms. In that time he made a significant mark in the Senate, taking the lead on important legislation in education and environmental regulation and playing an key role as a moderate on the Armed Services Committee.

In announcing his decision, Bayh complained of frustration with partisan gridlock in Washington. Bayh may also have been motivated by the prospect of a very challenging and contentious race for reelection in a state where Republicans have become increasingly ascendant. Bayh’s personal popularity and moderate views might have won the day, but with him gone any other Democrat may have little chance against likely Republican nominee Dan Coats who held the office before Bayh won it in 1998.

Some have speculated that Bayh’s goal has always been the presidency and that he realized that being associated with the increasingly unpopular Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration would work against him and that it would be smarter to run as a seasoned outsider in the 2012 or 2016 presidential election.

Bayh’s future plans remain unclear, but at today’s announcement he commented:

“There are better ways to serve my fellow citizens…I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.”

An understandable view from a moderate increasingly at odds with the polarized politics of both left and right.

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About Dave Nalle

  • John Lake

    //Some have speculated that Bayh’s goal has always been the presidency and that he realized that being associated with the increasingly unpopular Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration would work against him//

    Some others might speculate that the number of congressional people pulling out of congressional seats may indicate they can’t function in that corrupt, un-American environment.

    Beyond special interest and lobby-ist involvement, we now have congressional representitives with clandestine ties to specific unmentioned groups, their instructions coming from these groups, with no thought for more traditional American values.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Let’s see,

    A third of the former Bush administration’s employees now work on K Street as lobbyists, the Supreme Court ruled that money has the same rights as citizens, and the whole system is now collapsing in on itself, as the two parties are locked in a no-win-tug-of-war.

    My guess, is that he was paid to walk-away

    :] Hi John, nice to see you here.

  • Baronius

    I remember a bunch of House Democrats retiring or switching parties after 1994. It seemed a little spineless to me, but I could understand not enjoying minority status. What I don’t understand is retiring now. You’ve got to be confident about a 10-seat loss, or unwilling to serve in a non-super majority. I don’t see more than 7 pickups for the Republicans.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    Spineless, that’s the word that should have been attached to Palin.

    Oh what money will buy…

    :]hi there.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    What I don’t understand is retiring now. You’ve got to be confident about a 10-seat loss, or unwilling to serve in a non-super majority.

    Or it could just be the reason he gave, Baronius. He doesn’t enjoy his job any more.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “Some have speculated that Bayh’s goal has always been the presidency…”

    Oh no. Not a chance. Ever since Eisenhower, Americans have resolutely and consistently insisted on electing presidents whose names they could spell (although it was touch and go with Regan… Reagan… Ragan… Rayg… the Gipper for a while).

    Nevertheless, I look forward with interest to following wealthy California farmer Sivasubramanian Rajasinghganeshkumarshiva-Garcia’s quixotic bid for the White House in 2012.

    :-D

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    That’s not entirely fair, Jeannie: A third of the former Bush administration’s employees now work on K Street as lobbyists…

    Lobbyists on K Street are not limited to former Bush Administration employees. Classic example: Carville and Matalin. They play both sides of the aisle, collect money from the same and have made a prosperous living pitting one side against the other. It’s pathetic.

    …the Supreme Court ruled that money has the same rights as citizens…

    The SCOTUS 5 didn’t say corporations have the same rights as citizens. What they’ve done is insured the right to free speech. They have laid a foundation upon which the legislative branch of government needs to build. I’m not happy about their decision, but if you read it in its entirety you learn very quickly that their decision was well thought out fortified by a cogent history of case law. On the surface the decision looks favorable to corporate interests; however, the Congress in its infinite lack of wisdom can create a level playing field. The problem is that they are paid off by the very interests they are morally bound to regulate.

    …and the whole system is now collapsing in on itself, as the two parties are locked in a no-win-tug-of-war…

    We can’t blame the political parties on this one. We are a society that is somehow convinced that things are black or white, i.e. Republican or Democrat. We don’t have the collective intelligence to think outside the box and realize life is but a cornucopia of hues which encompass the entire spectrum of colors.

