Evan Bayh complains now that health reform was a big political mistake. The Beltway, Sunday-morning chorus naturally agrees: those dumb libruls should listen to Evan Bayh! He understands these things!
Here's the rub:
Jim Messina and Axelrod visited the Senate just before the August recess to brief Democrats on health care. It made the members feel better. The moderates seemed capable of grasping the core political reality. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who voted with the Republicans on everything from Bush's tax cuts to blocking Obama's budget, was adamant. "We're all screwed if you don't get something real on health care," he said. Democrats realized that their base would be totally demoralized without it. The only way Obama had carried Indiana or any other state was with the intensity of core supporters; that would evaporate if health care lost.
That's from page 398 of "The Promise."
Does Sen. Bayh's sarcastic critique of health reform as a "noble aspiration" (but really a horrible liberal overreach) apply to himself pushing for it? Or does it only apply to people who take responsibility for their policy decisions?