February 16, 2010
No Country for Wets
Evan Bayh is taking his ball and going home. Bayh is the style of moderate who's time has past. Painfully, desperately moderate, the sort to always try and find the exact 51% position between the 0 of conservatism and the 100 of liberalism. In a Senate where members still crossed party lines and deals could be stuck across the spectrum, Evan Bayh was the smartest, most important, best looking guy in the room. His was the key vote, the key meeting, the tipping point. If he supported something, that made it the moderate choice, and all kinds of people can support the moderate choice. But in today's Senate, where no member of the GOP will vote yes for anything, Evan Bayh is useless. He can't get any Republican votes, no matter how hard he "moderates," so his watering down good legislation never pays off. Every time he wanders off the reservation, good bills die by filibuster. In today's partisan world, the only way for Evan Bayh to get anything done would be to shut up, be a good soldier, and become just a liberal as the rest of his democratic colleges. But Bayh has spent his whole career looking at the liberals and moving to their right. He's just not wired for the way the system works now.