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Good Riddance To Bad Baucus

April 23, 2013

It's never too early to dance on his political graveFantastic news, everybody! Sen. Max Baucus (D – Lobbyists’ Pocket) will not be running for reelection. Pretty soon he’ll just be a bad memory.  But don’t go thinking Baucus will be easing up on his exasperating ways now that he’s a lame-duck senator. No sirree!

Why, in just this past week, knowing that he wouldn’t be running again, he voted with Republicans to block the passage of expanded background checks for guns — a policy supported by more than 90% of Americans. He even had the nerve, when asked about this vote, to give a simple one-word justification: “Montana.” And if you’re buying the idea that his vote was actually intended to represent the will of his constituents, rather than his future employers in the lobbying industry, I’ve got a lovely bridge I’d like to sell you.

This past week also saw Max Baucus worrying out loud about the “huge train wreck” coming with the implementation of Obamacare — which is rich, considering the enormous part he had in designing that potential train wreck. As Chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, Baucus nearly single-handedly put an end to talk of a single-payer plan, setting himself up as a leading architect of the sub-optimal program which did emerge.

He voted for the Bush Tax Cuts in 2001; then after securing re-election, and against the will of Democratic leadership, supported a Medicare prescription drug benefit that routed tax payer money through private insurers. He spent months and months behind closed doors with GOP lawmakers in 2009 in a futile search for bipartisan support for what became the Affordable Care Act. That quixotic effort dragged on well past the point at which party leaders believed it might pay off, and it delayed legislative action for so long that the bill nearly died when Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s seat to Scott Brown in early 2010. (TPM)

And now that it hasn’t suddenly become more popular, he’s worried? Okay, Max.

No matter, though. Today is a happy day! We can look forward to having Sen. Ron Wyden (D – OR) as the new chair of Finance, and chances look good that we may see former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer as his replacement.  While Schweitzer is pro-gun, he isn’t anti-background checks, and though he is a proponent of coal, I guess one can only expect so much progressivism out of Montana. (He does support marriage equality.) All-in-all, things are looking up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 23, 2013 11:12 am

    I expect Baucus just wants to continue his work as a lobbyist, only without having to file those pesky disclosure forms with the FEC.

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