On Thursday's CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose spotlighted the apparent "the disappearance of political moderates" in Congress in the context of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's retirement. Correspondent Nancy Cordes gushingly asked Snowe, "Was it just getting too lonely to be a moderate Republican in the Senate?" CBS also listed several "moderate" senators who are actually liberals.

After Cordes gave her report on the Maine senator's retirement, Rose turned to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and introduced her as "one of the few moderates left on Capitol Hill." In reality, McCaskill is a solid liberal, given her low rating by the American Conservative Union and her high rating from the left-leaning Americans For Democratic Action.



NBC's Andrea Mitchell took up the cause of the White House in admonishing Big Labor for wasting their money on trying to defeat Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln in the primary there, as she echoed their concern, on Thursday's Andrea Mitchell Reports, that organized labor essentially aided Republican John Boozman's chances to win in the general election. Mitchell invited on AFSCME President Gerry McEntee to, in essence, reprimand Big Labor's decision to support Lincoln's opponent Bill Halter, when their money could have been better spent on electing Democrats elsewhere, as she scolded: "Why invest so heavily and embarrass the White House here?" [audio available here]

The following is a complete transcript of the exchange as it was aired on the June 10 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:



The more Chris Matthews is on live television within a 24-hour period, the likelihood of him saying something completely strange increases dramatically as each moment passes.

On MSNBC's June 8 special coverage of electoral primaries around the country, Matthews, the host of MSNBC's "Hardball," expressed his views on the Arkansas Democratic primary runoff, which incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln narrowly defeated Bill Halter. (h/t @francesmartel)

"The fact that this might be a close race tonight tells you that neither of the candidates has a mandate coming out of this," Matthews said. "The idea of a runoff is to get a mandate."



As the conservatives in the Tea Party movement gained strength, the liberal media often predicted they would cause harm to the Republican Party and drive out all the moderates. Wouldn't the conservatives look too extreme to win over voters? (See Rich Noyes for more.)

Now that the MoveOn.org leftists are poised to remove an incumbent Senator or two, they might spread the idea that there is also a strong ideological base in the Democratic party -- on the left. But the media rarely mourn that they're driving all out the moderate Democrats in their quest for ideological perfection, and they rarely even whisper that the leftist base will make the Democrats look too extreme to the electorate. Notice the tone of Chuck Todd's piece for Monday's Today, and let's throw in that the graphic on screen only said the trend was "anti-Washington anger." The words "liberal" or "on the left" are not spoken:



2008-12-02-CNN-CB-Milbank.jpg

To say that there's good reason not to be impressed with a quite a few U.S. Senators is to state the obvious.

But I really hope that Dana Milbank either hasn't read or really doesn't remember A Streetcar Named Desire. Because in his coverage of the Senate vote last night to go forward to debate on its health care bill, the alleged journalist stooped well below the level of most of the blogosphere by in essence calling the United States Senate the House of 100 Prostitutes -- and worse.

Yes he did -- in a column the Post put on the top of the front page.

After observing the opportunistic, advantage-taking machinations of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas in return for the final two "yes" votes needed for passage, Milbank wrote the following:



Remember earlier this year when the new era of hope and change was ushered into Washington, D.C. and President Barack Obama made the statement on day one his policies would "represent a clean break from business as usual"?

Not so fast says Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post and Fox News regular. Krauthammer on the Nov. 20 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report with Bret Baier" explained that a certain provision put into to the Senate version of health care legislation to favor undecided Democratic senators, specifically Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., represents a different brand of politics from what Obama advertised (emphasis added).

"You asked what [Sen.] Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will ask for," Krauthammer said. "Well, after watching Louisiana get $100 million in what have some have called 'The Louisiana Purchase,' she ought to ask for $500 million at least. And that's because Obama said he would end business as usual in Washington. If you look at the sections, it is 2006 in which the Louisiana money, it looks as if it is provision for all states which have had a proclamation of a disaster area in the last seven years, and then the fine print inside eliminates all the others except Louisiana. So it's a new kind of business as usual. I think that Steve [Hayes] is right. There is almost no way imaginable that the vote will fail tomorrow. If it is, it is the ultimate humiliation. It's the rejection of the debate even before it starts."



Your tax dollars at work . . .

Forwarding a press release from a GOP Senate candidate to his Dem opponent, an NPR News Director called the Republican a "nimrod." Roll Call's "Heard on the Hill" column has the [subscription-required] story, which it describes as "another tale of e-mail forwarding gone wrong" [emphasis added]:
Army Col. Conrad Reynolds is one of several Republicans vying to take on Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) for Arkansas’ Senate seat in 2010. Reynolds’ campaign issued a press release last week blasting Lincoln for a vote, and among those who received it was Greg Chance, the news director of an NPR affiliate based at Arkansas State University.

It seems Chance attempted to forward the e-mail to Katie Laning Niebaum, Lincoln’s Washington-based communications director. In his forward, which HOH obtained, Chance mocked the press release and even the campaign’s logo, which features the Army colonel insignia.

“There was another one from this nimrod earlier today which I lost. I just love his logo. That ought to go over really well with the enlisted people. (ha ha),” he writes.



On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann delivered a "Special Comment" lambasting members of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of centrist House Democrats because most of the group's members have pressured more liberal congressional Democrats compromise in their push for public health insurance. After reciting campaign contributions received by some Blue Dog members from the health care industry, he suggested that these Democrats should just be called "dogs." Olbermann: "I could call them all out by name, but I think you get the point. We do not need to call the Democrats holding this up Blue Dogs. That one word 'dogs' is perfectly sufficient."

The MSNBC host also shamelessly tried to use Senator Ted Kennedy's illness to suggeset that Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln, a centrist Democrat from Arkansas, should feel guilty about her role in forcing more liberal Democrats to compromise. Olbermann: "Senator Lincoln, by the way, considering how you're obstructing health care reform, how do you feel every time you actually see Senator Kennedy?"