Rumors are buzzing around town that Barack Obama may choose Evan Bayh as a running mate in the 2008 presidential elections. Only a resident of Bayh’s state of Indiana would have the conservative cluelessness to call Evan Bayh a “far-left liberal Senator”. On substantive policy matters, Evan Bayh has failed to support legislation to shut down Guantanamo, sat on his hands and let legislation to counter the use of child soldiers wither on the vine, passively permitted government databases to balloon out of control without government oversight, blocked stem cell research, refused to support contraceptive distribution, sat on his hands (yet again) and passively (yet again) obstructed greenhouse gas regulation, refused to support the repeal of the Military Commissions Act, continued to support civilian-blasting cluster bombs and resisted action against loan sharks. When it comes to substantive policy, Evan Bayh is no liberal. He is a block of wood.
But there is a more fundamental basis for us to fear the choice of Evan Bayh as Vice President — the Senator has emerged in active opposition to the fundamental basis for the organization of our political system, the U.S. Constitution. Last year, Evan Bayh voted for the Protect America Act, a bill which temporarily permitted the U.S. government to spy on its citizens and search their communications without the judicial warrant that the Fourth Amendment so clearly requires. This year, Evan Bayh cheerily voted for the FISA Amendments Act, its four-year extension.
By supporting the FISA Amendments Act, Barack Obama’s turned from someone who supported the Constitution in speeches into someone who undermined the Constitution in his actions. The selection of Evan Bayh by Barack Obama as his running mate would reiterate Barack Obama’s turn to the autocratic side of politics. That would be a deeply disturbing signal to me, and I hope it does not come to pass.