Weigel

Evan Bayh Finds Religion

Peter Stone scoops the memo from Tom Donohue:

I’m pleased to report that the Chamber has recently enlisted former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and former Senator Evan Bayh who will carry a bipartisan message of regulatory reform out around the country through a ‘road show” of speeches, events, and media appearances at various local venues.

Actually, just read the memo. The agenda Donohue wants to promote is a rollback of regulations dating from and before the last Congress, and reform like “raising the regulators’ burden of proof in court” and “requiring Congress to cast an up or down vote on significant new rules (costing $100 million or more) before they can take effect” – basically what Republicans want, and basically the opposite of what Bayh voted for in the Senate.

The easy gripe here is something like “B-B-Bayh sold out!” I disagree: I see him doing what he was too weak and cowardly to do while he was in the Senate. On the way out, Bayh was pretty clear that he wanted to create jobs, and that if he created one, it would be more than the 2009-2010 Democrats have. Why he didn’t realize this while in the Senate, who knows? But he’s trying to redeem himself. If you’re progressive, and you want to be outraged about something, Bayh isn’t really interesting enough for that. Consider this instead: Bayh made it to the final three of Barack Obama’s VP shortlist.