February 15, 2010

Bayh's questionable examples in his retirement speech

Senator Evan Bayh is retiring and not seeking re-election.  Ostensibly it is because he thinks the Senate is not working effectively.  In response the obvious question is "if they can't be effective with an up until recently filibuster proof majority, then maybe it's not the system, maybe it's the majority."

But of course the reasons he's giving might not actually be the reason he's retiring.  What exactly did he say as his reasons?

In his announcement Senator Bayh had this to say;
For some time, I've had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress, too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done. Examples of this are legion but two recent ones will suffice.

Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed. But seven members who endorsed the idea, actually co-sponsored the legislation, instead voted no for short-term political reasons.

Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create new jobs -- our nation's top priority today -- fell apart amidst complaints from both the left and the right.

In his first example Bayh is referring to S.2853 - Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2009:
A bill to establish a Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action, to assure the long-term fiscal stability and economic security of the Federal Government of the United States, and to expand future prosperity growth for all Americans.

Except that bill, co-sponsored by Senator Kent Conrad and 34 other Senators, was voted against by 8 Senators who had originally co-sponsored it, not 7. It's interesting to note that those who changed their mind, itself a perfectly reasonable option, include the following;

-Sen. Bennett (R) Utah
-Sen. Brownback (R) Kansas
-Sen. Crapo (R) Idaho
-Sen. Ensign (R) Nevada
-Sen. Hutchison (R) Texas
-Sen. Inhofe (R) Oklahoma
-Sen. McCain (R) Arizona (yes, that McCain)


-Sen. Udall (D) Colorado

Is the count of seven Republicans and the exclusion of Udall an error of omission or error of convenience? If it's the latter, Bayh is being dishonest.

Example two is the jobs legislation that went down amidst complaints from the left and the right. Is he referring to the bill that Harry Reid decided to axe? You know which one I mean, this one;
The jobs bill is dead, for now, and it really did not have much about jobs. Among other things, it included renewal of the Patriot Act and agricultural assistance for Arkansas. Majority leader Senator Harry Reid cited fear that cable news would tear the Democrats apart as one reason for pulling the plug on the jobs bill.

While the death of the bloated, tax-laden, pork-filled bill appears to be a good sign, the Senate is still working on a slimmed down version that could be worse. After all, they now have more time to mess it up. Besides, the Senate bill must go through the House of Representatives, where all the pork and taxes can be put back in, along with any other pet projects that our Representatives want to push.

They are not promoting jobs nearly as much as pork and taxes. The politicians in Washington, D.C., are working for their own benefit, not for the citizens who voted them into office.
If the reason's he's giving seem a little bit partisan and symptomatic of the problem he assails, then isn't he being a little D-I-S-I-N-G-E-N-U-O-S?

And if that's the case, isn't he just another scared Democrat?

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