February 19, 2010 Leave a comment
I was just reading the NYT article about how Hoosiers (one of the oddest demonyms ever) are responding to the announcement that Evan Bayh is not seeking re-election, and the collective “what the fuck?” reaction mirrors my own. The guy pulled a half-Palin. He copped out. He bailed. The Republicans weren’t playing nice so he took his senate seat and went home.
Now, he’ll serve his full term, which is why it’s a half-Palin as opposed to full, but still, when the going got tough, Evan Bayh turned tail and ran. And his constituents are confused.
“This is a Republican state and he’s a Democrat, so that tells you what people think of him,” said Mr. Kruse, 69. “He’s been a very good man for this state, and I do wish he had stuck it out.” …
“This shocked me. Honest to God, it did,” Mr. Kruse said. “I did not see it coming. And every time we lose a good Democrat, it hurts the system as far as getting anything done.” …
“It’s very disappointing that someone so dedicated has reached the point that he’s disenchanted with politics,” said Vivian Sallie, 59, a television executive in South Bend, who described herself as a longtime supporter of Mr. Bayh. “I feel let down by the situation our country is in. I feel that it’s our state’s loss and a loss for the country.”
JoAnna Clay, a homemaker in South Bend, added: “It’s a really sad situation. He was the voice for a lot of us, and you got the feeling that he really cared. I think there are not many people in Washington who really care, and that’s the problem. They’d rather fight. But he got tired of fighting.”
“There’s definitely some discouragement here,” she said. […]
For her part, Ms. Clay, 22, said she used to see Mr. Bayh as part of the solution, but not anymore.
“True enough, if he felt like nothing was getting done,” she said, “then he should have stayed to get things done.”
I don’t have a problem with someone saying they are not running again because they want to be with family, or even because they can’t win, but Bayh’s “it’s too hard” response is just icky. It makes me feel dirty.
Not to mention it gives his kids the perfect reason to drop piano lessons or calculus if they decide it’s too hard for them.
but through it all, my favorite Yeats refrain keeps echoing in my head:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
it’s from “The Second Coming,” one of Yeats’ most powerful and popular poems, which he wrote in the shadow of WWI.
Bayh is generally respected as one of the “best” and yet, he lacks all conviction. Meanwhile, the tea party is full of passionate intensity, despite being morons who don’t even have their facts straight, let alone their ideas.
Bayh’s replacement? we’ll have to wait and see. but me and Yeats are not particularly optimistic.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?