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Listen to Bayh's reason for retiring

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh’s decision not to seek reelection will be analyzed ad nauseam for its political implications. Will the Democrats be able to hold the seat? Might they even lose the Senate? Is this bad for me and good for you? Or is it the other way around?

But what everyone in Washington ought to be paying attention to is Bayh’s reason for leaving. He probably could have kept his seat if he wanted it, but he decided, basically, that serving in the United States Senate was a waste of his time. “For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should,” he said, putting it mildly.

The fundamental message that the country has been sending to Washington for years now is: You people never get anything worthwhile done. That accusation is not literally true, as anyone who pays close attention is well aware. But the big unsolved problems that we’ve known about for ages -- soaring debt, crumbling infrastructure, a crazy health-care system, you know the rest -- remain unsolved.

Bayh said that one of his final straws was the recent Senate vote to kill a bipartisan commission to come up with solutions for the federal deficit and our long-term debt. “The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted ‘no’ for short-term political reasons,” Bayh said, in an accurate recounting.

It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow.

Anyone who wonders why there is such anti-incumbent fervor in the land ought to have a chat with Evan Bayh. I didn’t agree with him on every issue, but on the dysfunction in Washington he’s absolutely right. This city is broken because too many of our leaders confuse politics with service. Americans know the difference.

By Eugene Robinson  | February 15, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Next: Mikulski another Dem retirement? Not likely.

Comments

Thanks, Robby. Now get back to the East Wing for cookies and cocoa.

Posted by: EliPeyton | February 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

People like EliPeyton are what is wrong with this country. Robinson is simply raising an issue, but EliPeyton comes back with a condescending personal attack. Congress is the way it is because of people like EliPeyton (and you do a disservice to what to two gentlemen whose last name is Manning).

Posted by: gtinla | February 15, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks EliPeyton for making the point... with nothing useful to say... no thoughtful solution to offer... you were, nonetheless, compelled to be snide. Yeeesh!

Posted by: coorsliteisnotbeer | February 15, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Evan Bayh. Until now. Does he believe the senate should be abolished? If not, how does resigning assist in it reformation? Thanks Bayh. Enjoy your university position. That university's gain is the nation's loss. You okay with that?

Posted by: bidalah | February 15, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

ow's yer change now commies?

Posted by: pcstench | February 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

As soon as we liberals save the country from the Republicans - AGAIN - we'll simply turn back control to them and let them run the goodship USA aground again. Then the liberals will - AGAIN - save the country from the Republicans. And then - AGAIN - we'll turn control back over, only to have them run the goodship USA over a waterfall again. Then the liberals - AGAIN - will save the contry....on and on and on...

Posted by: ScottChallenger | February 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Eugene,

Your comments about a U.S., Senator finding satisfaction by pursuing some other form of service other than the U.S., Senate is a little low down, especially coming from you.

It's not incredible to me that some would rather take a different path, whether they be a Democrat or a Republican when the Congress has become one of the most DYSFUNCTIONAL entities in American politics, during one of the most critical times in American history.

Who in the hell wants to waste their time and energy trying to work with a bunch of buffoons who can't see past their political ideologies, or who only wants to serve in the Congress because of their self-serving partisan political ideologies and not for the people.

Even Baboons have more intellect than many of those in the Congress.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

"Wow" is right. Running a business, or leading a university, can be noble undertakings. Your impact can be great widely felt, and uplifting to many. Your implication--whether intentional or not--is that these things are inherently dishonorable or somehow venal.

You're off the reservation, Eugene. Come back to America, where it's OK to aspire to something besides being a legislator.

Posted by: cynicalidealist | February 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

elipeyton & pcstench: nothing to offer but selfish bitterness

Posted by: merelymyopinion | February 15, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

13 mil in the bank. Yes, public service sure pays.

Posted by: GregJolysGhost | February 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

bayh's problem is that he was never much of a democrat. of course, the republican leadership would never have put up with his posturing and grandstanding.

i'll be glad to see him gone. go ahead and put a genuine republican in his place, for all the difference it will make.

Posted by: stoat1 | February 15, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The fun is running out because we've spent more than we have, and we have borrowed more than we can ever pay back. If you are a Democrat, and can't spend your time fashioning big government programs, what fun is left???

I liked Bayh, but there is no cure for our problem on the Hill, other than less government and more taxes. Anyone think that's a dream job?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | February 15, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The following comment was left on the nyt.com site yesterday in response to Frank Rich's op-ed. It was powerful, and I'm getting close to the writer's point myself. I thought we had a real chance of getting things back on track last year:

"Thanks, Frank, for reminding me that our system is hopelessly broken. This is one older citizen who is now officially done with the whole mess. It's been fun reading the Times and keeping up with politics, but now that it is apparent to me that involvement in being an active and informed citizen is a fool's errand, I've decided that I've got more important things to do with my life. There are NO political solutions to what truly ails America. To the rest of my fellow citizens, good luck 'tilting at windmills.'"

Posted by: jdarby21 | February 15, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

("It's the Senate, Stupid!")
We Americans are uncommonly gifted with denial. Winston Churchill said it, "One can trust the Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried all other alternatives." The usual stock phrases "government gridlock," government paralysis," "voter frustration," “voter anger,” and most infuriating of all, "political reality,” somehow manage to avoid obvious reality: no matter how the majority of Americans vote, the Senate, insulated by 6 year terms and short voter memory, in its imperial arrogance, is more a House of Lords than a democracy. The Senate's quaint rules could, in final analysis, all be abolished, constitutionally, by simple majority vote; up to, and including the so-called “super-majority” imposed for changing rules.
Nothing succeeds like success. The frustration and powerlessness currently infecting government and society as a whole, have roots directly or indirectly, in the Senate's obstructionism. Somehow, the rest of the free world has managed to survive, without these quaint idiosyncrasies, as did the United States, until relatively recently in our history. The British did away with their House of Lords' extraordinary powers, well back in 1911. "The tyranny of the majority," indeed! Come on. Are we listening to what that phrase implies?
The Senate does not represent the people; it represents states. Originally, there was no requirement that any senator be popularly elected. Indeed, what could have been more like a House of Lords than that? It took the 17th amendment, also repeatedly blocked by the senate of the time, to change it; coincidentally, near the time that the Brits were doing away with their House of Lords' privileges. Now the time may be at hand once again, for Americans to amend what the good senators, too characteristically, appear unwilling to fix on their own. The first step is to call a spade, a spade.

Posted by: armondavid | February 15, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The Senate isn't working because the librul Dems refuse to recognize that when the American public voted in 58 of them, the American public demanded that the libruls abandon their platform and let the GOP run the place. The voters spoke clearly that they wanted Republican solutions, why Harry Reid doesn't simply pass the Majority Leader's title to Mitch McConnell is a mystery.

Posted by: vfazio | February 15, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This commentary on the dysfunctional nature of the Senate in particular, but Congress in general-has been raised in several other forums by other thoughtful authors. 'We the people' simply have so few legislative leaders who can see beyond their next expensive election cycle, that the hard problems and choices we face as a nation go unresolved. Shameful. And we all continue to send the same chowderheads back year after year to accomplish very little- or nothing- on our behalf.

Posted by: TXMary | February 15, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

super majority, white house,
and Sen. Bayh cites gridlock?

I hate to rain on your parade,
Eugene, but heavy is the head
that wears the crown.

Mega Deals to get your own party's
support?


where is your golden boy campaign
fund raising today?


Posted by: simonsays1 | February 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

fazio, "libruls"?

Wow.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | February 15, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university." Robinson does not get it. All elected officials are in in for themselves, not for the voters. Which has done more for the world -- Senator Harry Reid, or Businessman Bill Gates?

Posted by: edgar_sousa | February 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The problem is not just the politicians. It is us. We as a citizenry have failed our basic civic duties. We are rapidly becoming ungovernable. Alternating capriciously between rage and bloated satiation, we demand immediate results and when reality intervenes, like toddlers, we throw tantrums composed of generalized "anger" which latches on to any passing object that catches our attention. No job? Socialists are at fault, no, wait, it is the Liberals. Or maybe the Terrorists! Or Wall Street fatcats! Or the dreaded ELITES!!!

Politicians did not create this political culture. We did! The simple fact is that American electorate is becoming more and more ignorant and fickle. Regression. Politicians as celebrities. Rapidity of the news cycle has accelerated the political cycle. Swings in political fortunes used to occur over years and now its is just a series of months. No organization can be successful if you switch out upper and a good portion of middle managment every 8-14 months or so.

And the whole, blame the politicans thing that Robinson buys into is just symptomatic of our infantilism. Maybe if we read more and watched less and put our "me-first" attitude on hold for just a while, perhaps we might find people among us who are worthty of elected office. But if we remain ignorant, angry and lazy then we will see more and more politicans whose political virtue is a studied and calculating ignorance.

Posted by: Daedulus | February 15, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think there is more blame than just the senators themselves. Balancing budgets means a combination of increasing revenues (taxes) and decreasing costs (spending). We the people are each averse to one or the other. Check out this chart.
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3036

We want jobs (stimulus) but we don't want spending (stimulus). We want to make sure our unemployment benefits get extended while we are looking for work so we can make ends meet, but we don't want the deficit to increase. We don't want to touch Medicare, but it needs to be fixed (which can magically happen somehow without any action). We are disgusted with rising healthcare costs, but we don't want any progress.

The senators are just doing their constituents' bidding which may as well be spinning in circles all day until they're all dizzy.

And the media is zero help on this. I don't see issues getting boiled down in an honest way, which leaves we the voters uneducated and reduced to bumper sticker slogans, torches and pitchforks.

Nothing is going to get done to solve any of our big problems. But before we blame congress, we maybe should look in the mirror.

Posted by: porkbellies37 | February 15, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Eli Peyton is all over today.

anywhere there's something about Israel or bombing Iran...or some ugly Jewish columnist yapping about how he hates the President.

Read Lane's screed, nearby, today. The American media has come to reflect those who own it. Particularly the zionist Washington Post.
Particlarly against the President, who won't it seems, bomb Iran for them.
Or give Netanyahoo whatever he wants.

"screw you" he wrote. And no editor at the zionoist post stopped it.
Is it the outting of Goldman Sachs Saturday and the outrage that followed that has them all so upset today?

Or some new poll that the ADL has taken showing roiling anti semitism growing...

Posted by: whistling | February 15, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse


Shall we all guess who's having posts censored today?

Let us just say he's a busy little boy.
And WaPo, who allowed "screw you" by a columnist today, doesn't like anyone pointing out EliPeyton's affililation.

L'il Peyton is the one who wrote "if liberals were in charge of Normandy", and then some silly stuff about retreating.

FDR was in charge. Peyton is out of grammer school today, perhaps.

Posted by: whistling | February 15, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Mitch, quit! Harry, quit! Joe quit! Ben, quit! Jim, quit! Lindsey, quit! Jon, quit! Mary, quit! John McC, quit! Shelby, quit! Saxby, qiut! Orrin, please quit! Scott, quit! The list goes on. Bernie, you stay.

Posted by: dudh | February 15, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The rules of the Senate have been tripping up the Democrats, but revising the rules are in their own hands. Indeed, they are in President Obama's hands, because Vice President Joe Biden, in his capacity as President of the Senate, can rewrite them. Thomas Jefferson did when he was Vice President.

Why doesn't he?

Posted by: glazerandfamily | February 15, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

How many people in the United States actually know what a Senator or a member of the House of Reprentatives is actually sent there to do?
Basically, I would say, NO ONE; The people who are elected on the basis of NO ONE knowing anything whatever about what they are saying, makes these "politicans" win.
Great. The American people, as a whole, have decided to elect people to positions of power who represent those who are oppose to them.
Seems funny, but then again, you cannot fight the power of television, can you.

