Like a Steele trap

LIKE A STEELE TRAP…. Sometimes, he just makes it so easy.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele appeared to be relishing Sen. Evan Bayh’s (D-Ind.) decision not to seek re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

In a statement, Steele put Bayh’s announcement in the context of other recent Democratic retirements, saying that it was a sign Democrats were “running for the hills because they sold out their constituents and don’t want to face them at the ballot box.”

Is that so. Here are a handful of relevant details for the RNC to consider:

In the House, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

In the Senate, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

Among governors, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

I can appreciate party hacks spinning as best they can, but c’mon. Does Michael Steele not have a staff to check his statements before they go out? Did it not occur to anyone at the RNC to think, “You know, if we use retirements as a baseline, and our retirements outnumber theirs, we may look foolish”?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.