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Senator Evan Bayh to Retire

 Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh  will not seek reelection, he said Monday:

Bayh  "In prepared remarks, Bayh, 54, cited excessive partisanship that makes progress on public policy difficult to achieve as the motivation for his decision. 'After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,' he said. 'My decision was not motivated by political concern,' he added. 'Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.' Bayh had never lost an election, from his first win in 1986 as secretary of state, his wins for governor in 1988 and 1992 and his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998 and 2004. 'But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,' Bayh said. 'And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.'"

Statement called "total bullshit".

Politico: "Senate Democratic leaders, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and DSCC Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) were not informed of Bayh's decision until Monday morning, according to several Democratic insiders. Bayh was even scheduled to appear on a CNN Sunday show, but canceled his appearance, said Democratic sources. Attention immediately turned to a pair of moderate House Democrats, Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth, as potential prospects to fill the seat. Aside from Coats, the favored candidate of the national GOP, former Rep. John Hostettler and a handful of lesser-known candidates were already vying for the Republican nomination."

In the dust: Primary filing deadline tomorrow?

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  1. As a Hoosier and a Democrat, I have to say, I'm glad to see him go. Sen. Bayh is often seen as a DINO, even when he was governor. The party in Indiana will need to work hard to keep the seat in Democratic hands, especially with the fairly popular former congressman and looneytoon, Dan Coats, running on the GOP ticket. We need to send an actual progressive to Washington DC.

    Posted by: jimmy | Feb 15, 2010 11:19:03 AM

  2. At the end of the day he was still a democrat voting on the right legislation. I can see nothing good coming from this. The title should read "Bayh quits and hands senate seat to republicans" - - What a mess. Coats will probably win and he is a monster.

    Posted by: KFLO | Feb 15, 2010 11:30:30 AM

  3. No loss. Might as well have real Republicans as Blue Dogs.

    Posted by: charley | Feb 15, 2010 11:49:15 AM

  4. @ Jimmy/Charley:

    You're RETARDED. No matter how conservative he sometimes leaned, ever hear of keeping the party majority in the Senate?

    Unless the IN Dems run Jesus, this is another reason we may lose control of the Senate [or at least important votes] AND we're going to have card carrying faghating fascists Dan Coats or John Hostettler come January!

    He could have at least run, won, then resigned early next year leaving some possibility that a Dem could have been appointed to serve the balance of his SIX YEAR term!

    There's something MAJOR behind this insane decision and it ain't "dissatisfaction with Washington."

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 15, 2010 12:00:12 PM

  5. It is a forgone conclusion that unless there's some sort of major event that shakes everything up in the next few months, Obama will have to deal with a Republican Congress in November.

    The Democrats in Congress are dysfunctional and incapable of governing. The economic situation has not improved much since Bush left office. And yes, the birthers and tea baggers has successfully given White America buyer's remorse about the president himself. That's a recipe for disaster come election day. And the rats - including Bayh - are abandoning ship as fast as they can.

    Posted by: John | Feb 15, 2010 12:23:14 PM

  6. He's a kind-of-cute daddy.

    I'm a staunch, progressive democrat. I'm thinking the Dems have noone but themselves to blame. Shame on us.

    Posted by: Dan | Feb 15, 2010 12:38:49 PM

  7. Bayh has screwed his own party, too. The filing deadline is Friday. If any Democrat wants to run, he or she has to collect 500 signatures in each of the 9 congressional districts. He could effectively be handing his seat to the Republicans...

    As a Hoosier, thank you Evan Bayh for being a supreme douchebag.

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 15, 2010 12:42:16 PM

  8. Both parties have members quitting/retiring more freely now: since Scott Brown got in, the Dems' super-majority doesn't matter anymore.

    Yay, business as usual!

    Posted by: latebrosus | Feb 15, 2010 1:00:31 PM

  9. Republicans were able to keep their stranglehold in Congress for approximately 12 years, Democrats will lose it in mere 4 years. Repubs are at least three times more adroit at retaining power than Dems.

    Posted by: Javier | Feb 15, 2010 1:15:29 PM

  10. Since there is no significant difference between the two parties in terms of actual results, I couldn't care less. Vote third party!

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2010 1:23:42 PM

  11. Is he going to retire that hairpiece as well? Anyway, this is a revolving door type resignation--all these guys become high paid lobbyists after they quit, and now that the SC has removed restrictions on corporate campaign donations the lobbying is going to be very lucrative indeed.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 15, 2010 1:47:32 PM

  12. I think Tank is right. Why bemoan the Dems losing a super majority when they caved on practically every progressive reform? Leadership (Harry Reid) has proven unwilling to actually wield the power we gave them by disciplining members who are out of line. In politics, voters must reward good behavior, and punish bad behavior, with their votes. Vote Green.

