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Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh: The Face of Rotted Washington

Glenn Greenwald

 by Salon

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh -- who was one of the most vocal cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, talks excitedly about punishing, and even bombing, Iran, and is now demanding full-scale escalation in Afghanistan -- was on Fox News yesterday and highlighted what a fraud most so-called "fiscal conservatives" and "deficit hawks" like him really are:

WALLACE:
Senator Bayh, you brought up the question of cost, and the
administration has put the cost -- and this is kind of astonishing to,
I think, a lot of people -- $1 million per soldier per year, so if you
sent 30,000 soldiers, that would be a $30 billion price tag.

Now,
some top Democrats are talking about the idea -- the new idea of a war
tax to pay for the escalation in Afghanistan. Good idea?

BAYH: No, I don't think it's a good idea, not at this point, Chris. First of all, you need to provide for the nation's security regardless of your financial situation, and there's no bigger deficit hawk in Congress than I am.

I
think we need to start coming to grips with this. We're going to have a
big vote coming up on the debt ceiling. I don't think we should vote to
raise the debt ceiling until we have a strategy in place to get our
deficits down.

So we've got to take the fiscal situation seriously, but, number one, national security comes first.

Number two, we've got to look at cutting spending in other parts of the budget before we even talk about raising taxes.

It's
impossible to find a more perfectly representative face for the rotted
Washington establishment than Evan Bayh.  He is the pure expression of
virtually every attribute that makes the Beltway so dysfunctional,
deceitful and corrupt.

Bayh
wants to send other people into every proposed war he can find and keep
them there forever ever without ever bearing any of the costs himself
-- not in military service for him or his family nor even in higher
taxes to pay for his glorious wars.  Sacrifice is for everyone other
than Evan Bayh and his friends.  He runs around praising himself as a
"deficit hawk" while recklessly supporting wars and indefinite
occupations that the country can't afford and which drive us further
into debt.  He feigns concern over the "deficit" only when it comes
time to deny ordinary Americans benefits which he and his family
already possess in abundance.  He is a loyal servant to the insurance
and health care industries over his own constituents -- as his wife sits on the Boards of numerous health care giants, who, right when Bayh became a Senator, began paying her millions of dollars in cash and stock.  And this Sermonizer of Personal Responsibility
is the ultimate by-product of nepotism, following faithfully and
effortlessly in the footsteps of his Daddy-Senator, whose seat he now
occupies.  The fact that he's a Democrat -- and was Obama's close-second choice for Vice President -- just underscores how bipartisan these afflictions are.

When
the sad and destructive history of the U.S. over the last decade is
written, the coddled, nepotistic, self-serving face of Evan Bayh should
be prominently included.  It embodies virtually every cause.

 


Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, constitutional lawyer, commentator, author of three New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, and a former staff writer and editor at First Look media. His fifth and latest book is, "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State," about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Glenn’s column was featured at Guardian US and Salon.  His previous books include: "With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful," "Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics," and "A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency." He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, a George Polk Award, and was on The Guardian team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public interest journalism in 2014.

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