    Baronius: I remember a bunch of House Democrats retiring or switching parties after 1994. It seemed a little spineless to me, but I could understand not enjoying minority status.

    Very true! And many of those cowards went on to work for an office on K Street. While it seems a little spineless one must conclude that when a member of Congress realizes that he/she is in danger of losing their seat they simply shift their office from the Capitol to a cozy enclave on K Street. Today’s member of Congress is tomorrow’s corporate board member – scratch that – corporate whore.

    Jannie: Spineless, that’s the word that should have been attached to Palin.

    Carpe diem! Sarah Palin is seizing her day in the limelight. She’s squeezing every bloody penny she can from her manufactured fame. And the MSM LOVES Sarah Palin because she drives their ratings. Regardless of her politics, she’s a compelling figure. She’s shrewd. She may come across as some air-headed aging bathing beauty but she’s the poster child for media whore — and having a baby with Down’s Syndrome makes her ever more a champion. I could throw up at how simple Americans have become.

    Bayh complained of frustration with partisan gridlock in Washington.

    Evan Bayh is an opportunistic coward. He wants off the Obama gravy train because he sees the writing on the wall. Donny Deutsch has opined several times that Wall Street interests are scared of Obama and his policies and will stop at nothing to get him out. What he fails to say is that Barack Obama is perceived as a lame duck President and they’re working overtime to break the Democrat majority in Congress. We’re headed for two years of even worse gridlock. By the time it is over Wall Street is going to make Americans feel like it is OK to elect white men again and dump the Black guy.

    In my humble opinion a devastating loss for Barack Obama in November will hasten a movement toward drafting Hillary in 2012. This is Jimmy Carter all over again.

  • Baronius

    Doc, as much as I try to believe what people say, there’s no greater occasion of falsity than when a politician gives his reason for retiring.

    Anyway, who likes their job?

    Jeannie, I agree that Palin shouldn’t have quit.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I happen to take Sen. Bayh at his word. In an interview earlier today on NPR, he stated that he would like to be able more helpful to the people of his state, to be able to do something about their situation, but he came to the realization he cannot do so while in Congress; in fact, he stated he did not like the Congress.

    This is an interesting comment, especially in light of great many politicians from both houses who declared similar intentions – not to run again. No doubt that some of them may be motivated by political reasons – facing difficult reelection campaigns – but we must also assume that in a great many cases we may be talking about honorable women and men and that perhaps, just perhaps, it’s a statement about the demoralizing conditions of present-day politics.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Silas,

    A third of them.

    Also, this fact was reported by MSNBC, this morning, and, they are a lot more conservative and right-leaning during the day over there. Morning Joe and Buchanan.

    :] hello.

  • Baronius

    Silas – Ah yes, the Draft Hillary movement. What I’ve been calling the “I regret that I can no longer support…” speech, because she needs an exit strategy from this administration. I wonder if Bayh – 1996 Democratic Convention keynote speaker and 2008 Hillary supporter – is positioning himself to be VP on her ticket.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Silas,

    Read SCOTUS again? Big business is, money.

    And, there are only two parties. Now, since they cannot give in an inch towards solving the most basic of problems, then what do you call it?

    :] You know what I call it, sorry for the bold.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Jeannie, have you ever listened to Joe Scarborough? I religiously watch Morning Joe. He’s a good, decent man with a lot of common sense. I don’t agree with a lot of his positions but I would be comfortable with him as President. Pat Buchanan is like my old, dried up Irish Catholic aunt with a chip on the shoulder. He’s harmless and comical in a perverse sort of way.

    Insofar as 1/3 of them on K Street, I read that Washington Post article and it doesn’t phase me. You need to step back a moment and realize that the K Street problem is not limited to the Conservatives. Did you ever hear of Tom Daschle?

