Thursday, March 5, 2009

Moderate Senate Democrats plotting mutiny against Obama's huge spending plans?

Mutiny ringleader Bayh: maybe Obama should have offered him the VP spot reports:

Moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama’s budget plans and have begun plotting to increase their influence over the agenda of a president who is turning out to be much more liberal than they are.

A group of 14 Senate Democrats and one independent huddled behind closed doors on Tuesday, discussing how centrists in that chamber can assert more leverage on the major policy debates that will dominate this Congress.

Afterward, some in attendance made plain that they are getting jitters over the cost and expansive reach of Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal.

Looks like a plot to me. At the center of it is Indiana Senator Evan Bayh who was widely reported to have been among the final three on then-candidate Obama's list of possible veep choices, along with Joe Biden and Tim Kaine. Obama might have done himself a favor by taking Bayh to the White House with him.

It was Bayh who organized the Tuesday meeting of the moderates. It was Bayh who fired a warning shot in an op-ed yesterday outlining the case against Obama's $410-billion omnibus spending bill. And it was Bayh who joined with the reform-minded liberal Democrat from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold, to announce that they would vote against the omnibus bill because of its "bloated" spending and particularly its $7.7 billion in member "earmarks."

Among the 15 plotters are Senators Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Warner of Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Although he didn't attend the Tuesday session, Jon Tester of Montana seems inclined to throw in with the mutiny. And I'd be surprised if North Dakota's Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad were not sympathetic.

You know, if you put these 15 or so Democrats together with the eight or 10 Republicans most likely to seek compromise, you'd have a centrist group that would be able to work together to forge economic and budget policies that make the most sense for the American people. Now that would be real change.

What's your reaction to the incipient mutiny? Post a comment.


  1. I've been an Obama guy since his Senate race, and I hate to see him get burned, but I'm with Bayh et al. on this.

    I think (hope) that Bayh is a big boy and he isn't working out of spite; but I did not like how the BO campaign played the whole VP process--way too cute. Biden has his virtues, but Bayh has him beat six ways to Sunday in brains, discipline, general boring reliability.


  2. "Get what you can while you can."

    From my perspective that appears to have been the rallying cry of the outgoing and incoming administrations.

    The numbers no longer add up. (Or, should I say, I can't count that high!) The numbers cannot be reconciled.

    "Get what you can while you can."

  3. Let's do health care reform, less taxes for the middle & lower classes, improve Soc. Sec., Medicare, & Medicaid, take care of our poor and homeless, help people refinance mortgages, etc., but let's stay away from abortion, gay rights, etc. That will divide us!

  4. our reckless use of tax dollars must stop. 124,00 per car cash for clunkers, 924000 per mortgage, kill health care it will give no surgeries to elderly or special needs. dental and eye exams from medicaid. gay rights have already loosed filth on tv etc.we will never be out of debt. huge taxes coming next year. socialism has killed our constitution and freedom of speech. obama is trying to kill christianity. amnesty to criminals . he has destroyed america..