Posted by: cms1 | February 15, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson says:
"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

Earth to Robinson - the private sector pays all the bills for government. Government is the frivolous pursuit. The private sector is where the action is, or should be.

Of course, the current Administration, like Mr. Robinson, is incredibly uninformed about the private sector, having very few people who have built or managed successful businesses.

No wonder the Administration is clueless about how to help the economy to grow and create jobs.

Posted by: jfv123 | February 15, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university."

I strongly doubt that Evan Bayh will be running a business or leading a university. His contempt for "lefties" pretty much precludes involvement with a university, where he would have to deal with people that disagree with him.

It's far more likely he's going to work for one of the megalobbyist firms where he can continue to feather his nest without having to actually exert himself.

Posted by: nicekid | February 15, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The man's honest, isn't he? And he's right - at this point, our government just isn't working. This isn't just a Democratic or Republican issue - this is an issue where everybody is at complete fault.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | February 15, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Per my understanding, it takes 67 votes to change the rules of the senate. If that's the case, it simply cannot happen.

Personally, I think the MEDIA is even MORE broken. The media is the enabler of the garbage happening in the senate.

Posted by: porkbellies37 | February 15, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"This city is broken because too many of our leaders confuse politics with service. Americans know the difference."

True enough, Eugene, but it's also broken because of the system - because of the math. Changing the proceedings to ban the 60-vote super-majority would take...well...an act of Congress. The numbers make it hard for things to get done these days. If 51 votes were all that was required, the party in power would have more power.

And then, of course, there's the issue of gaming the system. There are procedural maneuvers, tactical maneuvers, all kinds of esoteric rules not at all known to the public or most of the media, that these guys have at their disposal to stall progress on just about anything, whether it's a 51-vote situation or a 60-vote one.

In theory, Congress and the concept of representational government is built on the premise of compromise rather than winner-take-all. As polarized as our political climate is these days, winner-take-all would probably make a lot of folks (on both sides of the D/R aisle) happy, but would probably produce even larger "pendulum" swings in terms of public and media discourse.

The question is, how can moderates hold the polarizers at bay and actually get something done?

Posted by: wpreader2007 | February 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

It is a sad day for the US and especially the State of Indiana. Evan Bayh is one of the few resonable senators; the type you actually want in the Senate. When I lived in Indiana, I noticed that he was an excellent Governor. He is certainly one of the few problem solvers left.

I certainly hope that Indiana can find someone at least half as talented as he.

Posted by: DrS1 | February 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Those seeds sewn just over 1 year ago are yielding a bitter, tainted harvest. Why are so many of you surprised by the recent turn of events - including this latest decision by Byah. Virtually every poll indicates the country's rejection of the Obama/Democrat policies yet Obama, Reid and Pelosi continue to turn a deaf ear. Maybe when Reid is defeated and Pelosi is forced to turn over the gavel to the new Republican Speaker they'll finally get the message. This does not necessarily mean there's great love out there for the GOP...only that this sharp turn to the left is NOT what the people want. How many of you are counting the broken promises? How about the disappointment rapidly growing over the campaign expectations and the reality of this administration's accomplishments? Expect more Dems to bail and by 2012 the next crew will get their shot...with luck they'll have learned some bitter lessons taught by a re-energized electorate. Go Tea Party!!!

Posted by: ddnfla | February 15, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson wrote:

...It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You live in a small world, Mr. Robinson. Washington does not create jobs, enrich life, or as one can see from last decade...solve any problems.

I wish Mr. Bayh success in his next endeavor and hope that he truly improves the lives of employees, clients, customers, etc.

That is a worthwhile endeavor as well.

You need to open your eyes to the world outside the beltway.

Posted by: jhpbriton | February 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh is just playing the game. He is using the method that Kerry used in VietNam.

Don't remember? Kerry got three scratches, one in which he was retreating from a fight while his two other boats were attacking, appled for three puple hearts and where he spent a total of three months in "combat" in Vietnam. Now he claims he is a war hero when all he is is a gigalo for Mrs. Heinz.

Bayh spent just enough time in the senate to garner himself a lucrative retirement pay for the rest of his life without the hassle of having to actually becoming a real statesman. A trait that is not common among neither parties. Of course the fact that he would have a real tough re-election bid didn't play well either.

Posted by: captain3292 | February 15, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Bayh is an honorableman who is weary-- as any sane person is-- of the college football mentality that's running this country, including Coach Obama whose hope-ee/changee was supposted to build bridges and bring people together.

This governance in Washington is the worst we've had in the history of America.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | February 15, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

It's always amusing to see the Free Marketers who rail against the Government seem to not be reading the News. It was the so called Private Business Bankers that almost bankrupted the Worlds Economies as They stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Governments certainly make mistakes but it has always been the Private sector that managed to bring the Country down. The biggest Private Companies in America don't make it by Producing anything except learning how to live on Government Welfare. 13 Trillion over this latest Theft.

Posted by: mnlennon | February 15, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"This city is broken because too many of our leaders confuse politics with service. Americans know the difference."

No, Americans do not know the difference.

The dysfunction in Washington is a reflection a deeper dysfunction in the whole society.

Posted by: mnjam | February 15, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow
***********

only if you, like ER, thinks that the state and not individuals, even through HUGE conglomerations of individuals and their wealth like private universities and private businesses, move America.

not only does it lay bare the myopic nature of the liberal-progressive worldview, it puts the lie to their concerns about the impact of the citizens united decision.

after all, if ER thinks that a CEO can essentially decide an election by writing checks to disseminate speech, why wouldn't Bayh be more powerful in the private sector than as a senator who could be unseated by the head of the walmart at the writing of a check?

Posted by: dummypants | February 15, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"This city is broken because too many of our leaders confuse politics with service."

A more accurate description would be Washington DC politically is broken because nearly all of our "leaders," including Obama, confuse politics with service.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 15, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"The dysfunction in Washington is a reflection a deeper dysfunction in the whole society."

Couldn't agree more.

"Personally, I think the MEDIA are even MORE broken. The media is the enabler of the garbage happening in the senate."

Exactly. Especially the drive-by 24/7 cable "news" channels, radio "talk" shows.

Posted by: jdarby21 | February 15, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

We do have the Best Congress that money can buy...there are other things to do and yes, more important....The good deal for all members of congress is that they get paid and get health insurance ...even when they JUST SAY NO...what a deal..
What a crummy life...keep two residences..spend enormous amount of time flying back and forth and lose that most important life...with a wife and children...Take this job and shove it...been there ....done that...it is ok. there is always another one who wants the glory and the private parking space at National Airport...and so it goes.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | February 15, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, as is the case with all Leftists, lust over their big controlling Govt. They find it hard to believe that service or time spent outside of their beloved Govt would ever be considered. They cannot imagine being productive in the open market Capitalist economy, run a business, hire people and grow the economy. It is really no wonder that Liberalism, and far left ideology has been rejected by this Nation.

Posted by: jas7751 | February 15, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

he's just getting some distance from an environment that ill suits his future ambitions, like Palin (but not as bad: she quit)


if he is leaving politics, it should be with a reformative BANG. his middle-path "blame the system" he is part of is proof he'd rather be an executive than one of the flock.

Posted by: forestbloggod | February 15, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

So Bayh leaves because 7 republican senators voted against a committee whose bill they sponsored. Why didn't he blast those repubs and let his people in Indiana know exactly what the main problem in Congress is-the gop? Instead, he wusses out, blaming everybody but his own poor performance. If he was so good at working both sides, how come he couldn't get the repubs to work for the good of the country? Because Bayh is a closet republican. Nothing like his father. You know, maybe if he actually helped Obama win a few battles, the repubs might have figured out they better join in. Instead, they are laughing at him.

Posted by: mikel7 | February 15, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

So Bayh's response to 7 Repubs betraying their own positions is to give the Repubs another seat?

Posted by: turningfool | February 15, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Eugene is right! Bayh is right. But both were to polite to blame where it lay - at the feet of the stonewalling GOP!!!

The GOP were a rubber stamp for Crazy Dubya, and they're a stonewall for Obama. It has nothing to do with good policy for the US, it has everything to do with partisan politics. They cared nothing about deficits when Bush was in office, but now it seems to be all they care bout.

They are shameless.

Posted by: kurthunt | February 15, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

CAN WE EVER STOP BEING STUPID? BAYH IS RETIRING BECAUSE, LIKE PALIN, HE WILL MAKE MUCH MORE MONEY WORKING FOR HIS CORPORATE CORRUPTER. ALL OF THEM, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ARE THE SAME SH...T. OBAMA LIED TO US BIG TIME, WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN HE WAS JUST ANOTHER CORRUPT SENATOR AND DISMISS HIS 'CHANGE' DUNG.

Posted by: bluelagoon21 | February 15, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

So, if Americans know the difference between service and politics, which translated means the difference between getting something done and grandstanding and fingerpointing, then how come we keep electing these dolts?

It would be interesting to know how many of the commentators above actually vote?

Posted by: ccforbes | February 15, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson,

Senator Bayh has been busy building a massive $13 million dollar war chest for this coming election. And you believe he suddenly discovered this past week that Washington, D.C., is just too dysfunctional?

I tend to believe you are smarter than that, and you are simply engaged in helping fellow leftists spin the coming pendulum swing to the right as best as you can. But if you are really that ignorant as to swallow what the good Senator is shoveling today, I urge you to google the name "Dan Coats".

You just may discover Mr. Bayh's real reason for 'retiring'.

Posted by: dbw1 | February 15, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Fidel Obama has driven the communit party off the Grand Canyon. Virginia, Jersey, the Olympics, Copenhagen, Massachusetts, Obamacare, Cap and Tax, and now Bayh? Wow. And the boy has 3 years to go..

Posted by: wewintheylose | February 15, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh has always been a good politician- and has also always wanted to be president. He is slightly to the right of Obama, but Obama has been tagged so much more left than he ever was that I would guess that Bayh is gambling that Obama's popularity continues to fall and he continues to struggle and Bayh will run a campaign against him from the right in 2012. This is just politics- I would prefer that if anyone addressed Obama's weakness it was from the left so that Obama would be pushed to do something ambitously progressive, but it ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: NYClefty | February 15, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Obviously his royal highness Mr. Wimpster Sell-to-the-highest-bidder Bayh got one of those VERY lucrative offers he simply couldn't refuse from the military/pharma/medical/oil/insurance industrial-complex -- our corporate masters are even more emboldened after the recent traitorous, scandalous, immoral Supreme Court Ruling which began the acceleration of the end of a democratic republic by bestowing personhood upon all corporate entities!


Expect more of those among the dems so that the corporate stranglehold on the House and especially Senate will soon be complete.

The end truly draws nigh,
Thanks in great part
to the corporation's
good little lap dog,
Senator Evan Bayh.


.

Posted by: demsRwimps | February 15, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr Robinson, you are correct. Rather than having a collection of Dems and Republicans who act like republicans, let us get a large Republican majority and have a lame duck President with nothing to lose have Republican displays of intellect for all the world to see. We may be able to identify another war or two in which to involve the un and under employed while advancing the Dow average with much help ,from the military industrial complex. Our healthcare system will improve with the rich being healthier and living longer while the poor just die early at home or war. The prison system should be able to maintain its number one World standing incarceration rate for African American, Latino and poor people. Our high school drop out rate should at least hold its own at 40% (in many areas) while our graduates find college in other countries less expensive and at least as good as ours. Many immigrants whom have been the engines in our math and science post grad programs are returning home. New graduates are choosing other countries for their further education. Fools in this country are questioning Obamas citizenship and seem to have some support in Congress. Tea Baggers while obviously more cerebral than Republicans are involved in a race to the bottom. Good luck Senator Bayh. Your life can only get better.

