For the second day in a row, the CBS Evening News committed a disservice to their viewers in covering competitive U.S. Senate races by censoring massive pasts of Democratic challengers with Wednesday featuring the newscast omitting any mention of former Senator-turned-candidate Evan Bayh having a lucrative lobbying career since he left the Senate in 2011.
He voted for the bill before he was (sort of) against it.
Today much of the mainstream media jumped for joy when announcing that the Democrat Senate nominee in Indiana, Baron Hill, would step aside in favor of former Senator Evan Bayh to once again run for his old seat. Missing in all the happiness was any mention that Bayh, whose Senate career was rather undistinguished except for being the crucial 60th vote that made Obamacare possible, subsequently voiced extreme dissatisfaction with that same bill. Perhaps Bayh and the MSM hope that Bayh's radically shifting attitude would be sent down the memory hole but let us review some of the former senator's comments on this topic once he thought he no longer had to face the voters. Perhaps the most bizarre of the reasons he gave for his Obamacare vote which he later came close to recanting was so as not to see smug Republican faces as related in the New York Times:
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.
Retired U.S. Senator Evan Bayh has landed a gig as a Fox News Channel contributor, the Huffington Post reported Monday afternoon. The Indiana Democrat also served as governor from 1989 to 1997.
Bayh's new digs will likely elicit long lists of his departures from liberal orthodoxy from the left's ubiquitous Fox-haters. But another Democrat - and one who agreed with the American Conservative Union only 23 percent of the time - in the channel's lineup certainly won't help in ongoing efforts at, for instance, the New York Times to tar Fox as uniquely partisan.
Kicking off the panel discussion segment of last night's "Special Report," Fox News anchor Bret Baier aired a clip of Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.) warning about the need to reform entitlement spending in order to preserve America's long-term financial solvency.
Baier then contrasted the frankness of the admission from the "two moderate Democrats" with the scary campaign rhetoric weeks earlier from liberal Democrats about Republicans and their ideas -- real or imagined -- to rein in entitlement spending.
"[D]espite their professed desire for compromise, voters hardly have rewarded President Obama for attempting to achieve it."
That's Yahoo! News writer Jane Sasseen's lament in her October 18 article, "Compromise on Capitol Hill: Is it really what Americans want?"
Sasseen answered in the negative, saying that although polling data shows, as it often does, that Americans want bipartisan cooperation, the electorate is moving in a quite different direction as evidenced by the way the November midterms appear to be headed:
On the Wednesday edition of her self-titled MSNBC show, Andrea Mitchell actually hit a Democratic Senator from the left on tax cuts. Democratic Indiana Senator Evan Bayh appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports to offer his support to extending the Bush tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy but a skeptical Mitchell pressed: "Senator, given the deficit and the wealth of the upper class, and the fact that they sit on their money and put it into savings, why give them this tax break?" Bayh went on to tell the NBC correspondent that raising taxes "will lower consumer demand at a time we want people putting more money into the economy" and pointed out "the people you're referring to, in those upper brackets, are the ones that make decision about hiring and making investments."
The undeterred Mitchell responded with the Obama administration line that "you should extend the tax cuts for the middle class but not for people making more than $250,000 a year." Bayh, delivering a basic economics lesson, reminded Mitchell that while "middle class taxpayers are using the extra money to pay down debt, credit card bills, mortgages, things like that...It's the people in the upper brackets who continue to spend at a higher rate, propping up consumer demand" and insisted "If we want people to hire more individuals, if we want them to make business investments, raising burdens on them probably doesn't improve their optimism, confidence and discourages rather than encourages them to do those kinds of things." However, Bayh did relent when he offered to Mitchell that eventually the tax rates "are probably going to have to go up but it ought to be as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction package."
The following exchange was aired on the August 4 edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports:
Setting up Sunday’s Face the Nation, CBS's Bob Schieffer described guest Evan Bayh simply as “the Indiana Democrat” while tagging Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is every bit, if not more, off the conservative reservation as Bayh is off the liberal one, as a “conservative Republican.” Schieffer:
Today on Face the Nation: Is Washington broken? We'll talk to Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democrat. He's become so disillusioned with the Senate he's leaving, but he's still trying to find a way to ease the partisan rancor by teaming with conservative Republican Lindsey Graham who’s also here to talk about that...
George Will said Sunday that people only talk about the government being broken when the Left is having trouble enacting its agenda.
During the Roundtable segment on ABC's "This Week," "Nightline" host Terry Moran brought up the recent announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) that he would not seek reelection in November because "Congress is not operating as it should."
When the baton was tossed to him, Will said, "[W]ith metronomic regularity, we go through these moments in Washington where we complain about the government being broken. These moments have one thing in common: The Left is having trouble enacting its agenda."
Will followed by noting, "No one when George W. Bush had trouble reforming Social Security said, 'Oh, that's terrible - the government's broken'" (video embedded below the fold with transcript and commentary):
If there was an award for the journalist least skeptical of the official reason Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) has given for his decision to retire rather than seek reelection in November, I'd nominate Jonathan Alter for it.
A crusty veteran of political reporting, Alter most certainly can't be this gullible:
In reality, A January 25 Rasmussen poll showed Bayh losing to Republican Congressman Mike Pence, 44% to 47%. While Pence has since decided against running, the poll also showed former Republican Congressman John Stutzman, who has formerly announced his candidacy, getting close at 41% to Bayh's 44%. Numbers like that certainly do not suggest Bayh's reelection was anywhere close to being "a lock."
Both Rodriguez and Stephanopoulos made those comments in interviews with Bayh on their respective shows. Only a brief sound bite of the Senator was featured on NBC's Today on Tuesday.
On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos almost pleaded with Bayh not to retire, claiming that if "centrists" like him leave, "doesn't that make the problem [of partisanship] worse? Why not stay and fix it?" While Rodriguez did not label Bayh as centrist, she did fret over his decision to retire: "What do you say to critics who say you did leave the Democrats high and dry at a time when they can't afford to be losing anymore seats?"
Since the announcement of his resignation from the Senate the common label (from CNN to MSNBC) of Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh seems to be that of a "centrist." On Monday's Hardball both Chris Matthews and his guest panelist NBC News' Chuck Todd called Bayh a "centrist," which is an inaccurate label for someone who, as NB's Matthew Balan pointed out, has a lifetime ACU rating of 20 and ADA of 70.
During the 5pm Olympics-shortened edition of Hardball, Matthews and Todd spinned that Bayh is leaving the Senate because "there's no room for centrists." [audio available here]
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let's talk turkey here. Let's go to Chuck Todd on the big picture here. Just a year or so ago, Arlen Specter of my state quit the Republican Party saying, there's no room in it for centrist politicians like himself. Is this a sign that there's no room in the Democratic Party for centrist politicians like Evan Bayh? He seemed to be saying that today.