What a surprise this afternoon–that Evan Bayh won’t seek re-election to the Senate. His speech, which I watched on the CNN site, was highly critical of the way Congress works, and it’s clear that he has had enough. He’s more of a CEO than a back-room, arm-twisting politician. He likes to get things done. And he apparently felt he was wasting his time in the Senate, even though he was part of the majority. It’s nice to see a few politicians with principle.
Bayh was one of the dwindling group of moderates in the Senate. Both parties seem to be exorcising their moderates in favor or extremists. Polarization seems to be the name of the game. As moderates flee or get kicked out, government will become increasingly dysfunctional.
I voted for Bayh when he was governor of Indiana, and, I’m pretty sure, in each of his Senate campaigns. Before that, I voted for Dan Coats, a Republican, whose place Bayh took when Coats decided not to run again. Coats is a good man. I would have been torn, but would probably have voted for Coats. Now I won’t need to make that decision.
With Bayh out of the picture, I greatly doubt that the Democrats can find somebody of caliber to beat Dan Coats. So that’ll be another Senate pick-up for the Republicans. With Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh, Indiana has had two excellent senators,
both of them common-sense moderates who prefer to be bi-partisan. I
hope Dan Coats will continue that legacy.