Posted by: Draesop | February 15, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Bayh has probably accepted a much more lucrative offer beyond the Senate. Judging from his behavior the past year, it will not be a college presidency or a CEO - unless it's a military-industrial CEO a la Dick Cheney. This is the Washington Money-Go-Round in full holier-than-thou clothing.

Posted by: SanFranciscoVoter | February 15, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm not buying the story that "politics" is at fault here.

Crass obstructionism by an unprincipled Republican Senate minority is holding our popularly elected government hostage for the purpose of convincing voters that Democrats are bad for the nation.

It really is that simple, and the story needs to be told in plain English, or it will just keep being repeated over and over again through the years.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 15, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

He wasn't the same after the Colts lost last week.

Posted by: grunk | February 15, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I guess that hopey, changey thing isn't working too good for Evan.

Posted by: bobnvirg | February 15, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I guess that hopey, changey thing isn't working too good for Evan.

Posted by: bobnvirg | February 15, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

And another corporatist leaves and gives history more context into why this nation is failing. Conservatives from Reagan to Bush 2 have led this nation down the wrong path and as soon as a little hint of change blows, the corporatists strike. Can't have a failing HC that is costing this nation too much money changed. Can't get out of Iraq, the phoney corp war.
The last man who tried to change things and challenge the real owers of this country, was killed for his audacity. That man was Kennedy.
Now we have two parties on display for more political theater that doing going good for the country.

Posted by: dwdave67 | February 15, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Draesop if you're running for statewide office in Maryland you'll get my vote.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | February 15, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Millions of dollars in his campaign chest, why blow it on a losing cause like OBAMA.

Posted by: xthat | February 15, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Eugene: Ironically, you are the one who is not listening to what Bayh is saying. He is quitting because Obama and Reid are far too liberal and too rigid to move to the center. Both you and the President need to practice what you preach.

Posted by: Madalex | February 15, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the statement of the problem: congress is broken. However i do not think it is so easy to distinguish politics from service, as you say.
I think the president is enganged in Service, for example. i think he is right to put the nation above party. But there are many partisans out there who believe that politics IS service. They believe politics is akin to war, and the winners get to write the laws.
Service does not entyer their minds as separate from winning.

Posted by: cbblnd | February 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson writes:
"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."


What's truly incredible is that there are actually intelligent, educated people out there who think that being a politician is the best way to serve this country. What a warped sense of reality. It is almost unfathomable.

Posted by: gattsm | February 15, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I heard what Bayh said, and the real question is "wasn't he part of the problem. Folks like the soon to be ex-Senator Bayh cannot have it both ways.


Evan Bayh is a "Blue Dog" Democrat. He is a Democrat in name only representing a Red State.

His wife sits on the Board of several Insurance companies, as many as 8 in 2008. Between 2006 and 2008 she earned approx., 2.1 million. One of those companies is Wellpoint, which is a subsidiary of Blue Cross Anthem, who just recently wanted to raise the insurance premiums in CA., to 39%.

Bayh has been getting hit hard by both Tea Bagger's and Die Hard Liberal HC Reformers.

Bayh's resignation is not about President Obama, it's about Bayh and his two faced political stance.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

What is so ridiculous about this column is that robinson is often the first person to criticize that moderate democrats aren't being partisan enough and bowing down to president pelosi's demands (oh that's right she's the leader of the house, not president, but then she will only have that job for another 7 months as well). Sign me a democrat who has given up on the party

Posted by: zzzzz2 | February 15, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh has been a political survivor in his (and my) home state because he has consistently waffled whenever possible, and treated conviction as an infectious disease. So I'm not surprised, when the going got tough and his party needed him most, he bailed. He has every right to be upset with his own party's leadership on some crucial issues, but he should save his wrath for where it mostly belongs: the obstructionists in both houses who won't consider even his moderate agenda for their own selfish interests. If he truly cares about the direction of this country, he'll use the rest of his time in the senate to stand and fight for Obama and the common sense solutions to our way out of this fiscal and political crisis. My guess is he'll sit on his war chest, scout his opportunities and do what's best for Evan.

Posted by: 5IN5 | February 15, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

A year ago, Democratic leaders at White House, Senate, and House of Reps decided to do things their way with no compromise and no participation from Republicans allowed. Their manner of buying votes was exposed. Their Steam Roller approach was stopped. Obama now complains about Republicans not voting for his legislation.

Politicians are quiting, left and right because nothing got done and they see no hope for their future. The voters should consider turning out all incumbants because there are no babies in the bath water.

Posted by: FuzzyThinker | February 15, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

We has met the enemy and he is us.

You youngsters may need to Google that one.

In a democracy, people get the government they deserve. That's what's happened in the US. Since 1980 the nation has foundered upon the notion that government in inherently bad, inherently incompetent, inherently bloated. And we the people let it happen.

We've had 30 years of tax cuts after tax cuts after tax cuts, yet the voices yelling that taxes are too high is louder than ever. We cannot get something for nothing, yet that is exactly what the neoconservatives have urged us to expect. We the people bought it.

The voice of the people is drowned by the roar of lobbyists and PACs, abetted by the Supreme Court's conservatives' confusion that money is a form of speech. We the people have not risen up to take our nation back.

Under the "fiscally responsible" leadership of the Republicans we have seen staggering debt accumulate while the coffers of the nation are emptied into the pockets of cronies. Under the "fiscally profligate" leadership of the reviled Bill Clinton the budget was balanced and the national debt started to shrink. We the people decided we hated Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky circus, transferred that to Al Gore, and allowed nine people to select the President of the United States in the biggest political payback in American history. And we let it happen.

The Republicans have mastered doublespeak, telling us they are doing one thing while actually doing something else. They promote fiscal responsibility and raid the coffers. They call for smaller government and create a massively intrusive government that takes away basic civil rights and trashes the Constitution. They raise a false flag of "Country First," fulfilling Bob Dylan's words: "They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they'll throw you in jail- steal a lot and they'll make you king." We the citizens swallow the lies.

The Republicans under the leadership of the likes of Grover Norquist have nearly destroyed the nation, fracturing what solidarity we had and attacking the very foundations of democracy with wedge issues, greed, and deeding ownership of the hen house to the foxes. The Democrats- weak, directionless, lacking in a central belief system- have done little to resist the destruction of our beloved nation. And we the people do nothing to correct it.

The voters did notice just a little bit and threw some of the Republicans out of office in 2006 and 2008. But we were promptly bamboozled within a year when the problems created by 20 years of misleadership weren't resolved in a few months. We the people are patsies falling for the empty rhetoric of Rush and his ilk.

Ultimately the problem isn't the Democrats. It isn't the Republicans. It's us- the citizens. Until we make the decision that this is our country- not the country of the PACs and the lobbyists and the politicians- it will not get better.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy | February 15, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

What is lacking is centrist congressmen that will call out the extremeists in their own parties for what they are.

Where are the Republicans speaking against Shelby's selfish antics? And how about some Democrats speaking publicly about Pelosi's stubborn refusal to compromise? They all refuse to take any action against their misguided party Leadership.

Leadership is looking beyond one's self interest and acting in behalf of the whole. And, yes, that sometimes means delivering news that your constituents may not want to hear. Doesn't happen in this Congress. Dysfunctional and disgusting.


Posted by: NewsWonk | February 15, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

So what. Anyone who is an elected official -- dogcatcher-city counci9l-congress-senate, etc. is a scum bag. People in politics are arrogant, self-centered, egocentric rear ends. I would bde embarassed to have any of my kids be an "elected".........

