February 16, 2010

Jonathan Chait calls Evan Bayh a "wuss."

He thinks he's "just pathetic" that Bayh is quitting because he "hates the Senate" and "hates the left bloggers."

Ooh. Chait is angry. Bayh is angry. The Democrats are an angry, angry party now. They won, and then they all got so angry with each other. It's hard being a liberal. You want so much for so many people, and then you don't get it. It hurts. It hurts a lot.

69 comments:

jonathon said...

Does Althouse fill-in when the psych 101 professors are ill?

Dopey stuff.

Kurt said...

Well, all of that "feeling [other's] pain" business has got to hurt! I guess it makes one angry after a while.

wv: "synuf"--as in "that 'synuf' of your pain."

Ann Althouse said...

@johnathon At least I know how to spell my own name.

Florida said...

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if these angry liberals start shooting each other if they don't get what they want.

Tenure, for example.

rhhardin said...

It's code for pussy.

MadisonMan said...

Why is it wuss-like to quit a job you don't like? Maybe in the bizarro-world of political commentary that's true. But true courage is to leave the cushy job for an uncertain future -- and I think Bayh would probably have been re-elected.

Perhaps Chait can take a class on effective insult-giving.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exhelodrvr1 said...

BayhWatch?

Thorley Winston said...

Anyone else find it telling that Jonathan Chait’s entire assessment of Bayh’s supposed motivations in retiring is based on rumors from an unnamed supposed “friend and longtime adviser”?


Funny when one considers that The New Republic used to be considered a credible publication.

Lem said...

Dont make me angry.

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

El Pollo Real said...

@johnathon At least I know how to spell my own name.

"johnathon" sounds like a fundraiser at a brothel in Nevada for Harry Reid.

Larry J said...

Lem said...
Dont make me angry.

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.


What makes you think we like you at all?

former law student said...

I won't pick on our gracious hostess.

Bayh seems a wuss by preemptively quitting. I'm having a hard time seeing it as his Ronald Colman moment.

lucid said...

Pity poor Jonathan Chait.

His certainties have become his public humilitaions. His declarations have become laughable. All his enemies can say to him, "I told you so." Instead of respect, he elicits derision. He has been a legend in his own mind, but now the doubts creep in.

Pity poor Jonathan Chait.

Florida said...

Check out Chait's manly haircut:

http://www.tantor.com/AuthorImage/Chait_J.jpg

I don't think he should be calling out other people for being a wuss with that soon-to-be-combover.

former law student said...

Consider the pride of Fond du Lac, Jonathon Brandmeier

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
littlebeartoe said...

Bayh is an interesting case. He reeks of "to the manor born" attitude, such as it is in Indiana (is there a manor within two thousand miles?). These weenies never get very far. Let me give a few examples:

* John McCain - loser from AZ whose major claim to fame is ditching the wife who waited for him for a cheerleader with lots of money

* Barry Goldwater - see John McCain, sort of, though BG's big thing was disclaiming being Jewish

* Gary Hart - oh, please. Anyway, pretty much any politician from any of the Four Corners states is going to be a disaster.

MadisonMan said...

with that soon-to-be-combover.

That's kinda what my hair looks like, but I've got 12 years on him. He'll be bald at my age. (NTTAWWT)

SMGalbraith said...

Watching this implosion re-inforces to me just how incredible it was that FDR was able to hold together his coalition for so many years.

Think of that array of groups he held together: socialists, northerners, southern segregationists, isolationists, farmers, Jews, Christians....

Simply impossible to do nowadays.

Yeah, different era but still....

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Wait a sec... Is Chait upset that Bayh is quitting the Senate? Or is he upset that Bayh is verbalizing his reasons for quitting?

I think it is more of the latter. You ought not to speak badly of The Party.

Matt said...

Who's angry? Big deal. BTW your Sarah Palin quit early in her term. Bayh is simply not running for re-election. Plus, he is right; The Senate doesn't agree on much and it doesn't do America much good when the politicians sit around doing nothing.

traditionalguy said...

