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Republican Lobbyist Dan Coats To Challenge Evan Bayh's Senate Seat

Dan Coats on The Young Turks from the 2008 Republican National Convention I'm not sure if it's possible to get a more Republican candidate for Indi

Dan Coats on The Young Turks from the 2008 Republican National Convention

I'm not sure if it's possible to get a more Republican candidate for Indiana than Evan Bayh, but the GOP isn't going to go down without trying. Former Senator Dan Coats has announced this morning that he will challenge Bayh for the Senate seat in the 2010 Election.

But for all of his high profile--and Dan Coats certainly does have that within the Republican Party--I'm not sure the GOP is really learning the lessons of the tea baggers distrusting the incumbents and politicians when opting to promote Coats for the Senate seat.

To wit, Coats is a member of the C-Street Family, responsible for the failed ushering of Harriet Miers through the Supreme Court confirmation process. I think his quote on Miers, who failed to capture even Republican support shows his contempt for Americans:

She certainly has the capability to be an excellent Supreme Court justice. If great intellectual powerhouse is a qualification to be a member of the court and represent the American people and the wishes of the American people and to interpret the Constitution, then I think we have a court so skewed on the intellectual side that we may not be getting representation of America as a whole.

That's right. The slow end of the bell curve deserves representation on the highest court of the land. Along the same line, Coats was also one of the top GOPers petitioning McCain to inflict Sarah Palin on the rest of us as his VP candidate

MnIndy: One more question, and I want to circle back around to your book The Family. A man who figures fairly prominently in your book, Dan Coats, has a Palin tie in this campaign. Tell us a little about who he is and what the connection is.

Sharlet: Dan Coats, to me, is what gives us the real truth about Sarah Palin. She can play this populist card, but she is after all a status quo candidate, and Dan Coats is the clue. Former Senator Dan Coats of Indiana is not the brightest bulb on the porch. He considered Dan Quayle his mentor. George Bush wanted him for secretary of defense until [Dick] Cheney vetoed him as too conservative–too obsessed with purging the military of all gays and lesbians.

Coats is nonetheless a canny politician, if not a great thinker, and has become one of the top advisers to the McCain campaign. The word is that it was Coats who was pushing very hard for Palin and was her champion...

He was also one of the louder voices screaming "wag the dog" at Bill Clinton's air stikes against Bin Laden in 1998:

(I)n 1998, Coates questioned Bill Clinton’s motives in ordering air strikes targeting Osama Bin Laden and associates, in the wake of the bombing of U.S. embassies in east Africa.

Coates hinted it was a wag-the-dog effort to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

“The president has been consumed with matters regarding his personal life. It raises questions about whether or not he had the time to devote to this issue, or give the kind of judgment that needed to be given to this issue to call for military action.”

Ironically, Coats retired in 1998, making way for Bayh, because he hated the constant fundraising necessary as a Senator. Coats then spent two years as Ambassador to Germany under GWB and has since worked--quite lucratively, I might add--as a lobbyist. Fundraising is a problem, lobbying, A-OK?

A list of Coats' clients, and clients of his firm, show he is up to his eyeballs in conflicts with many issues facing the Senate, as Ambinder points out:

He was a member of "The Family," a close-knit group of rigorously evangelical Christians who run, among things, the now well-known C Street rooming house in Washington, D.C. He also lobbied on behalf of Roache Diagnostics during the health battle reform battle.

He currently is a "senior policy adviser" for the firm of King and Spalding. He has also been a registered lobbyist for Bank of America, Lockheed Martin and the Decision Sciences Corporation.

Great, those are the kind of corporate interests that just aren't getting a fair shake in the Senate of late (/snark). Coats is also a carpetbagger, having been registered to vote in a DC suburb in Virginia for at least the last decade. Coats has assured Indianans that he plans to move back to Indiana.

Kind of hard to distinguish Coats as a non-Washington type ready to shake up the status quo when everything about his screams status quo, innit?

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