    Posted by: jimmy | Feb 15, 2010 1:48:12 PM

  13. This guy is pond scum. A member of Rahm Emanuel's Blue Dogs he has contributed more to the GOP's attempts at not passing any progressive agenda than to helping Democrats govern. His failure to inform Reid and the Democratic leadership of his resignation, coupled with the fact that the deadline to file for his seat is a few days away is nothing more than calculated disrespect to the party, the leadership and all Democrats in general. He's from the Joe Lieberman school of politics.

    No doubt Bayh has a cushy job lined up with the health care industry, perhaps even joining his wife as a non-working highly paid employee of Wellpoint.

    I don't think the Democrats have to worry about the filibuster any more, since the GOP will probably take a majority in the Senate and just pass legislation by reconciliation or enticing other Blue Dogs to join them. They'll force Obama to govern by veto.

    Bayh may be replaced by a real Republican, but he was nothing more than a GOP mole inside the Democratic ranks, like Lieberman, Landrieu, Baucus, Lincoln, the Nelson's, etc. Why do the Democrats have such an uncanny gift for always snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 15, 2010 1:51:34 PM

  14. Cool, another homophobic Republican is retiring from the Senate. Now, if only Ben Nelson would go.

    Posted by: libhomo | Feb 15, 2010 2:14:55 PM

  15. Yeh, vote third party! Also known as: "The Guarantee You're Fucking Yourself."

    Absolutism is its own reward in the same way suicide is.

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 15, 2010 2:36:25 PM

  16. You're fucking yourself either way. I'd rather be honest about it and vote for a party (as the individual doesn't really matter anymore) and candidate that I actually care about than someone who will lie and doublespeak. That is, I'd rather be honest that the ship is sinking than pretend it's not, do nothing, and drown.

    People defending the democrats at this point don't care about substantive action on lgbt rights or healthcare reform, or bank regulation. You care more about a party than your country. At least the republicans are honest about that fact...they don't care about this country at all, and actively seek to destroy it (and basically did). The only way to hold a party or politician accountable is through your vote. That's all that matters, and even that is disappearing.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2010 2:45:18 PM

  17. Michael - Since Susan, his wife, is on the Board of Directors of Wellpoint, the largest health insurer in the nation, Sen. Bayh's conflict of interest is as deep as Lake Michigan. If the Dems put up an actual progressive candidate, I'll vote for them. If they don' way.

    Posted by: jimmy | Feb 15, 2010 2:57:34 PM

  18. @ Tank: I'm not "defending Democrats." I'm saying that at their worst they're better than the Repugs at their best and that the world will have to turn upside down for ANY third party to ever have a chance of winning again.

    @ Jimmy: Look in the mirror and you will see that you're nothing but the left equivalent of a tea bagger...willing to destroy everything just because you can't get your way.

    Our only hope [in terms of simply keeping the seat Democratic at all which benefits whatever influence the few progressives in the Senate have and to offset the far worse Repugs] is that Jimmy's Indiana lunatic cousins excuse me teabaggers already screaming about the GOP "forcing" Troglodyte Da Coats "on we the people" will so split the Right's votes that whatever Dem runs will win.


    Evan's father, Birch, who was something of a screaming liberal [solely] by Hoosier standards, was driven out of the US Senate along with other Dem liberals [e.g., McGovern, Church] in a mass-mailing nuclear attack imagined and led by a publicly closeted gay man from a rabidly homophobic, right wing family: Terry Dolan, [see picture] who, while GOP-centric displayed something of a primordial teabagger/Beck/Rush DNA: "We want people to hate Birch Bayh without even knowing why."

    After he died of AIDS, his family tried to cover up both his orientation and cause of death. His brother, Reagan's chief speechwriter, paid for a two-full pages ad in The Washington Times attacking gays and "homosexual intrigue" at the Washignton Post for revealing his brother's gayness post mortem: "Poor [WAPO editor] Ben Bradlee has no one on whom he dares turn his back."

    And guess who cut his political queer-baiting teeth when he defeated Dolan when both were running for head of the College Young Republicans by a whisper campaign about Dolan's gayness: wait for it....drum roll.....KARL ROVE. Some may recall a similar whisper campaign, alleging that Texas governor Ann Richards was gay, helped put Bush fils in that state's governor's mansion...and, thus, eventually the White House.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Feb 15, 2010 4:00:44 PM

  19. "Tank: I'm not "defending Democrats." I'm saying that at their worst they're better than the Repugs at their best and that the world will have to turn upside down for ANY third party to ever have a chance of winning again."

    Not so. The republican party is still hemorrhaging supporters/voters. It's collapsing on itself, and this is an opportunity for third party candidates.

