Here’s a curious report from The Wall Street Journal‘s Naftali Bendavid and Greg Hitt:
Mr. Bayh and his group are well positioned to force changes in the president’s budget and on other contentious issues such as health care and climate change. Their stated goal is to rein in deficits and to protect business interests.
Without their votes, Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders don’t have a majority in the Senate, let alone the 60 votes needed to break Republican filibusters. That gives Mr. Bayh and his group an opportunity to assert themselves.
“We really do need to change business as usual,” Mr. Bayh said in an interview Monday. “People want results.”
The presumption here being that over the past eight years, the political powerhouses in Washington were insufficiently solicitous of business interests, so now we need to change things up by—at last!—paying attention to what executives want? That seems like a strange idea to me. But the Journal has on-the-record quotes from Bayh calling for “change” and “results” whereas the thing about business interests is just the reporter’s characterization. So perhaps Bendavid and Hitt have this wrong, and Bayh doesn’t actually think that the change we need is greater protection for business. Meanwhile, Bayh tells Politico that progressives have nothing to worry about:
“We literally have no agenda,” Bayh shot back. “How can they be threatened by a group that has taken no policy positions?”
This is a pretty good question.