Hoosier bloggers meet Senator Evan Bayh
And Shakes Sis was there — go girl.
And if you want to see yet another example of Dem queasiness on the position the party’s staked out on marriage amendments (“leave it to the states”), and the bind it puts them in, read on — you can feel Bayh squirming when confronted with the possibility of his own state passing one. He has nothing to stand on, which is precisely the point when we take the party to task on this punt — the Dems cannot stand for equality if the party is willing to endorse the position that states can simply vote discrimination into their constitutions.
Remember, Bayh is likely to jump into the 2008 race and this is the best he can do on this issue. This is f*cking weak. My emphasis:
Then it was time for the Senator to arrive. He came in and introduced himself to everyone individually, then was seated one chair away from me. He didn’t give a prepared statement; just opened it up for questions. Bil [Browning of Bilerico] got things off to a roaring start by questioning the Senator about the Federal Marriage Amendment. Bayh said he had voted against it before, and would vote against it again. Then Bil followed up by asking about the amendment on Indiana’s state ballot, which is up for a vote next year. On this, the Senator struggled. It’s dangerous to punt with a statement like, “It’s a state issue” when your home state’s currently considering an anti-gay marriage measure and there are people from that state sitting in front of you asking you questions. I desperately hoped he’d plainly state his objections to a discriminatory amendment, but alas, he did not. He said he hadn’t read it and didn’t really have an answer. Not good.
This is the problem. The Dem position leaves candidates completely vulnerable — are you for or against discrimination. It’s that simple. You have to be able to explain why it’s OK for states to make its gay and lesbian tax payers second-class citizens, instead of diving behind your “no” vote on a federal amendment. States are deciding by popular vote to discriminate. How is this fine with a Democratic party that allegedly believes in civil equality? And don’t worry, the Rethugs will corner you and kill you on this one. It’s a stupid fallback position that’s no longer working as the state amendments pass.
At least with the anti-gay elected bigots, you don’t have any question where they stand on the issue.
And my bloggrrrrl brought her laser-beam humor to the event and zinged Bayh on impeachment.
As for me, I tried to think of a question that the Shakers would like to see answered, and what I came up with was asking the Senator whether he supported Nancy Pelosi’s decision to take impeachment off the table in the House, even though thorough investigations of the administration haven’t been done and polls show that Americans increasingly support impeachment. Bayh said (paraphrasing), “Remember when the Republicans were going nuts in pursuit on Clinton…?” And because I apparently cannot control my smart-assitude even when sitting two feet away from a Senator, I said, “No, I don’t remember that at all. When was that?” Okay, the other bloggers laughed, but Bayh didn’t seem to find it all that funny. Sorry, Senator. He went on to say that the American people didn’t like it when the Republican Congress went after Clinton when they should have been paying attention to jobs and the economy and shit, and there was a backlash, and the Dems won seats during midterms—and if the Dems tried to impeach Bush, the same thing would happen, because it would be viewed as motivated by a vendetta.
Sis points out, rightfully so, that the Dems have no brain or a spine, because there was no backlash against the Rethugs — here we are in the nightmare term 2 of this administration (and the only reason the Rethugs are in trouble is because of their own corruption and malfeasance).
What’s ridiculous is that this position presumes that there is some equivalence between a lying about a BJ and Dear Leader’s torching of the Constitution to suit his needs. What on earth what would qualify in Dem minds as grounds for impeachment when all they are worried about is imaginary political “backlash?” How about considering what might be the best thing to do for the country when the executive branch is power-mad and out of control? Taking it off the table as a strategy is a worthy question for these Dems to answer fully, given there so much up in the air that could come crashing down on the Bushies.