    Magical thinking from you, plainly. Oh, they don't call you a dirty faggot to your face? Well they sure think it. And in the final analysis, you'll still have nothing but broken promises and pandering. And now associating those who wish to go third party in protest with teapartiers is the lowest form of rhetoric. Stick to DADT, michael...that seems to be your "area". Christ, I hate olds.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2010 4:14:20 PM

  20. If the tin foil hat fits, wear it, Tank, and there's one with your name on it.

    "Magical thinking"? Moronia, you have the patent on that to think that "third party candidates" are the solution. Who the hell would they vote WITH in Congress? Dems or Repugs or Abstain? You don't know shit from Shinola about real world politics. You're just verbally masturbating.

    So go fuck yourself, and not in the good way, presuming to tell me what I can and can't speak to. Who died and made you Queen of the Net?

    Posted by: Michael @ | Feb 15, 2010 4:52:28 PM

  21. '"Magical thinking"? Moronia, you have the patent on that to think that "third party candidates" are the solution. Who the hell would they vote WITH in Congress? Dems or Repugs or Abstain? You don't know shit from Shinola about real world politics. You're just verbally masturbating.'

    Your do NOTHING strategy has achieved absolutely nothing to date for lgbt equality. You're stating that there is absolutely nothing we can do about the the democrats who refuse to lift a finger to support us via legislation and republicans who villainize us for votes. You have NO ANSWERS but the status quo, which, to date, is an utter failure and complete waste of time. You do not implement a failed strategy in the hopes that it will return different results.

    No wonder democrats aren't willing to take any risks on lgbt legislation (something beyond the empty promises) when they've got useful idiots like you who will vote for and defend either way.

    The threat of republican victory is no longer something that can be taken seriously by the lgbt community.

    Take your medication, you old son of a bitch.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2010 5:00:08 PM

  22. "I hate olds." "You old son of a bitch."

    Ah, ageism—the last refuge of the childish.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Feb 15, 2010 5:25:27 PM

  23. A schmuck to the end. Not only did he blatantly lie in his statement (he didn't abhor "gridlock," he *caused* it), but his retirement announcement comes 4 days before the deadline to file to run in that state as a primary.

    Going over to DailyKos, it says that if no one files in time (kind of seems unlikely to me -- it's only 500 signatures), the state party gets to pick a candidate... but contrary to what most people think, primaries aren't a bad thing in terms of getting your party to win the general election. You don't know how well a candidate can run until you see them do it -- and you don't know what kind of baggage a candidate has... until other candidates dig them up. Plus, with primary campaigns comes media attention... Not to mention the fact that it ensures that whoever is the party's candidate in the general, that person was selected by a majority of people eligible to vote in the primary... not just some party elites who probably don't have a solid understanding of who best could win.

    Posted by: Ryan | Feb 15, 2010 6:38:45 PM

  24. From my perspective, Bayh's announcement was the biggest piece of news today, and it's remarkable that every liberal media source (including this blog) has played down its importance, and everyone's been reporting it in purely personal terms, citing his wish "to be an executive," wish to "be a governor rather than a senator," etc. I get the "spin," but there's much more subtext here.

    His decision not to run is a blatant condemnation of the past year of Congressional harangue, a year of ill conceived, rushed legislation, profligate spending WITHOUT OVERSIGHT, and a squandering of political goodwill by the leftist Democrats and the arrogant "kitchen cabinet" of the West Wing. As an independent, I voted for and support President Obama, but much of the past year has been hugely disappointing, and has fallen very far short of what was promised.

    Today, there are just as many lobbyists controlling legislation as there were before, and now, with the Supreme Court's recent ruling, we can expect even more lobbying by corporate America and foreign interests. Wall Street has been "saved" but the individual investor has not. The economy is stalling again, credit fails to flow to the individual investor, joblessness continues (thereby), and our national debt is wildly out of control. The health care debate . . . well, why state the obvious? PATHETIC. It's now being called "insurance reform." No public health care initiative, no expansion of Medicare/Medicaid.

    So, when individuals like Bayh (who, by all projections, would have won his incumbent seat handily) choose to excuse themselves from participating in a Democratic MAJORITY, it speaks volumes about the moral dilemma that pervades the "Yes We Can" moment.

    It's time for some clear thinking and soul searching here. I think the President "gets it," but I doubt that his cronies do. We need a new Senate majority leader and DEFINITELY need a new Speaker of the House. Fewer ego's, more deal making and bipartisanship. The agenda has been taken way off course, and most Americans are offended -- even many of the Obama loyalists.

    The great Democratic Flail has given the G.O.P. the time and political capital to win major elections in NJ and Massachusetts. The mid-term elections are going to be a real wake-up moment. And, unless he's very lucky, Barack Obama will prove to be another one term wonder, another Jimmy Carter.

    These are hard facts to face. But, not facing these realities will be disastrous. Without a dramatic departure from past policies, we can expect a pronounced swing to the Right.

    Posted by: Richard | Feb 15, 2010 10:00:45 PM

  25. I hate to say it but I'm also just about finished with the democrats. They have wasted an opportunity of a generation to get in and make real change - but it is no ones fault for our own. We keep electing douche bags.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 15, 2010 10:15:04 PM

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