Posted by: bayareafed | February 15, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately the problem isn't the Democrats. It isn't the Republicans. It's us- the citizens. Until we make the decision that this is our country- not the country of the PACs and the lobbyists and the politicians- it will not get better.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy

~~~~

You nailed it right on the head!

Posted by: lcarter0311 | February 15, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

In the past, presidents could call key representatives or senators to the White House. Little or nothing of it would be noted in the news, but something would be said, and then bills would pass. It really didn't matter what party the legislators were from. Somehow, deals would be struck, and everyone would move on.

Today, I don't know if it's because of the hyper-partisan rancor caused by over-attention to the 24-hour news cycle or if it's more to do with the politicians themselves. It's probably a combination of both. The endless cable barrage has its part--and its mostly a destructive one, no matter what the pseudo-journalists on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and other stations want to think of themselves--but politicians are now utterly distrustful of one another, even within their own parties, and they are more interested in scoring political points than in getting anything done.

Partly, this also might be a function of the parties having been hijacked by their radical wings. Liberals and moderates have long complaint that the Republican Party got variously taken over by the Far Right, Religious Right, and/or Neo-cons. Now, conservatives and moderates can make a similar and equally valid complaint that the Democratic Party has been hijacked by Progressives. (Everybody can probably complain that both parties have been hijacked by Wall Street and corporate money.) Maybe the result of this is that bills, when they are not pork, are more and more becoming ideological playgrounds and battlefields. Democrats are pushing a more left-wing agenda, and Republicans a more right-wing one, making compromise that much more impossible.

Whatever it is, Washington isn't working. Hardly anybody is happy with the president, and nobody is happy with either party or with Congress. Even the Supreme Court is probably slipping in opinion polls, if opinion polls are even taken of them. The thing is, I'm not sure that starting over with all new people would make any good difference.

Posted by: blert | February 15, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

He's only 54 and there's lots of time for him down the road should the Obama agenda put the Democratic Party on the rocks. Perhaps they will find a need for another centrist in the mode of Bill Clinton.

It looks like he's ducking out just in time to avoid being tainted by the impending disaster. And it is well to remember that his father had a promising career going but got swept out in the GOP tide of 1980 (thankyou Jimmy Carter and your stagflation for that). What's the point in taking any electoral risk and, even if successful, getting to spend another six frustrating years in Washington and having the taint of being part of the mess there?

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | February 15, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Obama ought to join Evan Bayh and the rest of America in expressing "I do not love Congress".

Insipid Pelosi and "Angry Dean" Reid are destroying America as well as the Obama Presidency.

Posted by: 2009frank | February 15, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this right.

Bayh lashes out at the overly partisan atmosphere in Congress.

Then blames 7 Republicans for the failure to pass the deficit reduction commission legislation.

And doesn't mention the 22 Democrats who voted against it as well. See here: http://www.votesmart.org/issue_keyvote_member.php?cs_id=28464 That's 22 Democrats and 24 Republicans who voted against it.

But Bayh (and Obama and the New York Times and . . . ) prefer to blame the Republicans rather than pressure the members of their own party. Hell, most of the media haven't even mentioned the bipartisan nature of the votes against. They could have passed it if they'd only changed the vote of 7 of those 22 Democrats.

I was in favor of the legislation. But I blame BOTH parties for its defeat. If you don't, you're an enabler.

Posted by: probasco | February 15, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

ya gotta stop writing such tripe. if it's too hot, stay out of the kitchen.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | February 15, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Evan. You don't need a reason. Everyone would do the SAME THING. See you in the White House in Seven Years. .......................in the meantime........President Obama: Keep COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES from occuring and closing Small Businesses.....use 10% of the $787 Billion "JOBS" Bill our children will pay for; to AVOID 1930'S style, full-blown DEPRESSION !

Posted by: MSFT-PELOSI | February 15, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh is a poster child for special interest and Senate privilege gridlock. He is the reason why the Senate is broken. Does anyone have any doubt that he will stay in D.C. and become a lobbyist?

Posted by: cmpnwtr | February 16, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

wonder how long before a bimbo erupts? i'll bet there is a scandal brewing

Posted by: BarbarainPalmSprings | February 16, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

"too many of our leaders confuse politics with service. Americans know the difference.'

Gene, I'm familiar not only with your column but your presence on MSNBC, and greatly appreciate your temperament and virtually without exception share your views.

However, I wonder if "Americans know the difference" is more wishful thinking, or at least overstatement, than any kind of fact. It seems to me to be related to the kind of narcissistic extension of a Peggy Noonan or an Ed Schultz (whom I'm coming to appreciate more and more) when they consistently find that "the American people" are of a mind that mimics their own (can Ed legitimately claim that his regular "text me" polls of an overwhelmingly left-leaning viewership (include me among the left-leaners) truly show the mind of "THE American people."

I usually find you much more modest and down-to-earth than my respectful "accusation" would warrant.

But the "American people" aren't always shrewd. A UK daily was less demure in pointing that out with its infamous Nov. 2004 headline: (something like) "How Can 53,000,000 Yanks Be So Stupid!"

Posted by: brombonz | February 16, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Even Eugene admits a problem with washington!
Admitting one's problems is the begining of one's recovery.
Washington is on Notice!

Posted by: sdavis4 | February 16, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Who in the hell parts their hair down the middle these days? I haven't seen a haircut like that since...since...Alfalfa!

Posted by: sthomas1957 | February 16, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

He is a a quitter....plain and simple.

Posted by: callmeljok | February 16, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

jfv123 said:

"Earth to Robinson - the private sector pays all the bills for government. Government is the frivolous pursuit. The private sector is where the action is, or should be."

Funny, but I thought the private sector was where the action has been since the outsourcing of the federal government to no-bid private contractors (at tax-payer expense) during the last administration. Want to shrink the federal government? Take fed. employees off the payroll but keep the tax-payer stoked gravy train rolling for the private sector generating obscene profit sans accountability. Makes Bernie Madoff look like small potatoes.

Just remember: when public servants like Bayh are led to throw in the towel, the [Senate] terrorists win.

Posted by: hardrain | February 16, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad Bayh is leaving. He was one of the few civilized decent ones left in congress and could work on both sides of the aisle. I don't blame him for leaving -- Washington has become a polluted cesspool. The lobbyists control the puppets in congress and the system is broken. The nasty partisan bickering has angered most Americans. I wonder if they have any idea how fed up the voters out in flyover country are with all of them, and that includes republicans and democrats alike.

Posted by: sharronkm | February 16, 2010 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Very brave of him.

Not.

When Republicans gain control of the Senate THEN we'll see nothing happening at all. THEN we'll finally see Dem party unity. And nothing will happen at all.

Because, really, who (meaning me) wants what Republicans want?

Oh, gawd. What a putz he is. What a slap in the face to his president and his party.

Posted by: dadada | February 16, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd have more respect for Bayh if he had named and shamed those seven senators who switched their votes.

Posted by: pdxer | February 16, 2010 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Journalism is a broken institution also that nearly fictionalizes the political process and contributes to politicians reluctance to take prinicpled stands. Are you quitting, Eugene Robinson? In the Senate, except seeking the Presidency or Vice presidency by turns and voting for a tax cut here or there, Bayh left no footprints and barely any fingerprints. How did the press treat Palin for quitting?

Posted by: eastport1 | February 16, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

So... Bayh cites the poisonous "do nothing" problems in Washington, a slow poisoning of the nation becuase of the gross name calling and knee-jerk partisanship. The responses here show he has a real point.

BTW -- calling someone a "commie" today means about as much as labeling them a syndicalist. The COld War ended a generation ago, but the right is so behind the times, so out of touch, they think it is stil going on.

Posted by: John1263 | February 16, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse


With the troubles at hand, it feels like we’re sinking
It’s time to wake up and change our thinking
If we lose our way, everyone will pay

Just like a fire, a fire that’s raging
No one can control these wars we’re waging
There’s no end in sight, how long must we fight?

Bring us back, bring us back to the middle
Lift us up, lift us up, don’t drag us down
Give us strength, give us strength to bend a little
Help us find, help us find some common ground

Let’s put our differences aside
Start a new revolution
If we work side by side
We’ll find the solution

Posted by: ManintheMiddle | February 16, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
16 February 2010

Let's face it. The U.S. Senate is "broken!"

Given the venomous atmosphere enveloping it, thre is no way Senate Republicans and Democrats can cooperate with each other in finding good and effective solutions to the nation's huge and daunting problems.

Not ever!

They now spend their time thwarting,frustrating, obstructing, opposing, mudslinging, demonizing and sabotaging each other--and rationalizing what they do brazenly as necessary in support of some ideological or partisan principle.

That's clearly why Democratic Senator Evan Bayh has decided to get out of a Senate which has turned dysfunctional as far solving the nation's major problems are concerned.

He probably doesn't need the salary and the senatorial perks that much--as a few of his other colleagues must do, desperately!

He has his principles to keep instead.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | February 16, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

Joe Scarborough is having a great day!! Bashing the President and his Administration. The Man truly needs to move over to Fox News. I can see Senator Bayhs point. When legislators spend months on a piece of legislation -- you get bipartisan support in supporting the bill and then when it comes time to cast their vote - the Republicans vote against it. This has been happening throughout the Obama Administration. That's why nothing is being accomplished. That the Real Deal, Open not only your political minds But Open your eyes and ears. Smell the Coffee. MSNBC continues to talk about jobs, jobs, jobs they constantly ignore the fact that health care is just as important. I for one don't believe all of the polls. I'm 63 years worked for the Reagan Adm. and Dem. adm., retiree and have never been polled. I often wonder why?

Posted by: phyllisr5 | February 16, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Robinson, you imbecile. The guy resigned cause his president is too far left. How complicated is that?

Posted by: birvin9999 | February 16, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Consgressmen and Senators are increasingly just a corrupt front for the money barons who are gathering snowballing perosnal wealth and power while destroying the middle class and running this country into a feudal state. Our main institutions are becoming a useful facade at the service of special interests.

Posted by: likovid | February 16, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh please, Eugene! Spare us your insipid little attempt to rail away at the inertia of partisan politics. Of course Washington is about partisan politics - it always has been and always will be. Not just in the last few months or years or decades or centuries - but always.

It is a virus that infects everything in Washington. Not just the House or the Senate, but the bureaucracy as well.

Out here in the hinterlands, we all know that Washington cannot put the house in order. We all know what's next - an inflationary bulge which will devalue all debt in this country to a level which can be repaid. Just make sure you have caps on your adjustable credit agreements, or you'll be paying for the sins of everyone.

Posted by: magellan1 | February 16, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

You have to look at not only what he said, but what he did, when he did it, and how he did it. Why would Sen. Bayh retire one day before petitions are due for the primary? He is making Democrats scramble to get on the ballot without planning or financing. He told Harry Reid AFTER the news became public. His actions make it easier for Republcans to pick up a seat. This makes it seem like it's a shot at liberal Democrats for ignoring centrist Democrats. He can now use his $13 million Senate watr chest to support candidates around the country who he agrees with and to try to bring Democrats back to the center.

Posted by: msmyth1 | February 16, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Sounds so Palinish! I quit!

Must be about money. Its always about money. And therein lies the problem. What the president wants to put through and work on means no lobbyist lining the pockets. Then again bet those guys on the hill never had to work so hard as they are now. Must be less golfing trips these days.

Posted by: mac7 | February 16, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Its interesting now that Democrats are NOW bemoaning the loss of bipartisanship. They didn't seem to care much about it during the 9 previous years.

Karma.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | February 16, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Its amusing All these Democrats feel so Good about the work they are doing that they are afraid to face the Voters,,,,And you should be they way You have run this Game in Washington so far. What would the Media say If the GOP conducted every meeting behind closed doors, PAID for Votes ( whats funny about that Is you cant even Give away a Lollipop in Student Government but Yet Our Congress can BUY votes ) After watching this for over a year now i will NEVER EVER vote for another Democrat mostly becuase You CANNOT BE TRUSTED as evidenced by your behavior. Lastly Your Health Care BS is destined for 10 years of Litigation under the Principle " Equal Protection Under the Law" Which this bill Violtes on Numerous points Like If I have a caddy Helath plan and am not a member of a union I get a tax fee yet if i am a member of that union...No Problem we will wave your fee so EVERY single American forced to pay that tax has had his Equal Protection Under the Law VIOLTED, That doesnt even mention the 29 States that are preparing to Sue the Federal Government Under this same clause for the Cornhusker Kickback which Violtes Equal Protection under the law. I have read Both House and Senate bills and quite frankly its the most poorly written legislation ever Authored in the History Of the United States.

