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Published:March 14th, 2010 23:08 EST
Senator Bayh

Senator Evan Bayh tells Congress, 'I don't love you any more'

By Geoff Dean

I`d be lying if I said I had no sympathy for Evan Bayh. I`d be lying worse if I said I had much.

 Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana has announced that he will not seek re-election, stating that he "does not love Congress", as if anyone does. He bemoaned the "polarization" of Congress and a Senate where "governing rarely occurs." He criticized those of both parties who demonize each other and put their own good and the good of their party above the good of the country. Of course, the highly unfavorable political climate for incumbent Democrats has nothing to do with the decision or timing, he attempts to insist.

Senator Evan Bayh

 It is hard to argue with the points he makes, whether one is Republican or Democrat or somewhere in between. But, shouldn`t these be reasons to run for office, not to run away? Candidate Obama frequently cited the lack of bi-partisanship as a reason to elect him. He would work to overcome the divide. After all, it`s a dirty job but someone`s got to do it.

 Margaret Carlson compared his reasoning to that of Sarah "Palm of God" Palin who bailed on the Alaska governorship because there was too much fighting and political grandstanding. Or Senator Trent Lott who quit one year into a six year term, just before a new lobbying law that could have limited his future earnings came into effect. See a problem, identify the problem, and then high tail it out of there. Is that better than partisanship? I think I`d rather have a virulent polarizer, as much as I dislike them, than a "cut and runner" (to take former President Bush out of context).

 Indiana has/has had two fairly moderate Senators in Bayh and Republican Richard Lugar. The two had a good working relationship and, in my view, both have usually acted as Senators first and Democrats/Republicans second. Yes, there is an increasing tendency to "divide", but bailing only makes things worse. Yes, there is a problem of the Senate "rarely governing". But how do you solve that by leaving governing yourself?

 Bayh indicated that he would like to enter the private sector and "grow a business, guide an institution of higher learning or help run a worthy charitable group." Warning to all potential businesses and/or charities: When the going gets tough, Senator Bayh goes bye bye.