    There is a way to neutralize K Street. It’s called rules changes in the House and Senate coupled with comprehensive campaign finance reform. We need peaceful protests in Washington where rank and file Americans populate the galleries while Congress is in session. The American voter has the power to facilitate change — the problem is that the voter is too damned dumb to realize it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    morally bound to regulate.

    no-one is moraly bound to do anything here, that’s why I wish I could pack my family and our bags just like the super-rich.

    Leaving on a jet-plane…don’t know when I’ll be back again…

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Silas – Ah yes, the Draft Hillary movement.

    Baronius, I’ve heard more Democrats in Massachusetts say that they will support a draft Hillary movement. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is planning an exit strategy from the Obama Administration. If Obama suffers a loss in November, Hillary is out in January — bank on it. That will guarantee that the Presidential nominees from the two major parties will be in the back pocket of Wall Street.

    Lou Dobbs 2012 is looking better by the day.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I didn’t say Joe was bad. Why do you assume that I don’t have respect for all sides here?

    I don’t respect liars. (please don’t read yourself into this word)

    :0I think the world of you.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Ah yes!Tom Daschle! If he hadn’t been drumbed out of town, when he was, then we might have had universal health care by now…a real sad day that was.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Jeannie, in the SCOTUS 5 decision, there was an insignificant passage which crystallized it for me:
    Although the First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech,” §441b’s prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech, backed by criminal sanctions. It is a ban notwithstanding the fact that a PAC created by a corporation can still speak, for a PAC is a separate association from the corporation. Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence.

    PACs (political action committees) are the problem. We need to develop mechanisms which insure transparency and a level playing field so that all interests are heard in the political forum. What the SCOTUS 5 accomplished is insuring that freedom of speech thrives. The decision has been rendered — it is now incumbent upon the people to entice Congress to lay down a framework which insures the transparency we demand.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Ah yes!Tom Daschle! If he hadn’t been drumbed out of town, when he was, then we might have had universal health care by now…a real sad day that was.

    Jeannie, do your homework. Poor Tom Daschle has made MILLIONS as a special public policy adviser at the law firm Alston & Bird. He’s just another self serving politician — talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Roger: I happen to take Sen. Bayh at his word.

    You’re a better man than me, Roger. I take no incumbent at their word.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Silas,

    You can’t proceed on the assumption that no one is honorable. What I believe we’re witnessing right now – with respect to this rash of resignations and decisions not to run – is just another ominous sign testifying the the system’s breakdown.

    You keep on faulting the electorate as the main cause of the impasse in Washington. Well, I beg to disagree with you. My position is that the system has outlived its ability to respond to the electorate. The disenchantment with politics on the part of the American public is not the cause of the breakdown, only a symptom. And now what we see is that the politicians themselves – and yes, I must insist that at least some of them are honorable women and men – are beginning to share the same sentiment that the public at large does.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    And you could have won that brand-new-set-of samsonite…;] bye Silas…

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    My position is that the system has outlived its ability to respond to the electorate.

    Perhaps you’re right and what we are experiencing are the throes of death.

    And you could have won that brand-new-set-of samsonite…;]

    ROFLMAO!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Silas,

    Please read:
    I found this one for you.

    :] I do have to leave though, it was nice talking for a few moments. See ya in a while.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Silas,

    What did I say? Sometimes I feel like I’ve been dropped down into-the-twilight-zone here!

    :0 Help me!!! please, when I come back !

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Your reference to Samsonite, Jeannie. I had noted on another thread that I love Cindy more than my luggage. She’s a steel magnolia. BTW thanks for the link to the WSJ article. I remain steadfast in my disdain for Daschle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.”

    Excellent description, Silas. I must learn to appreciate the first-mentioned aspect of Cindy’s persona. Ofttimes, I get carried away and relate to her as though a man.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    OK, I’ll throw this one out there and see what happens. Roger: “You can’t proceed on the assumption that no one is honorable.”

