Indiana Senator (D) Evan Bayh Bails: Cites Tenor and Tone
Another one of the seeming good guys in congress has thrown in the towel. Two term Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana has decided not to run for re-election. The general gist of his reasoning for not running for re-election simply revolved around being sick and tired with the way congress operates.
Oh can we relate, Evan.
We have seen waves of these kinds of departures before. Bob Michaels, Alan Simpson, Sam Nunn, Danial Patrick Moynihan, Paul Simon, among others were good, hardworking, conciliatory politicians who simply had had enough with the partisan back biting and bickering. Alan Simpson had a great line about his decision when this rugged, 6' 7" man from Wyoming opted not to run for re-election. To paraphrase he said that to seek compromise in Washington had come to being described as "wimpish," when, to him, it meant seeking to get something done and to govern. He was not enamored of staying in a community where he was not respected.
George Bush Sr. reportedly lost his stomach for governance after Senator George Mitchell reneged on a verbal agreement around budget negotiations that had Bush going first to raise taxes with Mitchell then having to come across with three times the dollar amount in spending cuts. Bush went first with his infamous "Read my lips" line getting hung around his neck; no spending cuts followed; and Bush was reported to have muttered to some close aides in the aftermath of that budget set-up something along the lines of "If you cannot take people at their word in this business, then what is the point?"
And Evan Bayh expresses similar sentiments in his decision to call it a quits. In aHuffington Post column come the following quotes from Senator Bayh, who, by all accounts would win re-election handily.
So Evan Bayh sees the need for fiscal restructuring, deficit reductions, and job stimulus absent political gotcha insertions and is also sickened by short term political expediency having people seemingly vote in ways they apparently have professed to him are not they way they think the country ought to go. And he can't stand it.
Good for him.
This is not a dolt like Patches Kennedy opting out to avoid public humiliation, nor is it a long-term Senator such as Chris Dodd whose years of decisions has finally amassed enough animosity to broom him out, either. This is a sound, accomplished and measured human being who has simply had enough. He seems to see the need for action at a time when others remain consumed with scoring political "gotcha" points at the expense of the common good.
We need more, not fewer, Evan Bayhs down there regardless of whether they come at the issues from the right side or the left side of the political spectrum. His decision to throw in the towel does not auger well for us as a nation.