The Bayh's of the party are its victims, just as Palin was its victim in Alaskan Ethics Board version of the running of the stag. There is no mercy for anyone the Soros-Democrats want destroyed. But they are running out of scapegoats to sacrifice. The only queston is will the Country survive their slash and destroy tactics. IMO the only rational reaction for a scapegoat is to Quit the ritual of their death and come back to fight another day. We will see Bayh again.

bagoh20 said...

Now you know who was the target of that sign with Bush saying: "Miss me yet?"

It was so much more fun being against everything.

Florida said...

"... it doesn't do America much good when the politicians sit around doing nothing."

Politicians sitting around doing nothing is precisely what is good for America.

But let's don't let the meme get too far astray the facts.

The fact of the matter is that Democrats have had a free hand to introduce and pass any legislation they wanted to pass.

And they did.

Here's a list of things they didn't want to pass:

* Health care reform
* Cap-And-Trade
* Immigration Reform

They did spend some time passing legislation such as:

* Renewed the Patriot Act
* Funded expansionist war in Cambodia ... er, I mean Afghanistan.
* Refused to fund closing Gitmo Gulag.

Democrats have had total control of the House, Senate and White House and could have passed any legislation they wanted.

And they did.

bagoh20 said...

"re-inforces to me just how incredible it was that FDR was able to hold together his coalition for so many years."

People were open to The New Deal, but it was a "remedy" (failed one) that could only be tried once. People were poor, desperate, willing to work at any job, and socialism had not yet proven itself a total failure everywhere. Times have changed.

lucid said...

@Florida.

I took a lok a the photograph? What is that on his forehead? It looks a bit like a hairball from a cat or perhaps a very small tumbleweed?

edutcher said...

Latest on the Bayh quitting (just to make suregarage and Montagne to refer to the Son-of-a-Birch that way) is that this is a scheme so Barry and Tippytoes' hand-picked replacement, Congressman Baron Hill, can slide in without opposition. If so, Bayh could have agreed to this so he could replace Gates or the first of the Obama Cabinet slugs to go. The thinking is, since Coats voted for the Assault Weapons Ban, he won't make it in November. This, of course, assumes a Tea Party candidate can't get some None of the Above sentiment going.

In any case, tg may be wrong on this one.

The other thing I noticed when I looked at the TNR website (I look maybe once a year) is all the smarty-pants articles telling the readers, "we're so hip and cool we can't even stand people like us".
Thorley hits it right on the head.

traditionalguy said...

edutcher...Do you think Bayh wanted to go out as a loser in November? He is young, and what he has done here gives the Indiana state party the best opportunity to run an unknown young person that also runs against the National Dems...but still votes with them. That gives the Dems an even chance to hold it for another six years. The next time we see Bayh he could also have elected to join Lieberman and Miller as the last two GOP Convention keynote speakers.

Jim said...

I find it so interesting to whine about Bayh "quitting" when he did no such thing. All he did was say that he wasn't going to run again in November.

Funny...I don't remember any complaints about Chris Dodd "quitting"...or is it only "quitting" when they decide it is?

Don't bother to answer...they already did...

Mark said...

FLS: Bayh seems a wuss by preemptively quitting.

If Bayh is considering a primary challenge to Obama, it's the smartest thing he could do. The only thing less popular with the voting public than Congress is genital herpes. This way he can plausibly run against Congress and paint Obama as an empty shirt dancing to the tunes of Pelosi and Reid.

I still think he's a fool if he is considering a primary challenge, but this is the least foolish strategy if he's going to.

wv: "sminglat" when you say that.

MadisonMan said...

The Senate doesn't agree on much and it doesn't do America much good when the politicians sit around doing nothing.

Florida made this point, and I'll emphasize it. It may not do the country much good if politicians sit around and do nothing. More importantly, it doesn't do the country harm.

SteveR said...

Get a real job jonathon, before you call anyone a wuss.

traditionalguy said...

The angry Dems in Indiana are now thinking about running John Mellencamp since he has no record to attack him on and since has street cred from his song catalogue.

edutcher said...

