Nichole Hungerford

Maher Not Dismayed Over Bayh Bow-out. Moderates Are “Corporatists,” Anyway

Posted on February 18 2010 6:00 am
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Following Evan Bayh’s (D-IN) abrupt retirement, comedian Bill Maher appeared on Anderson Cooper 360° to discuss Congressional inertia.  His first response to the moderate Democrat’s departure?

He wasn’t working. He’s the problem with Congress.

Maher immediately admonished Cooper for referring to Bayh as a “centrist” when, in fact, there’s a perfectly good ad hominem to hurl. “He’s a corporatist, okay?” That is to say, the man who initiated the Moderate Democratic Working Group comprised of 15 fiscally concerned Democratic senators (and Joe Lieberman) is little more than a corporate shill.  

When he says Congress isn’t working [it’s] because he’s the guy on the Democratic side who always sides with the Republicans to stop all legislation. That’s why the Senate is where legislation goes to die.

In other words, Congress can’t enact legislation because a necessary component of their supermajority, out of sheer corporate collusion, aligns with Republicans.  For example, Maher points out,

[Bayh’s] wife is on the board of WellPoint, one of the big health insurance companies.  So, I’m not surprised that he was against the public option.

However, Bayh has suggested that, if others are completely adamant about it, the public option could be passed through reconciliation which can’t be filibustered.  In this case, his alleged corporate interest would be in serious jeopardy — the proposal would make no sense.  The maneuver was far likelier raised to protect moderate Democrats from voter retribution, and at the same time, to offer a comprise between moderate and far-leftist Democrats.  Secondly, to conclude that general gridlock is attributable to some corporatist Democratic cabal, one would have to demonstrate that all moderate Democrats have some such personal interest in all of the areas that are legislatively dead.  And also that the supposed corporately unadulterated far-left Democrats have none — this, to be sure, is false.

Why slander centrist Democrats?  Well, from the very beginning, they have stubbornly resisted acquiescence.  This is why, when asked if he thought the atmosphere in Washington was too polarized, Maher stunningly claims that it isn’t polarized enough.

We don’t have a progressive party in this country. This is the problem, is that you have corporatist Democrats, like Evan Bayh, who act just like the people on the other side of the aisle.

You see, the moderate Democrats — oops, I mean the “corporatists” — impede the implementation of the greatest Leftist apparatus ever conceived by man.  Like the Republicans, they cling to pedestrian hang-ups like “fiscal responsibility,” or “long-term sustainability.”  They are worried about the economy and job growth, so it’s easy to besmirch them as greedy “corporatists.”  All of this stands in the way of the grander design, only achievable if the Democratic party proceeds in perfect progressive goose-step.  They certainly aren’t the ones who need to compromise.

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