Monday, February 15, 2010

The Implosion of the Democrats - Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh's decision not to seek another Senate term is shocking. He is a bright, reasonable Senator from a red state that had his most difficult possible opponent step aside last week (Mike Pence). Although admonished from the left, Bayh, represented the Democratic party of years gone by, that is, he was reasonable and thoughtful. Traits now deemed untenable by the idiots on the far left end of the Democratic party. A pitiful crew of zealots desirous of destroying the Democratic party as constituted way back in 2008.

Since Bayh's announcement, Mike Pence has reiterated his intention not to run for the Senate seat giving an open path to (current North Carolina resident?) Dan Coates. Coates, the former IN Senator, whose seat Bayh took when Coates "retired," must be jumping with glee. In my opinion, Coates is a mere placeholder for the Republicans based upon his inauspicious Senate history. Despite this, it's a deathblow as sorts to the Democratic party in Indiana.

The Democrats have no one in the stable with statewide recognition that will have a chance in 2010 given the present political environment. As such, the prospects of a Democratic victory, or for that matter even a close race are dim indeed. Word on the street is that Bayh announced his intentions to staff last Friday, but notified Harry Reid 25 minutes before his announcement. In many ways that is more shocking than the announcement itself. It indicates to me that he had no intention of being talked out of his decision. Word has it that his possible path is to run for governor in 2012, and if so, a Presidential bid in 2016. A lifetime away in political terms.

As I indicated above, the impact to the party and the President is severe, but will they listen? The party "faithful" no. The Administration is another matter entirely. The economy is in absolute shambles irrespective of what you hear from Washington or Wall St. The possibility of a significant downturn is significant, if not likely. What will the Administration do to stem the bleeding? The answer is unclear given the ineffectual leadership they have displayed to date. One thing is readily apparent, the loss of Bayh means the voices of reason within the Democratic party are even more muted. That said, will the Administration recognize the peril they find themselves in? Probably, but whether they have the leadership to effectively govern and get re-elected are open questions indeed.

In my view, the Democrats have seen the enemy and it is them. Yes, Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants, Boehner, Cantor, Pence and Ryan deserve credit (politically) for remaining steadfast. The larger question is what the economy will look like once they regain power in Congress (whether in fact majorities or certainly more significant minorities) and who will lead the party. Both are formidable challenges and the stakes enormous.

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