Bayh vulnerable? Probably.

There's not a poll out, but I get the feeling that Bayh is getting nervous:

Senator Evan Bayh is warning fellow Democrats that ignoring the lessons of the Massachusetts Senate race will “lead to even further catastrophe” for their party.

“There’s going to be a tendency on the part of our people to be in denial about all this,” Bayh told ABC News, but “if you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call, there’s no hope of waking up.”

Well, clearly, we have a lot of sleep-walkers that belive we should just do a cram-down of the Senate bill in the House. I'm not one of them at all; the HRC bill should be narrowed to some things that can get Republican votes, while getting rid of the things like the mandate that are political baggage (or go through reconciliation and make it progressive-- just don't keep doing the same Fail).

But anyway, back to Bayh and 2010 for the Senate-- because its his seat thats probably most on-the-line of HRC is full-steam ahead as is from the Senate.

There's a number of Republicans, besides John Hosteller (Mike Pence for example), who could jump into the Senate race, and probably shift the race to a toss-up.

Via Indiana's IUPUI political scientist Brian Vargus:

On a scale of zero to 10, with zero being dead in the water and 10 being invincible, Vargus puts the Bayh’s chances at a seven.

The best shot at defeating Bayh would be to run a populist campaign and paint him as an elitist, Vargus says. Play up his Virginia law degree, his Georgetown home away from home, his wife’s corporate board seats. And even then, it probably wouldn’t be enough.

I'd like to see a poll.

Tags: Evan Bayh (all tags)



Bayh in trouble

I was talking to someone very active in Indiana Dem politics yesterday afternoon - he said Bath has been frantically calling all over the state to get help in getting enough signatures to file for reelection and, surprise, suprise, no one is jumping on board. Guess he's too liberal...

by thelonius 2010-01-20 02:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh in trouble

Yea, his framing of the HRC as leftist has to be pulling alot of folks legs out there-- he's one of the big cheerleaders of it, so you know who its good for.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-20 02:12PM | 0 recs
Bayh always behaves like this.

Otherwise, "some things that can get Republican votes."  Ha!  Like a unicorn.

by Drew 2010-01-20 02:15PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Right, so bring it to a vote of up or down, and let it go down then. I don't get the mentality that thinks we should pass bad bills (which HRC is) just to do something. This gets to what is wrong with the DC governing mentality of Democrats. They were not elected to do the same bs incremantal givaway, like that Nelson crapola sandwich.

Bring things up for a vote, and start losing on them. Show some transparency of where the Republicans are standing on things, and quit bickering among ourselves for getting the 59th or 60th vote. That path leads to MA Senate results.

Better to put things up for bipartisanship, and if there are none, then go for a vote on the bill as is; with the accountability then falling on those who stopped the bill, rather than those who are willing to puch the Democratic Party into a corner in order to pass something that nobody supports.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-20 02:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

I agree that the billi s bad and should probably not be passed in its current form.


But here one argument on the other side (political, not policy) from Nate Silver:


"For one thing, they need to be very careful about rewarding Republican nihilism. The best case is when you can simultaneously achieve both a policy and a political victory.

More often, especially given the structural constraints imposed by the Congress, you'll have to settle for one or the other.

But I would be very careful about any course of action which concedes victory to Republicans on both levels. Mistakes were made along the way to health care reform, but you've paid the political price for health care: now pass the fucking thing."

by jeopardy 2010-01-20 02:35PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

I'm fine with this:

<blockquote>Bring things up for a vote, and start losing on them.</blockquote>

When the question of what will win and what will lose is clear.  But I don't think that works well for many issues.

<blockquote>I don't get the mentality that thinks we should pass bad bills (which HRC is) just to do something.</blockquote>

Here's the thing: you think health care reform is "bad" because it includes "political baggage" like a mandate.  Yet everything I've read says that health care reform will not work without a mandate.  So when you say that, you tell me that any health care reform you support would be destructive but popular.

I don't get that.  It would seem even less sensible than passing a constructive but unpopular bill.  At least that bill would solve a problem, rather than ignoring it and creating a new one.

by Drew 2010-01-20 03:04PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

I don't get that.

(use the quote marks to block quote)

A mandate to buy private insurance is a disaster. The only way it works is with a government run HC.


by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-20 04:00PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

The only way it works is with a government run HC.

That's false, and as an aside, there is a fundamental problem with the message that a mandate is evil . . . unless it is accompanied by a public option, in which case it's necessary.  It's either evil and should never come to pass or it's necessary and should.

by Drew 2010-01-20 04:37PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

A point many miss.


Government run HC is not the "only way" you can look at the Swiss, Danish or MA/HI models for example. Clearly it's possible by other means.


However if one looks at it from a political rather than policy perspective then "A mandate to buy private insurance is a disaster" makes sense. Maybe it is too soon to try for universal HC. Pass some insurance reforms, then maybe in 5-10-20 years insurance companies will have mellowed somewhat so that buying insurance from them becomes politically palpatble. Or they have have failed so badly that no other option besides a robust PO exists.

