Townhall: Bayh’s Good-Bye: Here’s the Real Reason
Because of school and work commitments which have left me with little time for America’s Right–at least not as much as I’d like to devote, that is–I haven’t been able to address the announcement by Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh this week that he would not be seeking reelection in November.
Larry Elder’s interesting, but in my opinion not completely correct, piece at Townhall.com has given me an excuse to chime in. Here’s a sample of Elder’s reasoning:
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., “shocked” President Barack Obama and his party by announcing his plan to retire from the Senate. Appearing on CBS’ “The Early Show,” Bayh explained: Washington suffers from acute partisanship. Washington doesn’t work. It is broken.
How noble — a principled position against “divisiveness.” Let us honor a good man standing tall against the lack of “bipartisanship.” Pass the barf bag.
When has Washington, D.C., not been “divisive” under a president pushing unpopular ideas — whether the war in Iraq, the Senate “amnesty” bill, partial privatization of Social Security or Bill Clinton’s attempt to allow gays to serve openly in the military?
Could it be that the “fed-up” senator feared losing re-election? Don’t ask. CBS didn’t. The possibility that Bayh faced a tough re-election wasn’t even hinted at. But imagine Bayh, who explored a 2008 presidential bid, running for re-election while justifying to skeptical Hoosiers his votes for “stimulus,” TARP, the auto bailouts and ObamaCare.
Of course, Bayh’s dwindling chances of reelection contributed to his decision, and Elder supports his assertion that they played a primary role very well. The thing that bugs me, though, is that Evan Bayh left Democrats in a bad situation, with only a matter of hours left for the party to find a suitable replacement. Evan Bayh didn’t just leave to avoid humiliation in November — Evan Bayh left because he was pissed.
The Democratic Party is crumbling, folks. And while people like you and like me might flex our schadenfreudian muscles and enjoy watching its collapse under the control of the far left, for people like Evan Bayh who desperately want to present themselves as leaning more toward the center–even though he voted with the Obama agenda nearly 100 percent of the time–the far left tack of the party has become a maddening political inconvenience.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have already made it abundantly clear that they’re willing to sacrifice a few seats in the House and Senate in order to perpetuate their agenda — why should we be surprised when the folks currently inhabiting the ready-to-be-excised seats hit back?
So yes, the prospect of dramatically losing his seat in November weighed in on Evan Bayh’s decision to retire. But we cannot forget the fractured state of the Democratic Party. The media would like us to overlook it — it’s in the left’s best interests that America look upon the Republican Party as the fractured one, with tea party factions and John McCain factions and Scott Brown factions and Michael Steele playing it all down the middle, but the practical ideological distance between Republican groups is a sidewalk crack compared with the chasm separating interests across the aisle.