    You’re right, Roger. Because now I’m going to come across as a complete hypocrite! There are rumors circulating in Rhode Island that former Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci may run to replace Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Many perceive Buddy as a crook, a typical RI politician. That being said, I know the man. I’ve had the honor of working with him on the political stage. Yes, he’s a convicted felon. No doubt he’s used his power to his own advantage. But with Buddy you get what you see. Regardless of his past indiscretions, Vincent Cianci loves Providence and the remainder of the Ocean State. Every political move he has made has been governed by his love for his community and what he could do to make it better. Without Buddy Cianci, Providence would not be the great city that it is today. He used his connections with the Nixon White House to get Providence what it needed to rebuild. Without Buddy’s reign in City Hall, the people of Providence could not have lifted themselves out from where they were.

    There are major players on the RI political scene today who have used backroom deals, political blackmail and more to achieve their power. The state government is more corrupt than anything you could ever experience in Louisiana. These are the dirty little RI secrets which no one dare discuss. Should Buddy Cianci declare, I will be in a quandary. As much as I love the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the prospect of being a part of the movement which delivers a Congressman Cianci to Washington is too delicious for words. For as demonized as Mr. Cianci has been, what you see is what you get. He’s up front, courageous and most of all he is a patriot.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Doc, as much as I try to believe what people say, there’s no greater occasion of falsity than when a politician gives his reason for retiring.

    I dunno, Baronius. It’s not as if Bayh gave one of the stock excuses for quitting – such as the old favourite ‘stepping down to spend more time with my family’, which is political code for – well, you know.

    Anyway, who likes their job?

    I do, for one. And one principal reason I like it is that it involves helping people in practical, palpable ways. There aren’t many more influential and hands-on ways to serve one’s country and help people than as a member of Congress, so I think it speaks volumes that Bayh is saying he no longer enjoys doing that job.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I don’t see how you’re contradicting me, Silas. And I don’t see how you’re being a hypocrite. So what’s the point?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I, too, wouldn’t mind getting drafted. And I would do it for no pay.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Well, inasmuch as I’m always screaming for accountability in politics, it may confuse people as to why I would endorse Buddy Cianci, Roger. It’s impossible for me to convey what I feel where the Mayor is concerned. He really is driven by his complete love for Providence. I’ve seen it up close and personal — in the back rooms — in his own kitchen. Yeah, he’s flawed. Who among us is not?

    But, back to the topic at hand: Evan Bayh. Do you think he will run against Obama? Or will he be Hillary’s VP choice? Ironically, I was talking to my union friend this afternoon who happens to be working on a job in Providence. And he tells me that Union leadership is quietly in the background discussing a Hillary movement. He brought out another interesting scenario. He seems to think that Biden may step down in 2012 and allow Obama the opportunity to bring Hillary on the ticket.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m less concerned, Silas, with the ins and outs of machinations by individual persons and their ambition than with the state of the union.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    How right you are, Roger. But just what is the state of this union? Are we irreparable? For me, I’m beginning to believe that we are beyond repair and need to forge a new direction for this nation and the world.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Silas,

    It’s my utter conviction that we’re going through a phase. You yourself have expressed the same sentiment more than once.

    The old is dying and the new is forming while we’re experiencing the throngs of pain.

    But I don’t regret it. In fact, we’re living in the most interesting times.

    It’s no longer our nation that is at stake – a parochial consideration for me, if you ask my honest opinion – but all humanity in fact.

    So indeed, I am very optimistic, because only good can come out of our present-day impasse.

    Humans have always been blessed with an uncanny instinct for survival and propagating the species. And I am certain that the kind of difficulties we’re experiencing right now are but temporary.

    We shall all rise again, and much stronger for the fact, because our vision will eventually embrace all, all living creatures in fact, rather than just America.

    So yes, I am a believer.

  • Baronius

    Dread, it sounds like a stock excuse to me. I’ve heard politicians condemn the system on their way out before. It’s pretty common among self-professed moderates. It’s only a slight variation on “you can’t fire me, I quit”. Or even “this game isn’t fun anymore so I’m knocking over the board”.