Ofcourse that is a bit of a wait - and who knows what will ahappen to all those with pre-exisiting conditions till then.

by vecky 2010-01-20 05:08PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Still not buying it.  The vast majority of people already have health insurance.  Are they going to be outraged over a mandate?

For those who don't have insurance, all that really matters is whether they get affordable coverage or not.  If there's no affordable coverage, then we've failed irrespective of whether there's a mandate.  If coverage is affordable, I really doubt there are very many people who are going to be outraged over the violation of their inalienable right to go without health coverage.  Even the proverbial "invincibles" wouldn't really care as long as it's cheap and easy.

by Steve M 2010-01-20 06:32PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Mandate without adequate reform is outrageous. What does this bill  do to middle class people with preexistin conditions? There is no hard cap number on a "reasonable" premium.


Then again, maybe it's not so bad and the OBama people are just doing a lousy job not presenting the bill in simple terms with neat categories on the advantages such a bill poses to different income groups.

by Pravin 2010-01-20 06:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

There is a hard cap on premiums, there even is a cap on out-of-pocket expenses should a health care emergency hit.

An average household of 55k for example would not spend more that 5k on health insurance and 8k on total health care costs should something bad happen.

by vecky 2010-01-20 06:53PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

it is my understanding that there's a cap on the amount of primiums people have to pay, not on premiums that insurance companies can charge.

the government just eats any and all primium hikes that the insurance companies wish to issue.

that seems like a recipe for fiscal ruin, in my humble opinion.

by jeopardy 2010-01-20 07:03PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

I agree it shifts the burden of bearing the increasing costs from the individuals to the government. But I also believe the government is in a better posiiton to handle it than individuals can.

by vecky 2010-01-20 07:18PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

But the government has the right to approve or disapprove premium increases.  It's not like the insurance companies can just charge a million bucks and the government will throw up its hands and say, "Oh well, I guess we promised we would subsidize any amount over 8k."

by Steve M 2010-01-20 07:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

do you have ANY faith in that?

"but you made us cover pre-existing conditions!! of course we have to raise prices! (plus, we've paid your boss major $$ and he has another election coming up)"

I agree that there would be SOME limit to it, but if there's anything we've seen, it's that the insurance companies own our government at the moment and that limit would be extgremely high. 

by jeopardy 2010-01-20 07:58PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Is that... which is the worst case sceanrio... any worse from what we have now though?

by vecky 2010-01-20 08:43PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

You have different goals from the Republicans but you sound exactly like them when you constantly proclaim that regulation won't work.  You simply can't be in favor of expanding the government's role in providing healthcare if your objections run this deep.  Heck, we could pass Medicare for all and then lobbyists could take over Medicare.

by Steve M 2010-01-20 09:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

The public is already outraged... they are just looking for targets at which to direct their anger. The mandate is part of that - despite the fact that a majority of folk have private coverage (and want to keep it) they don't like private insurance companies.

It's not a rational position, it just is.

by vecky 2010-01-20 06:51PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Sure, but at the end of the day, I honestly don't foresee a wave of angry people voting against Democrats because they were forced to buy health insurance.

by Steve M 2010-01-20 07:42PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

No, but you only need 1 person who then get's picked up by the tea-baggers and then the media repeats his story "the evil government forced me to subsidize Aetnas CEO's corporate jet" over and over again and everyone gets a bad feeling about what the Dems have been doing.

In MA the mandate succeeded becasue both republicians and democrats were in favor of it. Without unanimity it's going to be a political fail for the party that implements it.

by vecky 2010-01-20 09:24PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

I don't care about the bad feeling, my point is that I don't see many people being angry enough to go to the polls and vote against the Democrats because of it.  If the test for popularity was whether the GOP could find one poor schmuck who got screwed, no Democratic programs would ever be popular.

by Steve M 2010-01-20 09:57PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

Well, we differ there. I do see people being angry enough to go to the polls and vote against it.

It is good policy however, and I said a while ago that democrats should pass it and take the hit.

by vecky 2010-01-20 11:13PM | 0 recs
They're NOT going to do that!

You would never last a week in the U.S. Senate with that kind of attitude Jerome!

They should schedule a bunch of controversial votes on bills that they have no chance of passing, and force every Democrat to line up and vote for them, just to show that Republicans will filibuster?

There isn't ONE senator from either party who would go for that! You're asking them to take a political hit for voting for a bill when there's no chance of passing said bill.

They might do that for a flag and apple-pie appreciation bill, but NOT a controversial HCR bill! (or anything else the President wants to do).

Obama is now going to spend the next 2 years alternatively trying to find something that Olympia Snowe and perhaps another 2 Republicans will vote for (and failing miserably) and then concentrating on what Republicans and Conservatives want:

Entitlement Reform! Let's cut those government benefits that are costing too much! Let's cut taxes and establish a commission that will force Congress to slash Medicare in order to close the deficit!

