Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana is shocked, shocked to find bitter partisanship in American national politics, and is now fed up with it. He apparently hadn’t seen much of it before. At least that’s what he’s saying now, as he announced his decision not to seek a third term in this fall’s elections.
But partisanship has always been there, it’s just that he’s accustomed to being on the delivering end. This is the Bayh whose Democrat party’s once-nominee for president, Al Gore, with whom Bayh had hoped to run as the VP candidate, shouted in a frenzy to a whipped-up audience that George Bush had “betrayed this country.” This is the same Senator Bayh who voted against George Bush’s two respected and distinguished supreme court nominees, Roberts and Alito, because they were too “extreme,” while Republicans a few years earlier almost unanimously voted to confirm President Clinton’s two ultra-liberal nominees, Breyer and Ginsburg, out of the tradition of bipartisan deference to the president’s choice. Bayh even voted against the confirmation of his former Senate colleague John Ashcroft as Attorney General. And writes Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online (link): “Bayh gave a speech at the ’08 Democratic National Convention that was obnoxious in its partisanship — even given that it was a convention speech.” This is the Senator Bayh, a media-proclaimed “fiscal conservative,” who voted for ObamaCare and the reckless, wasteful, and ultimately unsuccessful Democrat spending plan they called the “stimulus.”
Evan Bayh is the poster child of the fake moderate, who talks a good, conservative game back home with the folks and then votes in a hyper-partisan liberal way in Washington, knowing that most back-home voters aren’t paying attention to specific votes and that the liberal media will cover for him, all the while raking in campaign contributions from liberal interest groups. Here’s the Chicago Tribune editorial board, today (link): “Bayh was too centrist — and not concerned enough about placating interest groups — to make him a comfortable fit in Washington.” Is the Tribune that clueless or that deceitful? Evidence offered by the Tribune of Bayh’s “moderation” in the Senate: zip. The reality: it’s not that Bayh is too “centrist” for Indiana voters, you at the Tribune editorial board, it’s that he’s too partisanly liberal, and enough voters, in Indiana and elsewhere, have woken up to that fact.
But the radicalism of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi has unmasked these so-called Democrat “moderates” and has exposed them to the suddenly alert, attentive, and wised-up public (link). So now Bayh’s in trouble in the polls, at risk of losing his seat later this year, and so has decided to quit and take his multi-million dollar campaign fund home with him. There’s nothing wrong with being partisan and liberal in American politics, but it’s hard to respect a man who says one thing when home but votes another way in Washington, who is one thing but pretends to be another.
John M Greco