Buh Bye Bayh

Well, Evan Bayh, we hate to see you go.

And who does a longtime advisor to Bayh blame?

I think this is a bad loss for Democrats, notwithstanding the apparent wishes of “left bloggers.” It’s good for the GOP, most likely, so I can’t get too broken up about it. But it seems pretty dysfunctional for the left wing of the Dems to chase out a valuable incumbent.

Or am I missing something?

This is juicy debate fodder.


I’m unclear as to what power the “left bloggers” have to drive anyone anywhere, let alone a Senator whose fundraising was good and whose polling numbers still were in good shape. If he had any desire to remain in the Senate, it would be pretty easy to do that and to simultaneously ignore the “left bloggers.”

No, we’re probably going to lose the seat now. There’s talk about Ellsworth running, but I don’t know how well he’ll do, and if he does run, the Democrats can pretty much kiss his house seat goodbye.

Sure is. Yessirreebob.

He took the attacks on his wife pretty personally, understandably enough.

Yes. From your own quote:

Assuming that characterization to be true, his departure is no loss from the viewpoint of someone concerned with ideology, rather than the letter in front of a politician’s name. Even, yes, if a Republican replaces him; what difference is there from the viewpoint of someone concerned with ideology instead of party, between a Democrat who votes with the Republicans, and an actual Republican? Plenty of left wingers, including me, regard the Democrats as almost as bad as the Republicans you know.

Is the matter up for debate whether or not you’re missing something?

So he doesn’t like the left wing of his own party said left wing not in charge in the Senate, the moderates are in charge, so he quits. That really doesn’t add up. He is quitting because he thinks he will be beat in the general election by a far more conservative Republican candidate. Despite the advantage of incumbency, he doesn’t feel up to challenge.

It is probably true that without the left wing of the party he won’t have the actual shoe leather to run a ground campaign. I can’t see the activist base getting out and working for him because he has done little to nothing for the base. Bayh, Bayh Evan.

I hadn’t heard anything about this; got a link?

And it sounds to me like what he’s saying is that people whom he doesn’t like don’t like him, either, and that’s too much for him to take. What, he’s surprised that the left wing of the party doesn’t like him being on the right end of the party? What do you expect?


If I were you, I’d be more worried about what the right-wingers are doing to the Republican party. The Tea Party has filed for official status as a political party in Nevada, and if they field a candidate splitting the votes on the right, it’s Hello Harry.

It’s happening on both sides of the aisle, maybe even more so on the right.

About the attacks on his wife? There’s this, for instance:


and some of the comments on here:


Glenn Greenwald called Evan Bayh “the pure expression of virtually every attribute that makes the Beltway so dysfunctional, deceitful and corrupt.”

Matthew Yglesias accused Bayh of “acting to entrench the culture of narcissism and hypocrisy that’s killing the United States Congress.”

Just in a quick look.

I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. It might be real reason he’s leaving, but it’s not what he said. He’s saying that members of Congress on both the left and right are making decisions for their short term benefit rather than what’s good for the country. From his statement:

Discussions of potential Democratic vice presidential nominees just won’t be the same without someone asking “Who the hell is Evan Bayh?”

In a sense.

More specifically, I’d say the matter is: is there a benefit to Democrats’ losing Bayh’s presence in the Senate, given that he was a centrist? Der Trihs says yes – that Bayh is, from his view, pretty much the same as having a Republican there, so there’s no real loss.

Captain Amazing says with an apparent tone of regret that “we” (presumably the Dems) will lose the seat, which I take to be an expression of regret at the development.

While few political events are without some nuance, most can be safely classified as of greater benefit to one party or the other. My thesis here is that Bayh’s decision to drop out is, on balance, of greater benefit to the Pubs than the Dems.

Here’s an alternate theory: Maybe the Dem party pressured him out. With the current anti-incumbency feelings in the country, they might feel they have a better chance at hanging onto the seat with a new, untarnished Dem than with Bayh?

Just a thought…TRM

That’s just ridiculous. You don’t push out reasonably popular incumbents with $13 million in campaign funds in red states, especially not days before the deadline to file for the primary. The Dems don’t have any great candidates waiting to run in Indiana. It’s certainly not hopeless for them, but they’d be in far better shape with Bayh than without.

Something is afoot, to be sure, but we don’t know quite what yet. Until very, very recently, Bayh’s candidacy was a sure bet, money was being raised, Bayh was taking phone calls and scheduling campaign functions, the usual schtick of someone running for office.

And then Something Happened. My two bits says that whatever that something is, its a doozy. Quite suddenly, a pretty good shot with a hefty campaign chest went totally South. Dead hooker, live hamster, something.

We’ll know in the next few days, if I’m right, it won’t be kept out of the public eye for long.

As for his rationale, feh! The Congress is broken, the work of the people is not getting done, and what should a dedicated public servant do? Hit the silk, of course.

Yeah; Bayh is a pussy.

I agree.

Eh, its a pretty big streach to say Bayh was “chased out” by left wing bloggers. If he wanted to stay, he could stay. He’d gotten plenty of support (and cash) for his re-election campaign, and the support of his party to run again for his seat. He got some flack from the left wing of the party, but less so then other centrists, and being a Senator entails taking some flack from time to time.

Plus, I’m pretty sceptical Bayh spends a lot of time reading left wing blogs.

The most reasonable explanation I’ve read is that he didn’t particularly like being in the Senate in the first place. He was using it as a steping stone for a future Presidential run, and as its become obvious that’s not likely to happen, doesn’t want to spend another six years hanging out there.

In anycase, the idea that he is leaving because he got his feelings hurt by bloggers is pretty weak.

One of two things. Either he’s got a dead hooker in a closet or he thinks he can make hay in Iowa.