I am coming out early (and often) in opposition to Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) as the Democratic presidential candidate for 2008. Why, you might ask? Because Sen. Bayh is "Republican lite," another Bill Clinton or John Kerry in the making. He is exactly what the Democrats don't need in 2008, and he is exactly what the American people don't want in 2008. If we're going to elect Sen. Bayh, we might as well elect a Republican.
Why do I say that? Well, first there is the fact that Sen. Bayh helped the likely Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), kill the Peace Corps by passing an amendment inside a defense budget bill (because, I might add, it stalled as a separate bill). What the amendment does is allow military women and men to serve part of their military time in either AmeriCorps (the national service organization) or the Peace Corps. Since its inception in 1961, the Peace Corps has actively resisted any affiliation with the U.S. military on the grounds that it would seriously erode the credibility of the Peace Corps if people internationally believe that it is affiliated with our military. Thanks to Sen. McCain and Sen. Bayh, who did not consult the Peace Corps before introducing the amendment into the defense budget bill, the Peace Corps is now being forced to affiliate with the military. In case Sen. Bayh forgot, the Democratic Party doesn't force affiliation with the military -- that's what Republicans do.
Second, Sen. Bayh said on Thursday that Democrats need to convince Americans that they are willing to use force when necessary. In saying this, he did not note that Democrats already have strong and contrasting positions on national security but a terrible image problem, nor did he note that the Republican approach and use of force has hurt our national security. In other words, what Sen. Bayh did was lend credence to the Republicans who say that Democrats and liberals in general are weak on national security, and he also implied that Democrats need to be more like the Republicans on national security and the use of force if they're going to succeed with the American people. I find that to be a false notion; in fact, all signs point to the fact that being like the Republicans on the use of force, i.e., supporting Iraq, will be incredibly unpopular with the American people. It's time to get out of Iraq, and that's the unambiguous message that the Left needs to be sending. No more voting for the war, voting against it, voting for it -- just against it. Period. Exclamation point!
The picture I've chosen to include with this post is the reason that we don't want Sen. Bayh as the Democratic presidential candidate. We don't need someone else who's going to keep us in Iraq indefinitely just because he has a D instead of an R after his name. We need someone in the White House who's going to get us out of Iraq. Not later, but now. We don't need "Republican lite" in the White House; if we're going to have that, everyone might as well just vote Republican.
(Shout out to Air America's Rachel Maddow Show for much of this information).