Monday, July 17, 2006

Evan Bayh: Social justice is for losers.

Not exactly what he said, but exactly what he meant:

In his speech, Bayh said the party has focused most of its attention on the needs of lower-income Americans, but it also must address issues that matter to people on the next rung up the economic ladder.

"Without an agenda that speaks directly to the middle class and all who aspire to it, we will no longer be the party of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Clinton. And we will not be a majority party," Bayh said, invoking the names of former Democratic presidents.

Moreover, Bayh said: "The country's not going to fulfill it's potential."

To explain his point, Bayh called the party's economic proposals too narrow. He mentioned efforts to raise the minimum wage and a call by "my good friend" John Edwards - a potential Democratic presidential rival - to eliminate poverty. Bayh called the proposals well-intentioned and appropriate, but said they need to be part of a bigger agenda that directly affects the middle class.

Okay, for one, bullshit. If anything, the Democratic Party has chased the middle class at the expense of the working class for decades. For two, that strategy has led the Democratic Party into the minority. And what does Bayh want to do? Continue it.

This is not a strategy for victory for the Democratic Party. It may be a strategy for victory for Evan Bayh. I'm guessing he's decided that when the candidates begin to carve up the Democratic electorate, he won't have a shot with working class Democrats. So instead, he's decided to stake his claim on the middle class.

But that isn't enough: rather than simply appeal to the middle class, he's decided to set the middle class against the working class. Again, that might be a strategy for victory for Evan Bayh - at least in the primary. But if he pursues that into the general, the Republican candidate will take the voters he ignored, half the middle class he courted, and destroy him in the general election.