Posted by: knepp023 | February 16, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, you forgot to mention Social Security. Bush tried to address this and it was basically shot down by the Dems.

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | February 16, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Now. the truth. Byah will, after a week leaving office, will have an office on C-STREET where he will be lobbying for his wife's insurance company. Now I am sure everyone knows that. It's about what's good for Byah.

Posted by: carolynlebeaufyahoocom | February 16, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Senator Bayh sent Obama a mesage he can feel. Obama recently called him out when the Dems had a meeting on TV. Bayh turned around and stuck it to Obama with no way to have time to do anything about it. Bayh never told Obama or Reid that he was quiting until yesterday. Never send just a message when you can send a message they can feel. Did you get the message???
The center Dems are bailing on Obama and now they are adding sticking it to him on the way out. Obama went too far by insulting his center Dems!

Posted by: Independent23 | February 16, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Let Bayh take his ball and go home--he was useless anyway. He did the people no good on the health care bill, while his wife made big bucks in the industry. We don't need opportunists like Bayh who only look out for their pockets.

Posted by: donnasaggia | February 16, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

All hope is gone from American politics. With the Supreme Court's final nail in the coffin, all that's left is government of, by and for the highest bidder.

There's nothing really to write about either. It's all just more of the same: politicians lie for their votes but really do the bidding of corporations. Democrat or Republican, over and over.

Byah just is just getting out before everything gets even more repulsive. It won't make any real difference to anything.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | February 16, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

Wow? You're surprised that someone thinks directly improving education or creating jobs through a business is better service than a role where they can take my money then allow themselves to be wooed by lobbyists with "great" ideas on how to redistribute my money? That says a lot about you.

Posted by: noybizz | February 16, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

>>>>Bayh said that one of his final straws was the recent Senate vote to kill a bipartisan commission to come up with solutions for the federal deficit and our long-term debt. “The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted ‘no’ for short-term political reasons,” Bayh said, in an accurate recounting.

But Bayh didn't have the integrity to say the 7 members are Republicans - who were FOR a bipartisan commission to solve the deficit problems - until Obama was for it.

Republicans' HYPOCRISY and political games are becoming more evident to many voters.

Posted by: angie12106 | February 16, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Isn't the need for Presidential Commission all the evidence you need that the Congress is broken? It's Congress's job to balance the budget, and they can't do it.

Posted by: Delongl | February 16, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The voters were "suckered" in and this is the result. Do nothing government.

Posted by: njtou | February 16, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

What, because Democrats can't agree themselves the system is broken? I'd say Bayh's exit and the panic it is causing says more about the power garnered with each reelection than about the seat itself.

Posted by: Lynne5 | February 16, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"Bayh" begins "b-a-y." Gay is spelled "g-a-y." Coincidence?

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 16, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow"
=====================
Study your American history. The founding fathers liked to refer to themselves as farmers. Being a Congressman, a statesman, or God forbid, a politician was not looked upon as being on one of the higher rungs of society. That's because they all hated government and felt exactly as you suggest - that running a busines, leading a university, simply being a good citizen contributed contributed much more to the service to one's country than being part of a central government. That's how a free society works. It's bottom up, not top down. In such a society, it's a sign of health when fewer strive for political office, when fewer citizens look to government for solutions, when government is seen as incompetent and not to be trusted. That's the American way and has been for 250 years. It's why we're such a great country.

Posted by: Rational4 | February 16, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Bayh said that one of his final straws was the recent Senate vote to kill a bipartisan commission to come up with solutions for the federal deficit and our long-term debt.

Why should we believe that the current crop (crap, actually) of Democrats and Republicans--those who spent on everything that wasn't nailed down--could ever be the ones to come up with solutions? Bi-partisan corruption is just as bad as partisan corruption.

Senators should not serve more than 2 terms of 6 years. Reps should not serve more than 6 terms of 2 years. This improves the situation four ways: (1) We get a new crop of lawmakers all the time. (2) People don't start to look at the Senate or the House that their private fiefdom. (3) People don't become lifetime Congressman. (4) The incentive for bribing these people goes down as they will not serve forever giving favors to their buyers.

Posted by: csforst | February 16, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse


Obama and the Chicago thugs are destroying the Democratic Party, and the careers of reasonably-able men like Evan Bayh.

Democrats sold their souls to the devil when they voted for Obama and now they are paying a heavy price.


Posted by: Jerzy | February 16, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The most notable thing about his resignation is what he didn't say; that he's probably setting himself up to run for Governor and then President at some later date.

Posted by: sbaker1 | February 16, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

No, what is incredible is that ANYONE could think they could be of "service to his state in his nation" by being in Congress. The last thing anyone should ever do if he is interested in service is serve in politics.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 16, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"This city is broken because too many of our leaders confuse politics with service." service, service?? - reminds me (to seriously date myself) of the maynard g. krebs on the old dobie gillis show, "work, work???"

it has become all politics, politics all the time; staying in power or getting back in power over solving the many interconnected challenges facing our country and our future and we the people only pawns to be lied to, manipulated, fear mongered to acquire or keep their power.

of course, i didn't see evan working with the president to solve the health care debacle if he were truly concerned about our country's deficit.

Posted by: sbvpav | February 16, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

To "like my privacy,"
Thank you for one of the few intelligent, well thought out posts I've seen on a Washington Post forum today. The unfortunate thing is that those of us who know you speak the truth, knew it before you wrote it; and those who come here mainly to take advantage of one of the last refuges available to them where they can publicly abuse a black man without getting their ears pinned to the wall, won't read it anyway.

Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read what you wrote. I thank you again.

Posted by: jules3621 | February 16, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Bayh's problem is Obama. Democrats had the massive majorities they needed to pass anything that made sense. What Obama, Pelosi and Reid proposed was far-left and radical. The citizens of Indiana and elsewhere clearly said NO.

Posted by: pgr88 | February 16, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, "like my privacy," I think you are bozo and a moron. So there.

Posted by: FridayKnight | February 16, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

“For some time, I have had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should,”

He continues...But instead of staying to work on correcting the system...that would be just too hard, I'm going to quit. I've milked this system for about as much as I can, my wife and I have made tidy profits from the connections we've made while I was in office, and after a rather fruitless and mediocre run, I'm going to quit and move on to more profitable ventures.

Posted by: NotFooledTX | February 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

jfv123 writes a blanket statement that, "Government is the frivolous pursuit."

Gosh, jfv, do you really take the position that defending the nation militarily, building and maintaining the roads, arresting and jailing violent criminals, ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply, and other activities such as that are "frivolous"?

Posted by: greggwiggins | February 16, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Bayh may think he's taking the high road with this one, and I agree that Congress is not functioning as it should. But to give up seems wrong. If he doesn't trust the people in it right now, how is it helping to leave it? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Posted by: candle96 | February 16, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

What constitutes a "moderate" democrat? self declaration? Bahy voted for the stimulus and healthcare debacle- they are not moderate positions. He knew he would lose in 2010 and didn't want to risk defeat.

How he can decry the gridlock is odd... he had a supermajority in senate, house majority and the presidency. If there was gridlock it was within his OWN party.

Now he'll go make $3million a year in a lobby shop like the rest of them...

Posted by: rightPOV | February 16, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

I think many commenters have misunderstood Mr Robinson's sentiment here -- the incredible part was in the first part of the sentence and not in the latter part.

I concur that it is highly rare (incredible) for a comparatively young member of the United States Senate to leave voluntarily. Senators are so full of their own importance and their desire to hold onto their seats by any means, that Bayh's decision is refreshing in that culture. Incredible.

Posted by: lisa9 | February 16, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"The Senate isn't working because the librul Dems refuse to recognize that when the American public voted in 58 of them, the American public demanded that the libruls abandon their platform and let the GOP run the place. The voters spoke clearly that they wanted Republican solutions, why Harry Reid doesn't simply pass the Majority Leader's title to Mitch McConnell is a mystery."

Very clever use of sarcasm! Thanks, vfazio, you made my day.

Posted by: lisa9 | February 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I think Robinson is absoloutely right about this and I think Bayh could have even stated his case in stronger terms.

Until both sides put aside their hard ideological stands and understand that each is going to have to compromise some of what they want for the greater good we will have gridlock.

Posted by: marctrain1 | February 16, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Bayh's wife, Susan, owns at least $1 million in employee stock in WellPoint. She got that as part of the bonanza of health care industry board positions she magically received since her husband became a Senator. Susan Bayh receives an additional quarter-million dollars each year in stocks and stock options from Wellpoint.

You can see the problem here for Evan. If he votes for a HC bill, his wife will lose her cushy job. OTOH, if he votes against a HC bill, thereby doing the bidding of his wife's employers and his campaign donors, he would probably have to explain that to angry voters in the coming election.

Posted by: smeesq | February 16, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

What you said below is so brutally true that I want to press the "report abuse" button

-------------------------------------------

The Senate isn't working because the librul Dems refuse to recognize that when the American public voted in 58 of them, the American public demanded that the libruls abandon their platform and let the GOP run the place. The voters spoke clearly that they wanted Republican solutions, why Harry Reid doesn't simply pass the Majority Leader's title to Mitch McConnell is a mystery.

Posted by: vfazio | February 15, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: reddy531 | February 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Reid is the problem and he will gone in the next election!
I think Bayh knew the dems are all going out this next election and just wanted to send a message rather than waiting to be defeated!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | February 16, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The current sad state of "governance" we are getting from the Congress these days has to be a problem with the leadership. The Democrats who are currently "running things" just don't seem to be very good at their jobs, and on the right, the Republican "leadership" is perfectly willing to stick with "You may be in the majority but you're not getting anything done if we can help it."
It seems a naive fantasy to think how much better off we all would be if we had some moderate, common-sense yet intelligent leaders on both sides of the aisle willing to deal with each other in good faith and rally their "troops" to get some problems solved. I wish they would quit listening to the loud minority and trust in moderate common-sense Americans to turn out and vote them back in if they would just do some work to help us out. Let's get an infrastructure repairing/jobs creating program going. Do at least a little something for us on healthcare, too many people are still losing their homes, fix that program, etc...
Our country is in trouble in too many ways to list here, and very little is being done to set us straight.
We need leaders not panderers.

Posted by: SamBrown2 | February 16, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."
==========================
Yes - Eugene...at least in running a business - he can create meaningful jobs..versus government run..which is more than I can say for this democratic congress.

Posted by: short1 | February 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It's just Amazing of the sudden talk about big spending and big government from the republicans, when their boy George spent over one trillion dollar on WAR based on lie, none of them raised the issue, all of them were in line including the Media, and you cheerleaders, and now and it's a big spending and it's a big government,tlak about hypocrisy , but what do you expect from GOP ?

Posted by: tqmek1 | February 16, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

How naive Robinson is. Bayh is not going to reveal the real reasons for his action. That would sour the Democrat party on him forever. It is clear that Bayh is a moderate, a rational Democrat in a time when his party is being driven by San Francisco/Chicago, radical Democrats. Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts made it clear how many disaffected Democrats there are. But don't expect the radical themselves either to see or to admit the truth. Least of all the incompetent who inhabits the Oval Office.

Posted by: mhr614 | February 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

How naive Robinson is. Bayh is not going to reveal the real reasons for his action. That would sour the Democrat party on him forever. It is clear that Bayh is a moderate, a rational Democrat in a time when his party is being driven by San Francisco/Chicago, radical Democrats. Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts made it clear how many disaffected Democrats there are. But don't expect the radical themselves either to see or to admit the truth. Least of all the incompetent who inhabits the Oval Office.

Posted by: mhr614 | February 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

So Bayh's seat will now go to the GOP.
And Obama's.
And Biden's.
And Lincoln's.
And Dodd's.
And Reid's.
And Boxer's.
And Dorgan's.
And Kennedy's. Woops! Mark that as done.