Tg, I'm just passing along what's been populating the blogosphere. As I say, if there was some kind of deal struck, it probably means a Cabinet post for Bayh.

As other people have noted, the timing here is very odd, so speculation about a fast one is not necessarily out of the question. If Baron Hill emerges as the only Demo candidate, it will look very suspicious.

Bayh's integrity would be in tatters at that point, his career in elective office would be over. You may be right, but we'll have to see.

Alex said...

#1 - Althouse is concern trolling
#2 - Bayh is a quitter, shmitter and I'll never let the Democrats forget it

#3 - DemoRATS can eat my dust!

Alex said...

Sixty Grit - how dare you insult our hostess. Prepare to duel at 10 paces.

Mark said...

Nothing gives a lefty that warm feeling quite like burning a heretic.

Peter V. Bella said...

Not running for reelection and quitting are two different things. Bayh is a centrist- so he says. He does not want to run again in the current atmosphere.

I do not think he liked current the Senate leadership very much or the party leadership. He is not alone either. There is a certain viciousness in the senate that was not there before. Maybe he did not like the change in attitudes.

Until someone proves otherwise, we have to take him at his word. So far no bimbos have erupted, no hookers, gay lovers, or South American mistresses. No rumors of investigations or indictments.

We will know the real reason soon enough. The libturd heads are exploding only because he puts their jack ass party in a real bind. The chance of one of the evil enemy Republicans getting elected. That is the only reason they are tar and feathering him.

Debasement and dehumanization is their methodology.

Joe said...

doesn't do America much good when the politicians sit around doing nothing.

Are you kidding? That's when politicians do the most good. If they would just shut the hell up it would do even more good.

Prosqtor said...

1. There was nothing "centrist" about Evan Bayh. Check how he graded out by the left and right. He was somewhat moderate for a Democrat, but he is no centrist.

2. The timing of his withdrawal was clearly intended to allow the party leadership to pick a candidate without spending money on the primary or having to take the risk that the little people might not pick the right person.

3. To the extent Bayh was "moderate", you will find it was when the Democrat position was sure to lose or sure to win. Try and find a vote in which he was a crucial vote. Evan Bayh never does anything controversial. Name a famous Bayh initiative as Indiana Governor or Senator. That is hard to do.

He is not a bad man, but he is about as close to the infamous "empty suit" as you can find.

miller said...

I think this is a key and telling point: the Dems, while in the majority, have passed every piece of legislation they wanted to.

They have the House, the Presidency, and they had a supermajority in the Senate. So it's very telling to see what they DID pass and what they DIDN'T.

avwh said...

"Bayh is a centrist- so he says. He does not want to run again in the current atmosphere."

Bayh voted against SCOTUS nominees Roberts and Alito; he also voted against Condoleeza Rice for Sec of State. Does that sound like a "centrist"? Or someone who values bipartisanship?

He must have gotten religion about bipartisanship about the time he realized how unpopular Obama's policies are in his home state.

miller said...

"He must have gotten religion about bipartisanship about the time he realized how unpopular Obama [delete]'s policies are[delete] is in his home state."

FTFY

Seven Machos said...

It's hard being a liberal. You want so much for so many people...

But, sadly, you eventually run out of other people's money. And that's even in a totalitarian state. In a democracy, these insolent rubes won't even for over the fruits of their labor for your brilliant schemes.

Florida said...

"Nothing gives a lefty that warm feeling quite like burning a heretic."

Or gunning down like dogs those people of color who refuse to grant them tenure in the academy.

AJ Lynch said...

Jonathan Chait calls what he does a career?

avwh said...

"He must have gotten religion about bipartisanship about the time he realized how unpopular Obama [delete]'s policies are[delete] is in his home state."

What's interesting is, Obama (the idea or the man) still polls reasonably well, even in most purple states. But his policies, OTOH, poll almost as bad as Congress as an institution.

And now that we've had the bejeezus scared out of us by deficits, backroom crony deals, cap-and-tax, and healthcare takeovers, those policies trump the man - hence, no help in MA, or NJ, or VA for the Dem candidates.

