Evan Bayh’s decision to retire has to shock Democrats, and delight Republicans. Bayh was the clear favorite to hold the Indiana Senate seat, and with him gone, the seat has to be found to lean Republican. With an anti-incumbency mood on the rise, and with a significant number of Democratic retirements in both the House and the Senate, the chances for large Republican gains–if not an outright takeover of Congress–in the midterm elections, is growing. Bayh’s retirement only serves to help the Republican cause.
I wish Bayh well, but I have to laugh about the concerns regarding “increased partisanship” in Washington. First of all, partisanship is not nearly as bad as it was in the past. Secondly, to the extent that there is partisanship, perhaps some of it stems from the fact that upon their takeover of Congress in 2007, Democrats began to push Republicans out of the policymaking process, promises to the contrary notwithstanding.