Ah yes- this is consistent with the most powerful, most brilliant, most awesome Obama and all the post-racial, post-partisan hope and change you can believe in.

Posted by: rightPOV | February 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Bayh, but his personal solution (to retire from the Seanate) does not solve the problem. All it does is have Republicans dancing on the table and the Dems's grave. The gridlock in the Senate is nothing but a political ploy devised by the more reactionary members of the Senate and the Republican Party and expected to be followed by even the most moderate of them. Nothing is to be gained for the American people by Bayh giving up a seat he was likely to win. All it did was encourage the Republican's behavior.

Posted by: creatia52 | February 16, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Bayh, but his personal solution (to retire from the Seanate) does not solve the problem. All it does is have Republicans dancing on the table and the Dems's grave. The gridlock in the Senate is nothing but a political ploy devised by the more reactionary members of the Senate and the Republican Party and expected to be followed by even the most moderate of them. Nothing is to be gained for the American people by Bayh giving up a seat he was likely to win. All it did was encourage the Republican's behavior.

Posted by: creatia52 | February 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Who's to blame?

O'Bama the Divider, the Unwise, the Apologizer, the wrightist.

Everything adds up. Americans are not that stupid.

A year of Presidential failures and flaps, and another year of broken promises and racial, teachable moments have sickened America to reject O'Bama and anyone connected to this person.

Change we can believe in.

Posted by: Accuracy | February 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

i love the country love the sane people but this political crap is driving me insane soon i wont love myself soooo linda and i are moving to costa rica in two years. adios michael semi-sane

Posted by: coolgolf | February 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is aware that Obama is failing badly and is jumping ship in time to make a Presidential Run.

The "gridlock" is the result of poor / weak leadership creating bad bills that the Democrats can't even get their own people to fall in line and pass.

Let's not ignore that Obama had BOTH houses and the WH. He got greedy and grabed too much with HCR. He failed. Now because he dug in and ignored the people over and over, both houses are at risk and he just destroyed his Presidency.

Posted by: asdf9876 | February 16, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of why Bayh is quitting and dire predictions for Democrats in November, etc., there are still things that are true. Pres. Obama is a leader who is willing to take action; he has positive, mostly middle-of-the road job, health, and energy policies for the benefit of the American people; has already done much to save it from the brink of economic disaster; he is aggressively defending the country against terrorism; and Democrats are in the solid majority in Congress. The real roadblock to Congressional action is the undemocratic and (in my view) unConstitutional Senate rule requiring 60 votes to pass legislation. Majority rule - a basic tenet of our democratic republic - would mean much of President Obama's legislative program, including a health care reform bill, would have been passed by now. It still should be. Republicans in Congress, mostly controlled by right-wing conservative ideology, will vote no. So what? Voters may or may not throw out incumbents in the 2010 election. Tough. There is no reason not to pass legislation now and hope for the best. Now the Democrats have power. Reconciliation, whatever. Now is when to act. Now!

Posted by: dudh | February 16, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?" Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14

This is the dilemma that members of Congress live with. In the current environment, with the 24 hour news cycle, it has become more difficult to work for the common good when they have pundits and advocacy groups who will scream and rant traitor if the representative tries to find an accommodation that strays from the party line. The Republicans have it somewhat easier because one of the tenants of their beliefs is that government solutions should always fail, but too much of that and the middle deserts them as well.
I suspect that what he saw for the future is even more deadlock. At a time of great crisis for out nation we have developed a political system where the two sides can't work together and even when one side has an overwhelming majority it can't govern effectively. This paralysis may be what some people want but it is doing harm to our nation and those who believe in it are the ones who should be referred to as traitors.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | February 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Time for DefCon 5. Let the nuclear option fly.

Americans voted overwhelmingly for Obama and the Democrats. Lead and plow things through roughshod as the Republicans will NEVER support anything coming from Obama, and let the dust settle later at the polls.

I used to believe in bipartisanship, but the word has lost its meaning to Republicans.

Posted by: HillRat | February 16, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Not so sure that Americans do know the difference Gene!

40% of public cannot identify 3 branches of gvt- Civically illiterate says Lou Frey R-FL!

Justice O'Connor stated that Americans need CIVICS K-12!

The USA does not even rank within the top 25 countries in the world for education!

The fact that most Americans do not own a passport- cannot read a map- FAIL in Geography is not a secret.

We suck at Science and Math!

Slow Down! WSJ/Murdoch: Dumb it Down Mr. President!

Now that is Country First!

Last night- at that joke of a debate in Texas for Governor-

It was revealed- the INDEPENDENT who was a RN- Registered Nurse- embarrassed the crap out of Hutchinson and Perry with a law that has been valid is Texas for 9 years!

Guess what that law is?

Both Governor Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchinson were unaware of the DEATH PANELS in Texas- for past 9 years!

http://bit.ly/4JV1RX

Unbelievable!!

Now- UTAH GOP is attempting to end the 12th grade!

Whooo hooo--- I guess they can watch more of Hannity and the clowns at Murdoch University!

Posted by: sasha2008 | February 16, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Just how many times in how many years does one have to "butt their head against the wall" to realize that all they accomplish is a dreadful headache?

The disfunctionality of the Senate and the House are apparent to Americans...now that realization has come to the participants.

It is courageous, not selfish, of Bayh to admit that his role in this dysfuntional system is negligible at best. He should be commended for his honesty and his beliefs by all parties.

UNLESS and UNTIL these politicians put America first and their personal or party political interests second....we shall remain handcuffed by a corrupt, ineffective and disfunctional government.

Posted by: maxandmurray | February 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse


For the past 20 years all that is happening is voters elect the president, he does not do the job, sometimes first 4 years are moderately okay, last 4 years we do not like, so we put in president from the other party.
Same events continue with the new president. So we change him by electing president from the other party and feeling good about it.

And it does not work!!

Generally, second term of the presidents is a wasted period. They take lot of foreign trips for nothing. Get presents, wine and dine with foreign leaders, their wives get to see the country with people walking with them and taking them around that will never happen when they are kicked out of Washington.
And forget about flying on Air Force One with our tax dollars. They accomplish very little and focus on life after they get out of Washington.

Let us agree president’s term should be modified to only ONE term.

Posted by: 68b2b | February 16, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is not exactly being candid. I suspect that, facing a possibility of losing this fall, he's quitting while ahead to preserve his political viability for pres in 2012. He could be the voice of moderation between extremes. I'd likely switch from independent to democrat to vote for him in a primary.

Posted by: hit4cycle | February 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

So now Robinson's worried about our "soaring debt" huh? Better late than never. And as for his "crumbling infrastructure", after borrowing almost $800 billion for what was billed as shovel-ready projects I hope to never hear that scare tactic used again as an excuse to spend, spend and spend.

Posted by: hit4cycle | February 16, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm really not getting Robinson's point in this article. And I really tried. Politics hinders public service but Evan should stick it out in a broken system to achieve the greater good?? Really, help me out here.

Posted by: forgetthis | February 16, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The bipartisan commission to provide solutions to address the federal debt is a cynical ploy that insults common sense.Obama and our Congress have gone on a reckless spending binge and the only solution is to cut spending and freeze funds that have not been distributed until we get a sane fiscal plan in place.Bayh failed the test of supporting the majority of his constituents and our national electorate in voting for Obamacare...a real budget buster!If he had any integrity,he would have resisted the rampant corruption and backroom deals that were made with contempt by his party`s leadership.Bayh wants to shine up his image.It`s too late.He has demonstrated he is no profile in courage.

Posted by: bowspray | February 16, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SEVEN NAY SAYERS WERE REPUBLICANS, i.e. Party First - USAA Last.

Posted by: lufrank1 | February 16, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

As a Hoosier, I am sad that Bayh has decided to retire from the Senate. He served us well, both as governor and as senator. As a moderate Independent, I have to laugh at those who call him a liberal. Indiana is known as a red state, and yet throughout his entire political career here, his popularity has never waned.

In this election cycle his only potentially serious Republican contender would have been Mike Pence, but he decided not to run. I think Pence might have given Bayh a run for his money. But the race was far from a sure thing... and in the House, Pence is one of the major voices for the Republicans, and by staying he can build up his already impressive resume. I think he will go after Senator Lugar's seat when he retires.

I have to laugh at the poster who thinks Bayh is afraid of Coats. Although he is a former Senator, more importantly, he is an ex-lobbiest... the ultimate Washington insider. Of the current crop of challengers, he is the strongest but, ultimately, not strong enough. Now that Bayh is out, my hope is that Gov. Mitch Daniels will enter the race because, frankly, the choices are not that impressive thus far.

Posted by: joanne11 | February 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

We should take these comments en masse and nail them on the door of the capital. Hell we can call it the Peoples Magna Carta.

If we know the problem when we see it, Why do we still allow these self-seeking idiots to divide and conquer us at election time. Let's put their feet to the fire and make them all tow the line or vote them out!

Posted by: Jackie054 | February 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The post by "ilikemyprivacy" spells it all out, the truth of the whole matter. We have been had, by a Republican party that is unfit to govern because its ideology makes it so.

Thanks for a great post, and please keep on posting.

Posted by: Chagasman | February 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Me thinks we are in the land of Oz, or at Alice's Wonderland where nothing is as it seems. Whatever happened to plain talking Americans?
1) to those who see radical, far left, socialists, etc in anything the Democrats or OBAMA DOES, LET ME TELL YOU HOW SILLY YOU ARE. THERE ARE NO LEFTISTS OR LEFTWING RADICALS LEFT - SDS, TROSKYITES, BOLSHEVIKS, Anarchists, very few socialists, etc. The political spectrum has moved so far to the right in the last 40 years that the left is now where the Rockefeller Republicans were in 1970. The right has gone radical, not the left.

The problem is on the right, which now houses the socialists, the fascists, the religious ideologues, anarchists (tea baggers) and activist Supreme Court judges who do not interpret the Constitution literally at all, but use it to legislate Ayn Rand's objectivist political philosophy of winner take all and smash all opponents. There is no social contract left, and the founding documents have been trashed by the right.

Why are the socialists now on the right? Because the blue/Democratic states chronically and hugely subsidize the red/GOP states with large net Federal tax dollar transfers, year after year and decade after decade.
Example: California transferred $50 Billion more to the Federal government in 2005 than it received back in spending, whereas states like Mississippi, South Carolina and Alaska received vastly more federal spending than the taxes they paid in, having a huge economic multiplier effect on them, and a negative one on California. A map of the net recipient states fits very nicely with a red/blue state map. So blue states are being robbed to subsidize (= socialism) the red states. Go to www.taxfoundation.org to read up on this decades long transfer from the rich to the poor states.
signed: a business independent who prefers facts to cant

Posted by: enough3 | February 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I'll stipulate before my comment that I know as much about politics as I do neurosurgery (needless to say, don't give me a scalpel).

That said, I have the impression from reports that Baye tended stay in the middle of the road on his voting record. It's a shame to lose someone on either side of the aisle who understands that country comes before party and ideology. He'll be tough to replace.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 16, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Sen. Bayh's assessment that congress is dysfunctional, at least that is true for the Senate. At a minimum the Senate needs to change its rules so that legislation can advance with something nearer to a plain rather than supermajority. The system of checks and balances has given rise to too many checks, not enough forward progress. We need to move forward to a system in which political parties put forth real policy platforms, run candidates who will enact them if elected. The electorate should then hold the parties and candidates accountable for these policies. Our present political system is based on the premise that the government should not govern. This might have been a good idea in less complex, simpler times. It is a bad premise now when we have a large population and a dangerous world to deal with.

Posted by: mcdonaldjames2 | February 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Seems Bayh has it figured out. The American people voted for leadership in 2008 and got a polarizing hack along with an entourage of self-serving politically charged campaign hangers-on who havn't added anything to a civil discussion across the aisle but ill will and put-downs.

Posted by: JAH3 | February 16, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

There you have it. Finally somebody comes out and admits that the Senate is a joke. Their archane rules to go along with the archane egos hasn't served Americans for a long long tiem. Bayh isn't the first to have resigned because of this as I'm sure the recent string of retirees is mostly because of the partisan bickering and obstructionism which is leaving our country paralyzed. It's time Americans took their government back from these clowns we keep electing and re-electing who serve themselves and their special intersts and their home constitutents more than they do the nation as a whole. It's just pathetic.

Posted by: rmattocks | February 16, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Senate is dysfunctional. It reflects the culmination of decades of propaganda from conservatives telling Americans to hate their government.