I suspect damn near every Dem incumbent that voted for all of Reid/Pelosi/Obama's pipedreams are now scared to death, seeing how badly those policies now poll, knowing there's a voter revolution brewing, and seeing Obama being of absolutely no help in even blue states.

Unless there's a miracle employment rebound in the next 5-6 months (and Obama's policies almost guarantee that can't happen), there are alot of Dem incumbents that know they're toast if the Republican opponent is reasonably funded.

Jim said...

avwh -

"What's interesting is, Obama (the idea or the man) still polls reasonably well, even in most purple states. But his policies, OTOH, poll almost as bad as Congress as an institution."

It's not really that surprising that Obama polls well personally while his policies poll terribly.

There are an awful lot of people who don't want to be seen as racist by telling strangers that they disapprove of the black man who is president.

The mistake that his supporters are making is in thinking that would support to approval at the ballot box. There are a lot of people who approved of George Bush personally because he's a very good natured, decent person; but who would never have voted for him in a million years.

When people are all alone in the voting booth, they're not afraid of being seen as racists. They will vote for or against policies.

Last year, the drop in Obama's policy numbers presaged his drop in overall approval ratings, and they will continue to do so going forward.

You can always tell where the approval ratings are headed by watching the policy numbers, and there's still a significant gap between his "personal approval" numbers and those of his policies.

That means that Obama is nowhere near the bottom of his approval ratings. He's under 40% on the economy and health care and unless he can change those numbers in a hurry, his overall approval numbers are headed for the same territory in the not-too-far distant future.

Opus One Media said...

Let's hear it for the 41% majority. Didn't someone mention up or down votes back a few years ago? Now who was that? Who is stopping this country dead in its tracks. I've know Mitch McConnell for 40 years. When I first met him I thought what a dumb cluck but this is, afterall, Kentucky so some slack is due...now I watch him on the news, leading the party of ignorance, arrogance and denial while it quietly pushes this country off a cliff.

dick said...

Yeah, let's give some slack to Kentucky, the original home of Abraham Lincoln and Alben Barkley for example, both very classy guys.

I realize you prefer classier guys like Rahm or Durbin or bawney Frank or Delahunt or Patches Kennedy - guys from the sophisticated states. They know what to do.

peter hoh said...

Like some others, James Fallows suggests that there's not a lot of "there" there when it comes to Bayh. In the off chance that Bayh is serious about his concerns re. Congress, Fallows has some constructive advice:

Unlike everyone else up for election this year, you don't have to worry how this or that bout of truth-telling will look on Election Day. Let 'em bitch! You don't need an interest group to endorse you or a civic club to applaud you any more. Do you think hyperpartisanship is destroying the Senate? Why not call out people -- by name, by specific hypocritical move -- when you see them doing what they should be ashamed of? I guarantee that the press would eat this up. Why not a ten-month public seminar, through the rest of this year, on who is doing what, and how it could be different? Do you object to personal "holds" on nominations? Make it an issue! You have an idea of some issue where Republicans and Democrats might agree? Be specific about it and see what you can do. Again, if I know anything about the press and the melodrama of public life, I know you could turn it to your advantage -- and the public's, Mr. Smith style.

Akiva said...

When the party in power, in control of the Whitehouse, Senate, and House becomes the target of such clear and direct sarcasm...their done for. No recovery, the pendulum is swinging strongly the other way.

Now the question is whether the GOP reads the tide and rides it, or squanders it with an assumption that it's a turn towards every GOP extremism rather than a turn away from the current full demonstration of Liberal Democrat extremism.

The US government always does better with mixed control, prevents either side from delving into their extremist positions as they must compromise to get anything done.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They won, and then they all got so angry with each other.

Big surprise coming from a group that's in a perpetual state of being pissed off.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I've know Mitch McConnell for 40 years. When I first met him I thought what a dumb cluck but this is, afterall, Kentucky so some slack is due...

Well I have to give hdhouse credit for not being ashamed to openly display what an elitist jerk he really is.

Or maybe unlike most liberals, the straps on his mask are just a bit loose.

