Good riddance. Obviously, it makes it more difficult for the Democrats to hold the seat, but Bayh’s extraordinary unctuousness and vapidity will not be missed.
He claims that the partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill helped pushed him out, but just think about that for a moment. Bayh wants to work with Republicans; they tell him to put his head in whatever orifice he chooses; and his response is not to, God forbid, work with his fellow Democrats, but rather to make it easier for the GOP to take the seat. That certainly is an excellent way to foster bipartisanship in the future. Nice job, Evan.
We know what’s really going on here: Bayh got passed over for the VP slot for the last three Democratic nominees. It finally dawned on him that undermining his party’s values wasn’t going to make him a particularly attractive candidate.
So then he just had to do the dreary job of being a Senator. Boh-ring! It is just so jejeune to actually work hard trying to enact legislation to help people, or make the country safer, or help save the planet, or anything else. If you can’t run for national office, then why bother?
He has been in the Senate for 12 years, and what has he accomplished? What does he stand for? I can think of two things offhand: he worries that the Democrats aren’t fiscally responsible, and he wants to eliminate the estate tax. That kind of hypocritical incoherence pretty much sums him up.
Three years ago, Michelle Cottle wrote an excellent profile of Bayh in The New Republic, which made it abundantly clear that the man really believes in nothing:
At our lunch, I try to press Bayh about his passion problem. Without missing a bite, he downplays the question, insisting, “What people want to know is what you care deeply about.” So I ask him what exactly that is. After making a joke about how not even closefamily is interested in the arcana of position papers, he explains,”I love my country, Michelle. We are a great nation. We can be greater still. But the thought that we may be letting it slip awaybothers the heck out of me. And the notion that we can leave our children a better world, I find to be uplifting and exciting.” (On the word “exciting,” his voice drops so low as to be almost inaudible.) “And, if I’m in a position to do something about that, well then, by God, I should. Because I think that’s the mostimportant thing that all of us can do with our lives. What can we doto help our kids, our communities, our country, and those who will one day follow us? For me, it’s about our country and it’s about my children. What can we do to create a better world for both?”
It is, in many respects, an eloquent response: patriotic, paternal,and heartfelt. So much so, in fact, that one could almost fail to notice that Bayh has smoothly, pleasantly, and oh so carefullydeclined to answer the question.