In fact, a government mired in gridlock and ineffective serves the conservative cause quite well.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Congress is broke beyond fixing and has been so for many years. The Republicans have no purpose in being there at all except to advance their religious agendas and/or enrich their corporate owners; the Democrats are more single minded; they only serve their corporate bosses!

The solution is simple really; disband and remove the Senate; restrict the House to 1 rep per State for the areas outside of cities with population of 1 million or more and 1 Rep from each city of 1 million or more...about 100 representatives to meet and greet in the former Senate chambers; enforce term limits of (2) 4 year terms maximum; convert the existing House and axilliary buildings into live Theater; remove all benefits given to former representatives especially the special access used for bribing current members. Being a politican should not be a viable career choice!!

Posted by: Chaotician | February 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

He "PROBABLY" would have won? Probably, but probably is far from certainly.

Ever see rats leave a sinking ship?

Don't worry, republicans can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They have a long history.

Posted by: theduck6 | February 16, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Washington is dysfunctional and has been for many years.

Presidents are no exception. Second term of the president is a big holiday time. And W even had guts to manage the trip to include Summer Olympic Games with his family and friends before getting out of Washington. His team of family members manage to walk on the great wall, fly on Air Force One and be treated like some big sh**.

All on our tax dollars!! Shame on him.

Posted by: 68b2b | February 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I keep wondering if I have taken a crazy pill. This type of garbage has been going on since the mid 1960's with democrats attacks on Nixon and the southern strategy. Instead of thinly vailed race baiting it is thinly vailed red baiting. As long as the extremes can get mileage out of discord they will.

The Tea Bag folks, mostly working poor and middle income folks under constant economic strain, would be much better off economically voting democrat but they wont because the republicans let the race and red cards be played. "Say, you ain't one of them reds are you?" As much as it changes it doesn't change and the baiters still have no shame.

Posted by: seasail | February 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

All I could see were his son's standing next to him.
What kind of message did he just send to them? Quit when the going get's tough. Just what no one needs for their kids or this country.
Bye bye Bayh, you were a conservative in drag. You won't be missed.

Posted by: mappy1 | February 16, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Most Americans seem to believe that once we've gone to the polls and voted, we've done what we can. The idea, the experiment that people can actually run their own government began (for the first time since the failure of the Roman Republic) ca. 1776. The experiment is still on. Are we calling it failure, now and throwing in the towel? Yes, we voted, but who is standing by to keep an eye on the elected officers of the Senate and the House?

If we are the citizens for whom (and by whom) this republic is founded, we have a solemn obligation to pay attention to politics and issues. We must keep those elected on task. We must say clearly what we want (we seem to do fine saying what we don't want). There is no one else. For good success we can claim praise. For failures, we have ourselves to blame. "The system", for good or ill, is what we have. By being conscientious we can elect and remove until those attending our business understand that we will be vigilant and we will keep abreast of issues and find the way.

What we cannot do is what is happening now. We elected a President and charged him and his administration to clean up a mess, to set us back on original principles. Then we abandon him, blame him for lack of results. And where are we? Do those we've put in Congress understand what we expect of them? Do we tell them? Do those from conservative states return to their electors and discuss the benefits and risks of legislation pending? Or do they raise fears and alarms without basis?

Come on, folks, we're in this together, like it or not. We own the Iraq war. We own the Afghan war. We own the bank (near) failures, and those of our leading manufacturing and insurance as well. We own the collapse of the housing bubble (and how many of us tried to make our own little "killing" there?). We need to stop blaming and stand up like men and women and do what is needed and right. When the day comes to step up to honors will we be standing tall or lowering our heads with shame at not having done our part.

Should we have reliable access to health care for ourselves, our families, our communities or should it be "everyone for himself"? Should we rein in government to return to the Pay-as-you-go approach? Should we use our skills in negotiation, the shoulder of civilized countries for pressure in diplomacy or helter-skelter into war to resolve international concerns. Should we tax most the ones who benefit most? These are a few of our problems; they won't go away until we insist that elected officials work out the necessary compromises to resolve them. If that doesn't work, how will we decide who we'll accept as dictator?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | February 16, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Some of the commenters, I think, don't get that Mr. Robinson is being facetious in his comment about a U.S. Senator thinking he can serve his country better thru the private sector. (Mr. Robinson, correct me if I'm wrong.) Maybe a better word to use would have been "incredulous." The goings-on in Congress of late are a very sad commentary on American society. I understand Mr. Bayh's frustration, and I wish him well in his future endeavors.

Posted by: TexasGal4 | February 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

tell me eugene,
are black folks getting paid for not working or being given jobs without the media telling us because only black folks are getting paid and no one else...
well...
because unemployment is a much bigger story...
like it or not...
your lib buddies in goverment must tell you not to write about it...
but there it is...
what about employment eugene,
what about jobs...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Bayh is a big part of the problem. If he had stayed, Indiana would have to chose between a DINO (Bayh) and a corporate lapdog(Coates) .No choice,no change. Wait till you see how much$$$$$$ the corporations throw in the election. America is a fascist state. Thanks to a Supreme Court of right wing crooks!

Posted by: hughsie48 | February 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I think Bayh has taken the Palin road. Quit, make money, take potshots, run for president...or not.

We are becoming a country of quitters and worse, it's being celebrated as an appropriate behavior. Thanks Sarah.

Posted by: arancia12 | February 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

You, Senator are no Birch Bayh!

Posted by: joy2 | February 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Evan Bayh is just playing the game. He is using the method that Kerry used in VietNam.

Don't remember? Kerry got three scratches, one in which he was retreating from a fight while his two other boats were attacking, appled for three puple hearts and where he spent a total of three months in "combat" in Vietnam. Now he claims he is a war hero when all he is is a gigalo for Mrs. Heinz.

Bayh spent just enough time in the senate to garner himself a lucrative retirement pay for the rest of his life without the hassle of having to actually becoming a real statesman. A trait that is not common among neither parties. Of course the fact that he would have a real tough re-election bid didn't play well either.

Posted by: captain3292
____________________

Hmmm, I agree but you're example is far off.

Bayh has followed the sterling example of Gov. Palin who spent just enough time in office to start some projects and never finish them or accept responsibility for them and never have to worry about being a real stateswoman.

Mrs. Palin bailed after John McCain made her notorious and now she's bringing in millions. It would seem Republicans would appreciate Bayh's actions. Bayh can now pontificate from the pages of Facebook, pad his retirement funds, and ponder a run for the presidency. If it's good enough for Sarah why not Evan?

Posted by: arancia12 | February 16, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

joy2 was exactly right (You, Senator are no Birch Bayh!). It was wrong to think so, it was wrong to hope so.
When the going gets tough, Evan cried UNCLE!

Posted by: Ginger19069 | February 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

jfv123: absolutely. The private sector pays the bills. They run the businesses that employ the people and pay the taxes. Can you fathom if there was no private sector? No one employing anyone? How would government go on...hmmmmm

Posted by: sah2 | February 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

>>>Bayh has followed the sterling example of Gov. Palin who spent just enough time in office to start some projects and never finish them or accept responsibility for them and never have to worry about being a real stateswoman.<<<

arancia12, you're not from Indiana are you?
Evan Bayh is in his second term as senator and before that was a 2-term governor. I think he had plenty of time to get some projects done, don't you?

Posted by: joanne11 | February 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Is it not a possibility that Senator Bayh just wants to spend the formative years(and the difficult ones) with his adorable children? I cannot understand why some folks love the D.C.spotlight. Of course, there are some people that can't do anything except suck-up to power brokers.Term limits aught to be the law of the land. Then our so-called representatives would have to have an occupation. While they are about straightening the mess out, prohibit any former representative( House or Senate) from working for any lobbying organization & include the spouse. Evan Bayh, like Bob Kerry, former Senator, has a much higher calling, So what if the republicans take over. They will only do that if the unconcerned voters really want republicans in charge & have memory loss about the '90's & double 00's when republicans controlled everything & Cheney & Rove were in charge.Maybe the Chinese would do better, Everyone would work & propagation at will would stop.Or maybe not.

Posted by: tlrasnic | February 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

One of the few times I can agree with Mr. Robinson. Congress is disfunctional. The Democrats thought with their majority they could pass any legislation no matter how far left it was. It was their own party that prevented it because the moderates realized this is a moderate company and they would be punished. That is as a result of the Tea Partys and people against the far left agenda of the Democrat party. They taught the moderates the lesson if they pass the far left liberal bills, they would be voted out.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | February 16, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Politicians will focus on the issues facing this country when they no longer have to spent most of their time raising money to win the next election. I'm not a political scientist or historian but from a layperson's observation as political campaigns have become more and more expensive to operate, the candidates became more and more reliant upon special interest groups who expected their candidate to walk the talk at ever increasing volume. But now that the supreme court has made it even easier for special interests to spend unlimited and unregulated amounts of cash to influence the outcome of elections, expect the partisanship to increase even more. Take the money out of the campaign equation and I think you will find more dialogue and less shouting at each other.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | February 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Since Liberals are being accused of being Communists, perhaps a little Red Menacing of the Right Wing is in order. The Right Wingers are already howling like scalded cats. Just add a cause for that reaction and Washington will be amenable to all kinds of Progressive change. Example: tight regulatory control of the banks. Example: a health-care system that isn't primarily a capital generation machine for big insurance companies and big pharma. Example: wars that can be fought to completion, with Victory, in finite time.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 16, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The actions by this president and his progressive congress and senate are the reason the senator is leaving, another reason is more of the following:

The Obama administration has strained the bounds of permissiveness more than any president in recent memory. Obama has enacted laws and policies outside the U.S. Constitution not once but many times.

Now, his terrorist supporting White House lawyer, Rashad Hussain, is being touted by the Obama administration as a nominee as the Muslim Envoy! What the heck is going on here?

This man, Rashad Hussain, is a high level, closely associated with our president, terrorist supporter!!!!

This man, Rashad Hussain publicly supported convicted felon, Sami Al-Arian. Rashad Hussain's progressive, inflamatory remarks against Israel have been whitewashed from public record in order to protect this man and his erroneous position next to our president.

The people demand answers from one, Barack Hussain Obama.

Just who do we have in our White House making decisions about our national security, a terrorist supporter and sympathizer? Do the research, Obama supporters, get your heads out of the sand now!

Posted by: prossers7 | February 16, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, for your sake and other good Black people, I and a lot of others would give anything if this president was just a wonderful Black president, period. A good person, I do believe, Barack Obama is; however, the people he surrounds himself with and the off-the-wall policies he engenders is more than this country can or should allow at this particular time in our history.

Posted by: prossers7 | February 16, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: prossers7
Statement like yours is the epitome of what author's writing about. Nothing more than attacking without offering solutions.

I would not be surprised that the Republicans would put a political angle on this one because they feel things are going their way and will not let up until, those who forgot about what they did and their ideas for the past 30 years is what got us into this mess, vote them back in.
Bayh is stating what's on his mind like the others of both parties have done in the past because once you decide to leave, you're not tethered to the party nor its leadership.

Posted by: beeker25 | February 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Damning all politicians across the board only contributes to our national political paralysis. However emotionally satisfying, it is not a substitute for actually paying attention to how one's current representatives vote and what substantive policy alternatives their opponents advocate. Instead, we the public tend to vote lifelong party loyalties or, worse, pretend to be "independent" voters when all we do is blow with the prevailing media wind or ritually throw temper tantrums against incumbents. The net result is our two party system in which neither party can be dislodged no matter how badly pummeled in any given electoral cycle.

Posted by: washpost29 | February 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Senator Bayh’s reasons are simply his; whatever they are. Only he knows truly what they are. He’s in the middle of the road; anyone there can easily be knocked off or disillusioned. I assume he didn’t want to serve controlling, name calling, blame finding people anymore. He wants to be the leader and do things his way. All of this trying to second guess another persons decision shows the controlling attitude of people. Simply put; with no political jargon or I’m in the know about the political arena, I’ll just say stop using President Obama as a scapegoat for everything and look at it as Senator Bayh put it. I am not in love with my position anymore and desire to take my talents elsewhere for now.

Posted by: Vis7Wis | February 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The deletion of career Congress, the elimination of all retirement plans in place for them, and a 6 year stint is the cure they all need.

