From The Fix at The Washington Post:

Evan Bayh’s announcement […] that he and 14 other Democratic senators had begun to meet weekly to discuss ways in which the moderate/centrist wing of the party could ensure its voice is better heard by the White House and Senate leadership is the latest example of the Indiana Democrat’s increased willingness to critique — and tweak — the Obama administration.

Original DVD cover.
[left to right, bottom: Mary Landrieu (LA), Herb Kohl (WI), Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Begich (AK), Mark Warner (VA), Evan Bayh (IN); top: Ben Nelson (N), Joe Lieberman (CT), Mark Udall (CO), Jeanne Shaheen (NH)]

A quick examination of the early days of the Obama administration reveals that Bayh has backed up that rhetoric with action.

He was one of just three Senate Democrats who voted against the $410 billion omnibus spending bill [**the others were Claire McCaskill (MO) and Russ Feingold (WI)] and he urged President Obama to veto the bill in a high profile op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. (Obama did not.) Bayh also has expressed doubts about the amount of money dedicated to health care reform and climate change in the president’s budget, calling for an emphasis on lowering costs rather than simply spending more.

Bayh’s actions have caused some grumbling — privately, of course — among some in the White House who view his freelancing as less than helpful in seeking to push Obama’s legislative agenda through Congress.


Bayh’s middle of the road approach is in character for the Indiana Democrat who has built a political career on being a voice of moderation. But, Bayh’s willingness to cross swords with the administration is notable since he was one of the two finalists to be Obama’s vice presidential choice — eventually losing out to his one-time colleague Joe Biden.


Neutral observers have offered up any number of reasons for Bayh’s ramped-up critique of the Obama administration.

Sylvia Smith, the Washington editor of the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette, ascribes the change to the fact that Bayh will stand for reelection in 2010 in a state that, despite going for Obama in 2008, remains conservative-minded at its core.


Smith also sees evidence of Bayh’s broader (read: national) ambitions in his attempt to emerge as the leading voice of Senate Democratic moderates. “If the economy doesn’t improve and Obama’s popularity tanks, Democrats may be in the market for a nominee whose fiscal conservatism is well established,” she writes. “If Obama isn’t ready for replacement in four years … well, 2016 will come around soon enough.”

From our perspective, it’s hard to see Bayh losing his Senate seat in 2010 barring some sort of major unforeseen development.


Bayh’s attempt then to become not just the leader of Senate Democratic moderates but also someone willing to speak out against his party’s president seems more aimed at bolstering his national credentials than anything else.

The gang’s already hanging out and having a grand old time! I got my hands on some candid pictures that I will share with you. The kids are so close that they even go house to house to make sure they are all awake in time for their meetings:

Original image.
[left to right: Blanche Lincoln (AR), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tom Carper (DE), Mark Udall (CO), Kay Hagan (NC)]

Here are some of the guys having some fun at the petting zoo. They are playfully demonstrating how AIG got their goat!
Original image.
[left to right: Michael Bennet (CO), Bill Nelson (FL), Joe Lieberman (CT), Evan Bayh (IN), Ben Nelson (NE)]

At least, I hope that’s what they’re doing. 😯 I can’t see the back of the goat, and Joe and Evan look a little too happy…


Filed under 2008 election, Barack Obama, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Congress, Evan Bayh, Global warming, humor, Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, movies, parody, politics, Russ Feingold, Senate, snark, television, Tom Carper, Wall Street Journal, Wordpress Political Blogs

12 responses to “Demagangery

  1. Jenn/jlms qkw

    hooray for large casts!

    great job!
    blue dog senators, blech blech blechity blech. how unhelpful!

  2. So, if this is “Our Gang,” then who’s Spanky?

    • ben nelson. only because he has that big round head.

      by the way, in the middle pic, i actually left buckwheat’s eyes on tom carper, only because it kept making me giggle. 😆

      • I wouldn’t have even noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out to me. But you’re right. It does make it even funnier.

        • i didn’t expect anyone to notice, especially since nobody knows which pic of carper i used. the reason it makes me giggle is that, in photoshop, you have layers. i have the original pic, then the layer of carper’s face, and then a layer with buckwheat’s eyes. you can make the layers invisible. i sat here turning buckwheat’s eyes layer on and off, and it was like a flash picture with carper’s eyes getting wider and looking towards kay hagan. it looked really funny and kept me entertained for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Got a Grip

    I, too, fear for the goat, nons. If they’re doing what I think they’re doing, I sure hope the goat consented first. I know that wouldn’t even be an option with the rethugs, they’d just molest the goat and then laugh at it. But even a bad dem is at least likely to ask first. But seeing as how these a$$clowns are really rethugs in dem clothing it’s hard to judge.

    I have to say I’m deeply disappointed in Claire McCaskill for associating with this bunch. She’s better than that. When in Missouri, I’ve had occasion to see her on the street a time or two. If I should see her again I’m going to slap her sharply across the face and yell “Snap out of it!” ala “Moonstruck”…..

    • gotta,
      i think the goat will be okay, but i fear for the resurfacing of rick santorum! 😯

      i’m not surprised at claire mccaskill or any of the others. they’re in conservative states, and, let’s face it, the people there are not going to vote for a liberal dem. this is not the first time evan bayh has announced that he has a little cabal of blue dog dems. the blue dogs have been there a while, and they will be there a while longer. i don’t have the dim view that others might. while it would be nice to have more progressive dems from those states, it’s not going to happen right now. you have to comfortably shift people to the left, and dennis kucinich is not going to do it. people seem to be comfortable with bayh and the rest. now that we have a democratic administration, people will see that dems are not the boogeymen they were led to believe, and they will come along. in the meantime, we need the bayh gang to help them along.

      like i’ve said before, i think it’s important to have an opposition party. the rethugs are not filling that need. they are just being obstructionists. therefore, it falls to the conservative dems to fill that necessary position.

      evan’s gang really doesn’t change anything. it just gives them a little bit of attention. however, it was fun making the posters, and that’s all that really matters. 😉

  4. jeb

    I sometimes get a bit frustrated with the Blue Dogs too but I also take comfort that Dems don’t fall lockstep into place like the Rethugs do when they’re in charge. With the R’s one of their own can spill blood and shred the constitution but they consider the only sin to be if one of their own points out the obvious illegality of any of it.

    • i get frustrated, too, but like i told gotta, they’ve been around for a long time, and we have to accept that they will be here for a while longer. as the older generations die off, it will be easier to push more progressive candidates.

  5. wmholt

    You know about Bayh’s wife and her corporate ties with health care giant, WellPoint?

    “She is a director at Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., “which is part of a medical research partnership awarded a $24.7 million federal grant in May after Evan Bayh and his Indiana colleagues in Congress recommended the group to the National Institutes of Health,” Bloomberg’s Timothy Burger reports. “She’s on the board of E*Trade Bank, a subsidiary of E*Trade Financial Corp., while her husband sits on the Senate Banking Committee. She is lead director at Emmis Communications Corp., an Indianapolis radio-station operator that published Evan Bayh’s 2003 memoir. “