Do you hear that? It is the sound of progressives across America giving each other high fives as Senator Max Baucus has, according to the Washington Post, decided not to run for re-election in 2014 and will retire.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans.
First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful committee since 2001. The likely Democratic candidate to succeed him would be former governor Brian Schweitzer, sources said
Brian Schweitzer served as governor of Montana and would likely clear the field should he chose to run to take Baucus’ seat. While Schweitzer may be more of a moderate Western Democrat there is no way he could be as destructive as Max Baucus to the progressive agenda.
At times infuriating his Democratic colleagues, Baucus worked with Republicans to co-write the Bush-era tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug plan, but he also served as the lead defender against George W. Bush’s 2005 effort to partially privatize Social Security and played a critical role in writing President Obama’s national health-care plan.
A critical role is one way to put it. Another would be to say he let insurance lobbyists write the bill and went out of his way to try to kill the public option. And that’s without mentioning his other shenanigans.
I will merely say it’s been real and it’s been fun, but it hasn’t been real fun Senator Baucus. Others seem to be more detailed in their farewells.
PCCC co-founder Stephanie Taylor offered Baucus a stinging farewell on Tuesday.
“Good bye, Senator K Street. Max Baucus has a history of voting with corporate interests and not the interests of Montana voters — taking millions from Wall Street, insurance companies, and lobbyists,” she said in a statement. “Montana will finally have a chance to have a senator with its best interests at heart, and we hope [former Democratic Gov.] Brian Schweitzer jumps into the race immediately.”
Of course this does free Baucus up to really go after social insurance programs without fear of the voters.