    And he realizes that he doesn’t like the job a couple of days before the filing deadline, moving the nomination of a candidate out of the people’s hands and into the politicos’. That’s what really offends me. I believe that the most powerful tool for political reform is the primary race, and he eliminated it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Doc, as much as I try to believe what people say, there’s no greater occasion of falsity than when a politician gives his reason for retiring.

    Quoted for truth!

    But I’m not sorry to see Bayh go. Better to have a Republican whom we know will oppose us than a DINO who will support us until the moment when it really counts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I find it amazing how easy it is to cast aspersion on persons and their character while having not an iota of personal knowledge. It’s the most odious display of vulgar partisanship I can think of.

    Congratulation, guys, for you have surely risen above all expectations.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Be it DINO or RINO, they are becoming extinct. As in nature, the DINOs are dying first. There’s something about RINOs — they’re persistent buggers. Key word here being buggers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Aren’t we suffering here from trying to fit everyone into ready-made categories?

    Again, it’s but a display of the impoverishment of our political thought.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Actually, Bayh is completing his second term. If anything I would love to see him introduce legislation on setting term limits. If not now, when? It’s time for term limits for members of Congress – 4 terms (8 years) for the House, 2 terms (12 years) for Senate. And, I’m all for Federal housing for members of Congress. There are plenty of buildings on K Street that would make fantastic dormitories! We could get that swishy guy from Oprah to do the decorating. Then again, maybe not. He may interfere with Eric Cantor’s penchant for all things fab-u-luss.

  • Arch Conservative

    “I happen to take Sen. Bayh at his word.”

    Ron Paul’s word is the only word in DC that isn’t covered in feces.

  • zingzing

    i don’t know about that archie:
    this is some pretty deep shit.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    But how much of that is true, zing? Isn’t Ron Paul a bleached version of Alan Keyes?

  • zingzing

    oh, who knows… i’m not one to put too much trust into the words of racists, and that line about the white supremacists meeting at a thai restaurant is hilarious, but the whole discussion about whether or not to shut the poster up kind of lends a bit of credence to what he’s saying. whether it’s true or not, it’s still damning.

    i love browsing white supremacist websites. i once got onto stormfront and started posting pictures of asian girls to their “saving the beauty of the white race” (or some such thing) forum. i got banned 20 minutes later, but it was so much fun stirring the pot.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    The whiter the male supremacist, the more apt he is to be on the receiving end, if you catch my drift. Whenever I find me one of them, I usually sign him up for a bunch of transsexual and gay services. After all, the KKK robe is yet a manifestation of a latent male cross-dresser. I used to have a T-Shirt that had David Duke’s face on it with the cation “Daisy Duke” underneath. Ooooo, I feels da luv.

  • Arch Conservative

    i don’t know about that archie:
    this is some pretty deep shit

    They let anyone on the internet these days zing.

    Did you hear the moon landing was really filmed on a television set in albquerque?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Silas,

    Whatever that little exchange was today, it’s best to leave it until tomorrow…

    I’m too tired to read.

    :] nite

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Sleep tight Jeannie. And if you’re up Thursday night come visit Cindy and me. We figure we’ll be able to solve all the world’s problems with one recipe.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Bar – Are congressional Republicans who have announced their retirement cowards as well? Oh,no. Can’t be. They’re the good guys.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    My opinion of Bayh has dropped in recent months as it became very clear that he was not in Obama’s camp on much of anything coming out of the White House. However, much of the speculation here as regards his reasons for quitting and the timing of it are just that: speculations. The notion that the timing was set up precisely to circumvent the primaries is hardly knowable. And the fact is, Bayh’s retirement has more than likely handed the seat to the Republicans, so I wouldn’t make too much of the timing. It will likely be a moot point.

    I certainly don’t see Bayh as a viable candidate for President. Bayh is to politics as taupe is to the colorwheel. He is about as flamboyant as ’64 Chevy II.

    While pretty much ALL of you continue to completely write off Obama, I just want to remind you that you could just be a bit premature. I know many of you revel in the prospect of his 1 term demise, but the fat lady hasn’t even taken the stage at this point. Dont’ count your chickens.

