More on the Bayh retirement

Ethel C. Fenig
Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), who abruptly announced last week he was not running for re-election because the Senate was a nasty place paralyzed by partisanship rendering it unable to govern, expanded upon his thoughts in a New York Times op-ed, "Why I'm Leaving the Senate."

Interestingly the op-ed didn't appear in an Indiana paper explaining to the people who elected him and who he represented, why he was leaving them in the lurch; he timed his drop out notice so perfectly that potential Democratic replacements didn't have enough time to gather signatures for a primary and thus the local machine will choose a candidate.

The Washington Post, the local paper of the metropolitan area where he works, also didn't host this op-ed; rather it appeared in the New York Times.
Challenges of historic import threaten America's future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. Congress must be reformed.

There are many causes for the dysfunction: strident partisanship, unyielding ideology, a corrosive system of campaign financing, gerrymandering of House districts, endless filibusters, holds on executive appointees in the Senate, dwindling social interaction between senators of opposing parties and a caucus system that promotes party unity at the expense of bipartisan consensus.

Also interesting is that Bayh, considered by many to be a moderate Democrat, didn't complain when his party held a majority in both houses of Congress and the president was a member of the opposite party, but he decided he couldn't continue when both the Congressional and the president are all members of the same party and--according to him--they still can't get anything done.

Hmmm, this system has (dys?)functioned for quite awhile, why is he suddenly so disturbed? A form of mid life male crisis? Or could it be the party and/or the people involved are at fault?

Just asking.


Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), who abruptly announced last week he was not running for re-election because the Senate was a nasty place paralyzed by partisanship rendering it unable to govern, expanded upon his thoughts in a New York Times op-ed, "Why I'm Leaving the Senate."

Interestingly the op-ed didn't appear in an Indiana paper explaining to the people who elected him and who he represented, why he was leaving them in the lurch; he timed his drop out notice so perfectly that potential Democratic replacements didn't have enough time to gather signatures for a primary and thus the local machine will choose a candidate.

The Washington Post, the local paper of the metropolitan area where he works, also didn't host this op-ed; rather it appeared in the New York Times.

Challenges of historic import threaten America's future. Action on the deficit, economy, energy, health care and much more is imperative, yet our legislative institutions fail to act. Congress must be reformed.

There are many causes for the dysfunction: strident partisanship, unyielding ideology, a corrosive system of campaign financing, gerrymandering of House districts, endless filibusters, holds on executive appointees in the Senate, dwindling social interaction between senators of opposing parties and a caucus system that promotes party unity at the expense of bipartisan consensus.

Also interesting is that Bayh, considered by many to be a moderate Democrat, didn't complain when his party held a majority in both houses of Congress and the president was a member of the opposite party, but he decided he couldn't continue when both the Congressional and the president are all members of the same party and--according to him--they still can't get anything done.

Hmmm, this system has (dys?)functioned for quite awhile, why is he suddenly so disturbed? A form of mid life male crisis? Or could it be the party and/or the people involved are at fault?

Just asking.