OUR OPINION: A shocking Senate defection
The announcement by Sen. Evan Bayh, the moderate Democrat from Indiana, that he will not seek re-election was a stunner.
As a centrist, Bayh was a key player in efforts to close the gaping partisanship schism in the world’s most exclusive fraternity, and restore at least some semblance of functionality to the Senate.
Bayh it appears was very disappointed with business as usual amidst struggles in the Senate to adopt important needed legislation.
In an interview on MSNBC after his announcement, Bayh declared America’s political system rife with partisanship of the “brain-dead” variety.
Bayh in that interview also urged Americans to vote out incumbents and elect reformers who want to move away from government’s dependency on monied special interests.
He said senators today are forced to campaign constantly to the detriment of passing legislation.
He also championed the concept of compromise in politics.
In the long run, both parties lose when a political leader of Bayh’s caliber resigns from office over frustration with the way the system works.
His resignation is not, as some may suggest, just another Democrat fleeing from political battle. Bayh was a virtual shoe-in for re-election, and he was key player in efforts to bring Republicans and Democrats to the table for compromise and negotiations on issues of importance to all Americans.
Maybe the nation will vote out incumbents in the fall as Bayh suggests. Maybe that is a good idea in certain cases.
Voters will soon cross that road and we’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, the U.S. Senate has lost an honorable member at crucial time in its history. It is clearly at one of its lowest ebb tides ever, and no relief seems in sight.