That's the only thing Republicans will help him do: they'll hand him a razor and help him to cut his own and every other Democrat's throat!


by Cugel 2010-01-20 03:47PM | 0 recs
RE: They're NOT going to do that!

You are right, but I'm pointing out what would work, given the transparency that the internet provides. Because the old way, as HCR shows, of making a bill is broken. And I am not ready to make the Senate into the same thing as the House, where a mere majority dictates everything. I think that's a dangerous route to take. I could however see lowering it to 55 seats, from 60.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-01-20 04:02PM | 0 recs
RE: They're NOT going to do that!

I'm not sure I buy that arguement though. Dozens of public votes were held on amendments to the HC bills - both in committee and on the floor. The increased transparency didn't result in better policy - politicans just used to grand-stand, thus the Schumer amendment failed, the Dorgan amendment failed and the Stupak amendment passed.

by vecky 2010-01-20 05:12PM | 0 recs
RE: Bayh always behaves like this.

republicans will vote to tank *anything* with regard to HCR, regardless if they'd supported it yesterday. The policy itself is irrelevant here, it's making sure that the Democrats are castrated publically so repubs can angle to get back into power on the dissatisfaction. That the status quo on most of the Democratic policy items (HCR, cap and trade, etc..) happens to be exceedlingly lucrative for their corporate overlords is just a happy bonus.

by Caffinated 2010-01-20 02:37PM | 0 recs
It paid off so why not?

They're not paying a price for total obstructionism so why not go all out?

The problem is that Democrats have NO WAY to "highlight that." Filibusters don't mean that Jim DeMint and his new buddy Brown will stand in the well of the Senate like Mr. Smith goes to Washington!

They'll just tie the Senate up with boring procedural motions with ONE Republican Senator on the floor denying a quorum, and the 40 others standing in front of CNN Reporters denouncing whatever bill is up for consideration.

The only chance Democrats have is to do the ONE thing they will NEVER do: adopt the Nuclear Option and go to majority rule.

I was unhappy when the Republicans failed to use the Nuclear Option back in 2005 because I saw then that nothing would be lost by it and if Democrats ever got in charge it would enable them to do something.

by Cugel 2010-01-20 03:52PM | 0 recs
I think Bayh is probably a 7 or an 8

much more likely to be re-elected than not. But if anyone deserved to get swamped by a wave election, it would be him (and not his dad, who was a good guy).

by desmoinesdem 2010-01-20 03:43PM | 0 recs
I have been saying for many years. Bayh is a freaking joke.

Bayh has been one of the worst senators in the Democratic Party caucus. I consider myself as someone who doesn't subscribe to a certain ideology. However, unlike Bayh, I do not take joy in taking potshots at the left. People like Bayh disgust me because it seems the only time he speaks up is lecture the left but he never did anything to keep the right in check. A princiipled moderate takes good ideas from every ideology, not just act spineless and go with corporate interests. Bayh had neither the intelligence nor the courage to oppose some of Bush's policies, but now, he has the guts to oppose liberal policies?

Last time I checked, the HCR bill was pand4ering to Nelson, Lieberman and Landrieu. I do not remember Obama having special meetings with the Feingolds or Frankens of the caucus. Ridiculous statement by Bayh.

AND LET"S NOT FORGET THE RIDICULOUS STATEMENT BY BARNEY FRANK TOO. Dodd and Frank are old and need to retire if they can't make a change in DC.

by Pravin 2010-01-20 06:39PM | 0 recs
In neighboring IL

If only we could be so lucky as to be free of Bayh.

Jerome, I'm wondering if the IL senate seat might become a replay of MA. If it's Giannoulias v Kirk, you'll have an out of touch, entitled member of the elite vs a republican with a genuine shot to take a seat with large symbolic value.

by who threw da cat 2010-01-20 09:47PM | 0 recs
RE: In neighboring IL

As a Hoosier (this is also directed to the comments above yours), I respectfully ask you to stay the hell out of the politics of my state.  You may not like Bayh, but he's far better than his counterpart Dick Lugar.  And Lugar, by the way, in comparison to those gunning to challenge Bayh (Pence, Hosteller, et al), looks like a bonafide bleeding heart.  There are very, very few moderates in the Indiana Republican party; it is replete with whackjob wingnuts.  Again, unless you run the risk of being represented in Washington by the likes of Mike Pence, please stay the hell out of this.  As bad as you may think Bayh is, the alternative is infinitely worse.

by Mario Dem 2010-01-22 11:43AM | 0 recs
RE: In neighboring IL

Yikes, touch a nerve did I? I'm looking at this year as a chance to clean house. We're going to lose seats, but it would be better if we lost people like Bayh and Lincoln than Feingold and Boxer. Let's focus our attention and effort in the right places and away from elected officials who continually undermine us.

by who threw da cat 2010-01-29 07:36PM | 0 recs


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