No one elected leaders, they elected "representatives" whose inflated egos calls themselves leaders.

THE USA deserves the prosecution of their nepotism and cronyism in misuse of office.

Posted by: dottydo | February 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So instead of trying to change the way Congress is operating (or not operating), Bayh is doing a Palin -- quitting. I'm sure he could find others who agree with him, but that might mean actually having to be bi-partisan, actuall having to work at his job.

Posted by: ccs53 | February 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

evan bayh and the other conservadems are the major reasons for failure to join other democrats to enact legislation that shows the
country that they are moving forward with
needed changes. IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE
SOLUTION, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. THE
FEAR OF THE CONSERVADEMS WAS AND IS A PROBLEM
THESE CONSERVADEMS DID NOT TRUST THEIR CONSTI
TUENCY.

Posted by: blacknight1 | February 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of self-serving politicians abusing the American public. For the most part, all the congress cares about is getting re-elected to another term, and collecting their other paycheck from the lobbyists. I had never been one to wanted term limits because you lose so much with that protocal, however, these arrogant, selfish, partisan politicians have to go.

Posted by: Listening2 | February 16, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of self-serving politicians abusing the American public. For the most part, all the congress cares about is getting re-elected to another term, and collecting their other paycheck from the lobbyists. I had never been one to wanted term limits because you lose so much with that protocal, however, these arrogant, selfish, partisan politicians have to go.

Posted by: Listening2 | February 16, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Robinson,
You're part of the problem. For example, in your blog you mention one of Bayh's reasons, and of course it happens to be a complaint against the actions of the Republicans. But of course you don't mention Reid killing the bipartisan jobs bill. It seems everyone has dug in, but just don't lecture anyone when you're as partisan as anyone else.

Posted by: josettes | February 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jdarby21

"Thanks, Frank, for reminding me that our system is hopelessly broken. This is one older citizen who is now officially done with the whole mess. It's been fun reading the Times and keeping up with politics, but now that it is apparent to me that involvement in being an active and informed citizen is a fool's errand, I've decided that I've got more important things to do with my life. There are NO political solutions to what truly ails America. To the rest of my fellow citizens, good luck 'tilting at windmills.'"
-----------------------------

Me too, but before I go, I'm hoping to take a few out with me. I've harboring "anti-incumbent sentiment" and I'm voting this fall against everyone on the ballet who currently holds office, Dem or Republican. I'm sick of it.

Posted by: lance_monotone | February 16, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: washpost29

Damning all politicians across the board only contributes to our national political paralysis. However emotionally satisfying, it is not a substitute for actually paying attention to how one's current representatives vote and what substantive policy alternatives their opponents advocate. Instead, we the public tend to vote lifelong party loyalties or, worse, pretend to be "independent" voters when all we do is blow with the prevailing media wind or ritually throw temper tantrums against incumbents. The net result is our two party system in which neither party can be dislodged no matter how badly pummeled in any given electoral cycle.
----------------------------
No, respectfully, I believe you're wrong. We send our representatives to DC to do our bidding. If they are more inclined to cut deals, act in the interests of corporate lobbyists, or engage in whatever shenanigans of the moment, then they don't deserve to be there. They feel themselves entitled; unless they instead feel the threat of our wrath nothing of import will ever get done. I am a Dem by the way, and live in Massachusetts. I am as hopey-changey as they come but after watching my representatives compromise away the health care bill that anyone who makes less than $100K needs, I can't and won't take anymore. If they won't do it, let's vote 'em out. If the next crop won't do it, let's vote them out too. If the country becomes ungovernable, fine. The Tea Partiers will take over for awhile until they are overthrown. There is a lot of blood to be shed in our future and I'm ready for it.

Posted by: lance_monotone | February 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

When will the Senate pass anything? Obama has good legislation, Democrats have a solid majority, the House can do the job. If Senators lose in the next election, tough. NOW is the time to pass legislation! It will never come again while you're in office, no matter what happens in November. NOW NOW NOW

Posted by: dudh | February 16, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Me too, but before I go, I'm hoping to take a few out with me. I've harboring "anti-incumbent sentiment" and I'm voting this fall against everyone on the ballet who currently holds office, Dem or Republican. I'm sick of it."

------------------------------------

Had the same thought.......

Posted by: jdarby21 | February 16, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, in many ways Washington is dysfunctional. One of the reasons that it is hard to truly do the people's business is that so many politicians take money from lobbyists. Bayh is no exception. He may be a better senator than some - but he isn't as good as some others.

I don't know what the answer is - but there better be fundamental changes in the way things are done before it is too late and we turn into a Third World nation. Then try turning the clock back....

Posted by: BarbWald | February 16, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

What Byah was saying was that the Progressives have taken over the Senate, and nothing can get done that doesn't fit the Progressive agenda - whether it is right for the country or not.

Unfortunately, the same thing has happened to the House. Nancy Pelosi and eleven of the twenty House Chairmen are Progressives and will only work towards Progressive goals.

Posted by: mike85 | February 16, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

When the going gets tough the weak quit! So much for "Yes we can!" Isn't it great that the Sen. can take with him the 13 mil. in his reelection account. Non taxable!! Free and Clear!!!! That's a clear cut "Redistribution of wealth!" Could that be termed an "ENTITLEMENT?"

What ever happened to the "Contract With America" that was entered into back in 1994. The one important item was TERM LIMITS. So much for honoring a contract!

Posted by: doughboy96 | February 16, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Mike 85

If Progressives had taken over the Senate, we'd have a single payer health care system, ends to our multiple wars, a robust jobs program, real regulation of our corrupt financial system and a whole lot more programs that actually benefit the electorate. So, it's time to stop blathering about a Progressive Agenda. Cause all it is is blather.

Posted by: seldoc1 | February 16, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you Mr. Robinson. The people at MSNBC want you to call them back for some more talking points. You forgot to say that Obama is the Second Coming.

Posted by: AtlantaLatino | February 16, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

doughboy, you have no clue as to the facts. Just shut up.

Posted by: gripper | February 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

Why is that incredible for Bayh to believe that. Most people are more use doing something besides government work. The government is the least productive segment of our country. See last week's 5-day government closure while the rest of the country kept functioning.

Only an inside the beltway pundit would think serving in the U.S. Senate would be more useful.

Posted by: Arlingtonguy | February 16, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"It is incredible that a U.S. senator believes he can be of more service to his state and his nation in some other role -- running a business, leading a university. Wow."

Why is that incredible for Bayh to believe that. Most people are more useful doing something besides government work. The government is the least productive segment of our country. See last week's 5-day government closure while the rest of the country kept functioning.

Only an inside the beltway pundit would think serving in the U.S. Senate would be more useful.

Posted by: Arlingtonguy | February 16, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

As soon as we liberals save the country from the Republicans - AGAIN - we'll simply turn back control to them and let them run the goodship USA aground again. Then the liberals will - AGAIN - save the country from the Republicans. And then - AGAIN - we'll turn control back over, only to have them run the goodship USA over a waterfall again. Then the liberals - AGAIN - will save the contry....on and on and on...
Posted by: ScottChallenger
------------
If the liberals gave up their obsession with massacring the unborn, and stopped attacking anyone who ever prays, maybe they could retain power when they do get it?

But of course they cannot "compromise their principles" now, can they?

Posted by: rohitcuny | February 16, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson's point is clear, blame does not go to one party or person. The Senate and the House is expected to work on behalf of "We The People". They have FAILED!!!!

Posted by: Randy9 | February 16, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't blame Sen. Bayh for quitting. The Senate, like the House, is becoming too polarized ideologically. Not that I want these guys burying all of their hatchets - having a two-party system helps keep excesses in check. But it also helps if occasionally the parties can work together for the greater good.

For instance, Republicans could acknowledge, at least once in a while, that taxes are necessary for a functioning government; and Democrats need to acknowledge that there is indeed such a thing as a budget and they should try and stick to it.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 16, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If the liberals gave up their obsession with massacring the unborn, and stopped attacking anyone who ever prays, maybe they could retain power when they do get it?

But of course they cannot "compromise their principles" now, can they?

Posted by: rohitcuny
==============================
Assuming for the sake of argument that the foregoing exaggerations are true - would you compromise your principals?

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | February 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Good bye Evan Byah, We're happy that you're retiring. The only way you could make real Democrats happier would be if you resigned today. Evan Byah is/was the most boring politician in the history of American politic. Evan Byah is definitely not a chip off of his Daddy's block. As a matter of fact, Evan Byah could never fill his Daddy's jock strap. Birch Byah was a real Democrat. Evan Byah is a wishy-washy, fence straddling, acquiescing, boot licking stealth Republican. The irony is in the facts that if Evan Byah had switched to the Republican party, they would treat him like he was old gum on the sole of their shoes. We Democrats are going to clean house. We will use a wide broom to sweep all of these traitorous, Benedict Arnold turncoats out of our party. Landreiu and Lincoln, Barcus and Stupka, Herr Lie-berman and Nelson. They're all history.

Posted by: ODDOWL | February 16, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm going to start holding my breath until provincials stop sending whackjob ideologues to Congress. Let me know when I can breathe.

Posted by: hayesap8 | February 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We the people need to take the time to research candidates for public office. What they say in an election cycle is often geared toward "buying" our vote, so an electorate that can analyze critically in crucial to the future success of our country. Vote for those who put country ahead of person gain. PLEASE!

Posted by: Cfhoag | February 16, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Robinson well that's being kind to say the least. Washington is broken because of big money in politics. The republic has ended. The United States as we once knew it no longer exists. Washington primarily serves the international banking cartel and military-industrial complex. We live in a quasi-fascist state.

Posted by: Aurellano | February 16, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

From the desk of just another Media Pimp, Robinson:

Palin- Quits and is a Quitter...
Bayh- Retires and is a retiree

Thank you media pimp...

Posted by: ekim53 | February 16, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, Bayh is simply cashing in. His wife sits on the board of an outfit that will likely find something for him to do that will pay him well. Nothing terribly noble about that.

Posted by: Puller58 | February 17, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is spot on in his depiction of the dysfunction of the U.S. Congress. The reasons behind it are complex and cannot be laid at the door of one party. The really disturbing fact is this: we Americans ultimately get the government that we deserve. Why do we Americans continue to elect and re-elect and re-elect the same tired bozos to Congress and then are surprised that we get bozo government? The solution is clear. Congress needs a wholesale house cleaning. But that does not mean Democrats should vote for a Republican and vice versa. What about more primary contests? What about new Democratic and Republican faces challenging those jaded incumbents for the nomination of their respective party?

We’ve reached the point where we know one simple truth: Nothing could be worse than what we’ve got.

Posted by: tbarksdl | February 17, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon10 wrote:
The fun is running out because we've spent more than we have, and we have borrowed more than we can ever pay back. If you are a Democrat, and can't spend your time fashioning big government programs, what fun is left???
xxx
How old are you?
Were you here and paying attention during the last 3 Republican presidencies? Reagan, Bush and Bush gave us more debt than we had seen since WWII.

Clinton, the DEMOCRAT in case you hadn't noticed, trimmed the government and left a surplus behind for Bush 43 to squander.

And, yes, the only thing we can do is spend our way out of a deep recession. FDR knew it -- and so does Obama.

Obviously, the only thing you know how to do is rehash the Republican talking points -- critical thinking is not in your skill set.

Posted by: twocrows | February 17, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Americans do not know the difference! Congress is the way it is because we are the way we are. We, the People, are a mess, and we're going to get what's coming to us: incompetent politicians, second and then third-rate national status, decline in living standard for most of us, greater internationalization of the elites.

It's not just Congress that's dysfunctional. It's all of us.

Posted by: vernedwards | February 17, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

It has become quite obvious the agenda of both political parties alike. The repugnant, disrespectful, and camera flamboyant posturing has become an obstacle to this administration. From the so called security glitches; where estranged guest are aloud to prance around a presidential event. To Glenn Beck’s obnoxious expression and delusions of reality, and now the sudden admittance from a government elected official: that the Senate is discombobulated. Americans already knew that this system of government is a mere compensation for elected officials. Now expectations of continued pocket wealth and under the table deals are coming to a screeching halt, it’s time to jump ship. President Obama please keep your friends close, but, your enemies closer. Be mindful of your surroundings, and notice the sudden scatter, and the I Don’t Know answers when the excrement hits the fan.

Posted by: the2ndchance4exoffendersgmailcom | February 19, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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