A lot of liberals don’t love Max Baucus. And, in fact, I don’t love Max Baucus. But I think liberals who are concerned about Baucus’ appointment to the “super committee” are barking up the wrong tree. After all, as Brian Beutler notes, Baucus served on the Simpson-Bowles Committee and ultimately voted against its recommendations on the grounds that they weren’t left-wing enough. Super committee Republicans, meanwhile, would regard Simpson-Bowles as outrageously socialistic. That means Baucus should be a reliable progressive vote for deadlock, as should Patty Murray (who’s chairing the DSCC) and John Kerry.
In general, people should remember that while an important cleavage exists between moderate and liberal Democrats about the desirability of cutting Social Security spending, there’s really very little disagreement about the core issue facing the super committee, which is whether Democrats should agree to far-reaching domestic cuts without any offsetting tax hikes. Baucus is firmly within the party mainstream in demanding balance.