Thursday, February 18, 2010

Evan Bayh: Slinking back home to Indiana

CAN WE ALL be a little sympathetic to Evan Bayh for his torturous days in the U.S. Senate that have prompted him to retire to a safer haven back home in Indiana? I mean, here is a fellow now being held up as a symbol of a tragic hero who insists that he was ambushed in the crossfire of liberals and conservatives. He hasn't had a kind word for anybody in describing his well-perked pain from having to show up in the hostile environment of the Senate chambers every day and couldn't take it any longer. How's that for the high-minded principles of political centrism? Eh, Blue Dogism.

Trouble is, in damning the intolerable system, he has yet to concede that he was part of the problem. In his waffling on whether he would support the administration's major initiatives, Bayh continued to appear to be looking for a way to leave the scene of a crime with an undistinguished record of his own. He also showed little concern for summarily leaving the Indiana Democratic Party unprepared to fill his vacated spot on the ballot on such short notice for the November election.

Even for politics, it was clearly brattish behavior by a guy who always looked a bit better than he sounded. Maybe he preferred the unchallenged security of wealth that will provide him and his wife Susan a well-provided comfort zone in his post-Senate days, even to the point of allowing time to consider running for president in 2012.

Frankly, I never trusted his Periclesan sincerity in soldiering for the best that America can provide its citizens. His wife has served on so many corporate boards, many of them pharmaceuticals and insurers, that Bayh could hardly ignore the revenue flow to his family in his own work on Capitol Hill. (A common moonlighting practice for many other so-called lawmakers working for the people!). A few examples: she was a lawyer for five years for Eli Lilly & Co. and is on the governing board of Wellpoint, a giant in the health insurance field whose subsidiary in California, Anthem Blue Cross, recently jacked up its premiums 39 pct!

When someone like Evan Bayh wants you to believe that he is acting above the fray you have to always ask about the quality of the acting.


Kyle said...

Great post Abe. I agree completely.

PJJinOregon said...

And the story floating around now is that the Indiana Democratic Party wanted Bayh to announce his decision when he did so that the Dems could avoid a primary fight. Baloney. Hypocrisy has no respect for party boundaries.

Grumpy Abe said...

PJ , you've been spending too much time at the Mardi gras. Hypocrisy is the cornerstone of the Indiana Democratic party platform. ...As well as a lot of others on both sides.