Thursday, August 04, 2005

Michael: Bye Bye Bayh

The best thing a Democratic Presidential hopeful can do is call his party weak on defense - according to Sen. Evan Bayh. Positioning himself at the head of the 'Blame Democrats First' self-flagellation brigade, Bayh ripped Democratic credibility on security issues, saying, "Unless the American people know that we will be good stewards of the nation's security, they're unlikely to trust us with anything else."

Brilliant. Exactly the sort of outside-the-box thinking this party needs. Bayh apparently wants to be 2008's Joe Lieberman. But I'm pretty sure Joe still has the Joementum to be Joe in 2008, Evan. Bayh's message to voters will apparently be, "Don't think the GOP is dropping enough tonnage on the brown peoples? Vote for me; the tough guy from the party of weaklings!" This isn't an electoral strategy, it's a death wish.

Bayh's brand of Scoop Jacksonite out-hawking the hawks only serves to undermine any real alternative approaches to Iraq and the Middle East in 2008. Demonizing anyone who thinks there may be better ways to achieve American policy goals than more efficient killing ensures that the Democratic candidate will be trapped into becoming Iraq's LBJ, if elected.

The problem is that there is no such thing as party discipline on the issue of Iraq. If the Democratic candidates all ran with a consistent message of ending the occupation of Iraq as soon as possible, competing on who has the best plan to accomplish that goal, instead of in-fighting to see who can be most unrealistic in their confident pronouncements that, "I really can win in Iraq!" Democrats might actually win in America in 2008.

With Bayh trying to play like he's tough, he'll only serve to undermine anyone who really wants to do the serious work of building peace in the Middle East. Politically expedient pronouncements (which stink of desperation to voters) like, "many people don't think we have the backbone [to use force]," legitimizes the GOP's likely message in 2008 of, "More bombs! More bullets! Fewer Iraqis! Fewer Democrats!"

Bayh ought to do us all a favor and join the GOP if he thinks Bush's neaderthal policy in Iraq can be salvaged. Switch parties and run for the GOP nomination, Bayh. Go swing your dick in face of the GOP voters; apparently they like that sort of thing (despite that they protest a bit over-much, me thinks...).


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