    While there may be a strong “draft Hillary” contingent out there, I frankly doubt that she’ll be tempted. When it comes down to it, she now has, perhaps the best (and hardest) job in government. I sincerely doubt that she’d have any interest in being Obama’s or anyone’s VEEP. As to her running for President again, she might, but it’s hard to imagine that she would put herself through that particular ringer again. She would have great difficulty separating herself from the Obama administration. The Reps – and even other Dems – would likely rub her face in it. Ya’ll d love that, now wouldn’t ya?

    Nevertheless, I think that is an unlikely scenario. Even assuming substantial Democratic losses in November, given much of our presidential political history, it’s highly likely that Obama will be riding much higher come the 2012 campaign.

    If Obama does falter, I’ll put my support behind the big New York Weiner!

    B

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, Silas. Nice to see you’re trying a BTR show. I’ll call in if I can get free.

    As for Bayh, as the only person here who knows him personally (albeit quite a fire years ago), I have confidence that he is entirely honest in his reasons for quitting. I think he feels the system is failing the people, but as a Democrat he has nowhere to go but out of politics.

    The good news is that the GOP is putting up some really outstanding candidates for his spot. Strong, libertarian-leaning Republicans. Even Dan Coats is well above average for a Republican politician. So the people of Indiana will be well served.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    At least we’re in agreement on this one, Dave – Bayh, that is. I don’t know about replacements.

    My sentiment is – every honorable person should follow Bayh’s lead and wash their hands of politics.

    Let the scoundrels take over. We wouldn’t see much of a difference anyway, and perhaps it might energize the country to wipe the slate clean.

    BTW, Silas did not extend me the invitation. I don’t blame him, of course, for not wanting to be outshined.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    He didn’t technically invite me either, but I don’t stand on ceremony.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Ever since Eisenhower, Americans have resolutely and consistently insisted on electing presidents whose names they could spell…

    Damn, I sure hope you’re wrong on that score, Doc.

    Otherwise, given the sorry, ever-deteriorating state of American education, we’ll soon be electing candidates named Dick, Jane and Spot.

  • STM

    Kev

  • John Lake

    roger nowosielski:
    My position is that the system has outlived its ability to respond to the electorate
    I view that as an understatement. The Supreme Court as I have written has an un-ending capacity to do the wrong thing, on the premise that it might be right.
    When they continue to allow special interest
    lobbyists, and when they promote and support unlimited contributions from American corporations, who are not “speaking their minds”, but rather are working from a profit motive, they are condemning the American people to a new level of “unresponsiveness”.
    Consider too that although Americans are being constantly polled as to their opinions, one would be naive indeed not to understant the vast, near absolute extent to which their opinions are influenced by media outlets.
    If the Supreme Court were to have any real courage, they might search for a framework to address the need for either outlawing special interest groups who pose as legitimate media, or failing that, at least they might comment on the potential value of “transparency and accountability” regarding the funding of such outlets.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, you see John. The way I view the recent SCOTUS decision is that they upheld the letter of the law – freedom of (political) speech on behalf of any aggregate of individuals (though that would be stretching the term when applied to corporations) and are therefore constitutionally “correct.” But the decision ignores the harsh reality.

    In effect, it turns powerful business interests as virtually determining the outcome of the electoral process. It’s akin to institutional funds determining the movement of the markets, so much so that the individual investor (just like the individual voter) has virtually no say.

    So while legally or constitutionally “correct” – which is to say, in terms of the internal logic – the decision undermines the very system and process that SCOTUS is supposed to uphold.

    I posted a similar comment on Dan (Miller’s) recent thread on the SCOTUS decision – our resident lawyer here – but of course there was no response. Not that I expected one.

  • Baronius

    “Are congressional Republicans who have announced their retirement cowards as well?”

    Bar, fair question. I’ve only really followed the Senate. There are 11 retirements; three of those were placeholder Senators. Of the eight career politicians retiring, 3 are Dems and 5 are Reps. Dorgan and Dodd seem to be getting out while the gettin’s good. I’d include Beau Biden not running on that list. Bayh’s retirement is tough to interpret.

