Amber Alert for Evan Bayh
Has anyone seen Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)? He has gone missing on the health care debate.
The almost VP-nominee has flown so far under the radar that a Google News search for “Evan Bayh health care” for the past month turns up very little as to the substance of Bayh’s views on Harry Reid’s maneuvering, the issues of a public option and Medicare buy-in which have dominated the news, and whether Bayh supports the bill.
Bayh has been seen and heard on the issue of the budget. But other than voting with Republicans on an abortion amendment, it’s hard to know what Bayh’s stance is on whether he will vote to enact the disastrous Reid bill.
It’s time for Bayh to be heard on the health care bill. If not, we’ll have to organize a search party.
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On the whole, I'd say it was a good sign for opponents of Obamacare that Bayh has been laying low. So have Jim Webb and a number of others. The widely perceived notion that Reid is at 59 or 58 or 57 votes for this or that formulation of a bill may be wrong. Lieberman and Nelson and to a lesser extent, Lincoln have been more free and public with their critiques but several other Dems appear to be hanging back and allowing others to make their cases for them.
My own sense os that Reid can count solidly on 53 or 54 votes (counting Landrieu as pro, since she has now said she'll vote yes on something, and assuming the left and Burris hold), and every other vote from 54 to 60 is a hard and as yet unpredictable push. Creating the aura of momentum, if not inevitability, accounts for a lot of what Reid has done ever since the Baucus committee reported out.
In Indiana there are ads on one of the South Bend television stations from factsaboutreform.org (which redirects to http://www.stablequalitycare.org). This seems to be the site of all the big special interests that the Obama Administration has lined up to back the Democratic proposals in congress. The ads thank Bayh for his support for backing reform that will not raise taxes. There is an video on the site that is quite similar to the ad thanking Bayh. So maybe he has taken a position.