Marla R. Stevens

Bayh Down, Two Gorillas And A Surprise Or Few To Go

Filed By Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2006 6:48 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: election 2008, election reform, Evan Bayh

Best analysis (so far) of Bayh as the latest Prez Wannabe Dropout: Howard Kurtz' Bayh Bayh in WaPo.

While I'm hardly upset about the quick exit of this guy who couldn't muster enough enthusiastic supporters to fill a small room to celebrate his election as Senator a few years back so that the Bayh Boyz had to drag reluctant Dems in from the halls at the Convention Center -- Dems who muttered all the while under their collective breath about their descent to political whoredom for not refusing, I think Kurtz' point about its being a sign of an even greater disconnect between the electorate and the selection of candidates is worth the read.

It's not the Military Commissions Act but it's another warning of declining democracy creep for which an election in the right direction is hardly a cure. Wakey-wakey!


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For God's sake, Marla, lighten up. You're gonna bust a vessel or something.

He's our junior senator, former governor and he decided to wait to run for president.

His public policy positions were sometimes in agreement with mine, sometimes not. But he is respected in Washington, and around the country.

You preferred, maybe, David McIntosh? Or Marvin Scott?

Your state has some decent senators, too. If one of them decides to run for president, I'll keep an open mind.

Relax. It's good for the soul.

Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2006 9:33 PM

My governor is running...yawn...for the moment.

One of my two early favs, Feingold, already took a hike. The other, Kucinich, just got some favorable coverage at WaPo that chastized the rest of the MSM for their usual lazy coverage of the man, pointing out that his impact could be different this go-around, given that he's been right about a number of things all along -- the Iraq war included -- things that the bigger gorilla didn't read right and that the people are now just catching up to him on.

Don't mistake pithiness for a surfeit of passion, though. If I wasn't an Iowa voter, I'd hardly be giving the presidentials a look-see, being much more interested in the Congressional and state legislative races filled with people who have a more direct impact on my life and those of those I care about and it being none too early to get active about those contests in these fast-paced times.

Only in America can two relatively small states have such a huge impact on the presidential sweepstakes.

I can't decide if it's good or bad. It gave us Bush. It gave us Clinton. It gave us Kennedy, Nixon and Mondale, too.

Iowa's situation seems worst of the two. It isn't even really an election--it's a series of caucuses around the state. I've participated in it before on behalf of candidates. Went there for Birch in the 70s, and for Clinton a few years back. Nothing's changed.

It's completely nuts, and there are multiple--MANY--bought votes. And lots of chicannery.

At least the good folks of New Hampshire go to a ballot box and vote in the regular style.

Marla R. Stevens | December 22, 2006 2:15 AM

I've only been a voter there for one presidential caucus and it was a fascinating exercise in democracy. I enjoyed being able to vote more than once -- the first vote was the first time in my life I ever felt secure in voting with my heart rather than pragmatically, which let me vote pragmatically in the second round (after my first choice was eliminated) with a clearer conscience.

The process leading up to it is something all Americans should get to experience, too -- all the serious face time with the candidates and those in their circles, getting a chance to really discuss issues in depth and to get to know where all stand being so different from standard soundbite electioneering.

But Iowans are such an odd bunch of ducks that leaving so much of the choice up to them -- making it so make or break -- isn't wise and produces bad results more than good ones.

That's why I'm pleased to see Nevada entering the early group -- although I think that state, with its disproportionate Mormon influence, is as improbable a choice as Iowa and maybe more so. But it shares the wealth so to speak -- both populationwise and on the level of cultural geography -- and that alone is good.