    Of the Republicans, Gregg and Voinovich both announced their retirements at the lowest point of their party’s fortunes, so yes, cowardice might be the right word. Bond is 71, Bunning is being forced out by the party, and Brownback is term-limiting himself (and probably running for president in 2012). They have reasons I can accept.

    Personally, I’d expected bigger things from Gregg, and I don’t care for Brownback at all.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Dave, hope you stop by! Insofar as Dan Coats, what about his exodus from Indiana for 10 years? Perhaps he is a good candidate, but what has he done in the interim that makes him stand out ads a stellar one? Didn’t he work for lobbyists?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav: given the sorry, ever-deteriorating state of American education, we’ll soon be electing candidates named Dick, Jane and Spot.

    Stan: Kev.

    Good point. Australian politicians do always seem to have down-to-earth, matey names like Reg, Bob, Mike and Alf.

    Americans would struggle with a President Rudd, though. They wouldn’t know how many Ds to put.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jack looks like a safe bet. It’s Everymen.

    And so is Dick, in more ways than one.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Roger!!! BTW, Silas did not extend me the invitation. I don’t blame him, of course, for not wanting to be outshined.

    I didn’t think I needed to extend an invitation. I just figured you’d come if you were so inclined. After all, an oral banter with you would be quite entertaining for Cindy!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, forgive me, but I’m very sensitive about such matters. Like a woman, you might say.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Oh, Lord, Roger! So many directions, so little time! Off to do some work, I shall return later.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger’s a steel magnolia too. ;-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now you’ve both blown my cover.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    At least he didn’t call me a queen.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Roger, re Comment #58 — Your comment on the SCOTUS thread was # 116, dated 28 January. There, you noted unnecessarily that you had not yet read the opinion. I nevertheless responded (as I had to your other comments there) to most of that comment in # 125 of the same date, even though a reading of the Court’s opinion would have served as well. I did not then, nor do I now, understand what you may mean by the analogy to “institutional funds determining the movement of the markets.”

    If you have not yet done so, I still recommend that you read the decision.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The analogy is rather indirect, DM, but it pertains nonetheless. True, the corporations and other aggregates (such as unions, for example) do not directly vote for the candidates, so in this particular respect the analogy does not apply. But where it does apply is in the manner that the outcome of the electoral process is being influenced by big money. (I understand of course that it works both ways, but the dynamics is the same.)

    Not that it has anything to do with my argument, but you might refer to the latest public opinion poll on the SCOTUS decision:

    Left and right united in opposition to controversial SCOTUS decision.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s not a perfect analogy, DM, and I’m not happy with it, but I can’t think of any better.

    The ideal solution, IMO, would of course be to limit campaign expenditures to a set figure, equally much.

    My main beef, I suppose, is that there is too much money influencing the elections. It’s too much of a show business and we could do without all the pizzazz.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Roger? Have you ever seen Torch Song Trilogy? Harvey Fierstein’s alter-ego is a character named Virginia Hamm. I’ve decided you are Virginia Hamm trapped in a straight white boy’s body.

    Roger’s a steel magnolia too. ;-)

    A platinum pansy, perhaps?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Whatever feeds your fantasy, Silas.

  • pablo

    43 and 45 Zingzing,

    First you link to a nazi denegrating Mr. Paul. Another more accurate description would be smear.

    Then you disavow very mildly your reference, how cute!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Feed me, Seymour.

  • zingzing

    it is what it is, pablo. what i think is most damning about it is that the white supremacists want to delete the thread so that people don’t get the idea that they support him. what that has to do with paul’s point of view, i don’t know, although there have been rumors of some fairly racy (ha) stuff in the newsletters he at least had someone ghostwrite in his name.

  • pablo

    Zingzing,

    Your smear speaks for itself.

  • zingzing

    don’t blame me for what’s out there. i didn’t make it. but nice try, spanky.