Michael said...

Let me be the first to say I don't believe in the theory of a primary challenge to Obama. Any Dem who wiped out Obama in the primary would go into the election with a seriously demotivated black base. I don't know how any Dem wins the presidency with that block of votes missing.

Roux said...

The Dems are used to pushing through legislative changes slowly one step at a time. That way no one notices, no angry voters and they get to keep their jobs.

Boil that frog slowly. They threw the frog in a pot of boiling water. He's jumped out and he's pissed. Dems like Bayh are scared.

Koblog said...

Evan Bayh has a $13 million re-election campaign warchest. Heck, Jonathan Chait probably contributed to it.

Politicians who "retire" get to keep the money. Hey, a pol can't help it if people give him money....

And why spend all that money on a bruising campaign you might lose?

I don't see why that selfish Jonathan doesn't see that Evan richly deserves that money as a reward for his long, distinguished career.

Peg C. said...

Florida, from your lips to God's ear.

Peg C. said...

BTW, this Dem implosion has been nicknamed "Demageddon."

Dewave said...

The fuel behind the liberal anger is the utter failure of their canards and assumptions in the face of reality, now that they've had the chance to actually test them in the real world, instead of just refer to them as obviously superior to the failed policies of the Bush Administration.

Michael said...

I love how the guys who just finished trying to steamroll a failed plan suddenly want bipartisanship. I am reminded of the old days when kids had fist fights. One kid would beat the crap out of another but when the tide turned the aggressor suddenly wanted to call a truce. No, lefties, not now.

c3 said...

Would we rather have a centrist who would likely win in November but can't stand what his job and his life have become
-OR-
A "centrist" (Specter) who can't quit and needs it so bad he decides to switch parties.

I know, a false dichotomy, but for all of the bashing of politicians we love to do, we struggle when someone decides to give it up.

Finally, if Republicans are serious about riding the Tea Party wave (anger at government bailouts to banks) then should think twice about bringing up Coats.

Blue@9 said...

"Wuss"? And still Chait wants him to stick around? Personally, I could see why conservative Dems want to quit. They're assailed at every turn by the liberal wing, called traitors and DINOS and whatnot. Why put up with that from your own party?

kent said...

Who is stopping this country dead in its tracks.

Given that the opposition party didn't even have enough votes to sustain a simple Senate filibuster for the past twelve full months or so, it's anyone's guess how much wood grain alcohol even the dimmest leftist partisan would need to guzzle in order to come up with "the Republicans" as an answer, straightfaced, to that question.

Someone make a note of how many empty bottles Opus One manages to pile up, by the end of the day.

WV: chiti. "You are making a chiti argument. You really chould know better." ;)

RJ said...

Bayh is no victim. He had his chance to step up and prove his moderate bona fides, and he passed, as did the rest of the so called "blue dogs." They allowed the liberal Democratic leadership to take over completely, and now they'll pay the price.

c3 said...

Bayh is no victim. He had his chance to step up and prove his moderate bona fides, and he passed, as did the rest of the so called "blue dogs." They allowed the liberal Democratic leadership to take over completely, and now they'll pay the price.
If that were so then we'd have passed the massive health bill by now...and with a public option.

And the Congress would be voting on cap and trade and card check.

Trooper York said...

The angry Dems in Indiana are now thinking about running John Mellencamp since he has no record to attack him on and since has street cred from his song catalogue.

Dude you obviously never head "Cuttin' Heads," if ever there was a record to attack someone on that piece of crap is the one.

Milwaukee said...

Not running for re-election is not the same as quitting, but since the Senator could have easily won re-election, it is going to feel like the same thing. But Sarah got grief for quitting, and he won't.

Remember that after the Russian Czar was deposed the Communists were the smallest parliamentary party, and Bolsheviks were a small splinter of that party. But they purged their ranks for ideological purity, and were pretty intense. So the left wing of the Democratic party will assure us that there are no moderates and conservative Democrats. That grayness of "liberal" Republican, or "moderate" Republican will also need to whither away. Which party will have a big tent?