Show More


Indianapolis Star Criticism of Sen. Evan Bayh's Supreme Court Vote is "Nonsense," Prof. Ken Bode Writes

September 30, 2005

ken bode crop.jpgSeptember 30, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "The Star editorial board seems to have been waiting in the weeds to nail Sen. Evan Bayh," begins Ken Bode's weekly op-ed in the Indianapolis newspaper. "When the senator announced his intention to vote against confirmation of Judge John Roberts as chief justice, Monday's lead editorial condemned it as 'pure political posturing... erasing any doubt that he's running for president in 2008.' The editorial spared no rhetorical ammunition, saying Bayh's vote was calculated to avoid attacks by left-wing Democrats and 'hyperventilating political action committees' in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. His lame alibi for such perfidy, said the Star, was 'a vague answer about Roberts' supposed vagueness before the Judiciary Committee.'"

Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw University, argues that "Roberts was vague before the Judiciary Committee, purposely so... Bayh's position was not vague, and it echoes that taken by many other senators: A lifetime appointment as chief justice is evan-bayh.jpgtoo important to be trusted to an enigma. Roberts asked to be taken on faith. Bayh said that is too much to ask."

The former senior political analyst at CNN says the Star's editorial, which opined, "Bayh went to Washington talking about Hoosier values. He clearly lost them along the way," is the definition of "hyperventilating" and "Nonsense!" Dr. Bode writes, "Bayh is one of the most moderate Democrats in the Senate. He regularly irritates liberal special interest groups, voting against partial-birth abortion and importation of price-controlled foreign drugs. He supports the administration's war on terrorism though he did tell Donald Rumsfeld that he should resign because of Abu Ghraib."

The professor concludes, "How do you measure Hoosier values? One way might be to note that Bayh has never come close to losing an election in Indiana. That's why national Democrats are interested in Bayh... [He] embodies exactly the Hoosier values the Star thinks he's lost. And those values may prove strong medicine if he does run for president in 2008. Bayh once said, 'I do think that whatever is right for the Democratic Party and right for the American people will be found in the center, both geographically and ideologically.' That's an idea that deserves a test."

Read the complete column at College News.org.

Ken Bode's other recent op-eds can be accessed here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,here, and here.

Source: Indianapolis Star

Back