Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Evan Bayh runs away from Washington problem instead of being the solution

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Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) — one of the symbols of partisanship and gridlock on the Democratic Party side of the aisle — has announced that he is not running for another term in the Senate because of partisanship and gridlock.

Really.

In the never-ending quest to give away a solid Democratic majority, another senator from the majority party is running away from Washington. This was a race that every expert figured Bayh would win, especially since his opponent was former Rep. and Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), who no longer lives in the Hoosier State.

Bayh, who amazingly was a finalist for vice president under Barack Obama, had reached a crossroads in his party. At 54, Bayh has already been governor of Indiana and is finishing up his second term in the Senate. But he is generally too conservative to be nominated for president or vice president.

When the unofficial nominations went down to three, Bayh stuck out of place compared to then Gov. Tim Kaine (VA) and Sen. Joe Biden (DE). Bayh had the good looks usually needed to do well in politics, and might have formed an impressive yet conservative sidekick to John Edwards, had Edwards won the party’s nomination in 2004.

But Bayh’s insistence on fighting over Democratic Party policy, especially under President Barack Obama, is why action isn’t being taken in Washington. Bayh could have taken one for the party, and helped get Blue Dogs on board for health care reform, which ironically a good policy would increase Democratic Party majorities, allowing for, get ready got this, more action to get done.

Yes, the party is in danger of losing the seat in November, further decreasing the ability to get things done in Washington. Once Bayh is on the outside, likely working as a lobbyist, hopefully he will get the irony of his decision. In the meantime, good luck in getting things done.

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Written by democracysoup

February 15, 2010 at 11:07 am

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