Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Bayh Retrospective

Birch Bayh, long an object of SWNIDish scorn, is retiring from the Senate.

This is not bad news. It is not even news, really. It's just another symptom of what's really wrong: that a stubborn left wing controls one of two major political parties of a country that expects to be governed from the center right.

For some perspective, we cite the opinion of one Tim Swarens, opinions editor for the Indianapolis Star, in WSJ. Swarens lauds Bayh as a sort of hero, a "tenacious moderate." Yet he characterizes Bayh's moderation this way:

Mr. Bayh has earned a reputation as a careful tactician, one who measures every word and weighs every policy position to offend the fewest number of voters.

Wow! That's principle for you! Leadership with the courage not to offend will be sorely missed on Capitol Hill. "Speak softly and carry a big pillow!" No wonder the list of Mr. Bayh's accomplishments in the Senate is so extensive (here's a list: ).

For evidence of the same, note that Mr. Swarens's employer awhile back called out Bayh's no vote on John Roberts' confirmation as a failure to stand for the "Hoosier values" on which he campaigned, instead cow-towing to his party's financiers among the unions and leftist activists. Those, like SWNID, old enough to remember Bayh's father will remember that he too was not a terribly principled operator. Both Evan and his daddy Birch were more than happy to campaign with tasteless pathos on the memory of Evan's mother's tragic death from cancer, once in office deciding issues ad hoc to please whoever needs pleasing at the moment.

It's been a long time since the Dems had moderates who were such on principle and not political pragmatics. Of course, to read some, this is all the Republicans fault, as they've poisoned the political atmosphere to the point that extremism is all that's left for the Democrats who control every lever of federal government with massive majorities. If only the Republicans, who nominated far-right-winger John McCain in 2008, beating out unreconstructed John Bircher Mitt Romney, were just more moderate!

No comments: