Evan Bayh: Empty Suit to the End

It is truly a sign of American decline that Evan Bayh could ever get elected to anything.

When Empty Suit Evan Bayh announced his retirment from the Senate a few months ago, I called him an empty suit, although of course it would be better had he stayed and kept the seat for the Dems.  Now, the New York Times has seen fit to give him some of the most valuable space in US journalism to lecture us on why the Democrats took heavy losses in the midterms, and we can see that he’s a not-very-bright empty suit.

His piece was a typical collection of inane Bayh-bromides.  But one thing stood out to me.  Among his suggestions for a Democratic program going forward are:

Democrats should support a freeze on federal hiring and pay increases. Government isn’t a privileged class and cannot be immune to the times.

Now, it’s bad enough that this is absolutely 100% backwards on policy grounds: we’re at double-digit unemployment, so the government shouldn’t hire people?  The cure for a recession is…deflation?

But if that were all, it would be standard inside-the-Beltway idiocy.  The worst thing is his pompous second clause, about the government not being a privileged class.

This is coming from Evan Bayh.  Son of former Senator Birch Bayh (whose record towers over his son’s).  Who went to the St. Albans’ Prep School in Washington DC while his Dad was a Senator.  Who I’m sure had all kinds of problems connecting with powerful people and large campaign contributors when he decided to begin a political career.

We’ve heard idiotic lectures from Bayh before: usually pieces in which he castigates the Dems for not being serious about the deficit and also demands the abolition of the estate tax.  But this is really too much to bear.  At least we won’t have to hear them as much now that he is leaving the Senate.  This pretty much sums up his legacy. Buh-Bayh, moron.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

6 thoughts on “Evan Bayh: Empty Suit to the End”

  1. Have most federal civil servants even HAD raises lately? I work for a California court and we have not had raises in about 6 years.

  2. I doubt this is the last we here from him. My belief is that he'll become the new Harold Ford Jr.

  3. While I do not like E#van Bayh, back in 2000 I thought he was a better VP choice than Lieberman. I think Bayh could have delivered Indiana and some other states (unlike Lieberman who didn't help at all in that regard).

    If I'm correct, Gore wins in 2000. Not sure what happens after that (No 9/11? Economic bubble probably still pops No Iraq war), but had Bayh been VP, would he be a more formidable candidate today (or even president)? Interesting trade-off to contemplate.

  4. IIRC, I had a minor disagreement with Mark Kleiman (?) on this months ago, when the maggot announced his retirement. I took the side that he was garbage, and would always be. Mark wanted to wait and see what he'd do with the freedom which comes from not worrying about reelection.

    I think that I've won my argument.

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