I can relate...a Donkey Tale situated between a rock and a hard place
(Talk of the Town photos courtesy of Susie Duncan Sexton) Above, Evan Bayh was a special guest at a 1990s Thomas Marshall dinner in Columbia City at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds. From left is Roy Sexton as Thomas Marshall, Dennis Warnick, Evan Bayh and Don Sexton. Below, Evan Bayh stands for a photo with Roy Sexton in costume as Thomas Marshall.
By Susie Duncan Sexton
Succinctly stated, one is "damned if one does and damned if one doesn't" attempt to articulate formulas for reversal of the goofy decline of our nation. Evan Bayh, maybe some folks "hardly knew ye", but I met you 47 years ago during the final year of JFK's presidency. You cheerfully walked beside each of your parents clutching their hands while I stood waiting, as a starry-eyed Hoosier Girls' State participant, in a cafeteria line at Indiana University. We smiled at each other.
Decades hence, Senator Bayh and I have both aged. He is no longer eight years old, while my teen-aged years all but completely fade from memory.
Somewhat slightly "left of center" myself (Ain't THAT the truth?), I am saddened that you're exiting the political scene as you have made the donkey proud. Your star was on the ascendancy.
Gubernatorial, senatorial, nearly vice-presidential service to our country! Quite an accomplishment. Appearing to stand upon his own principles, Bayh received measured, short-lived praise some months ago as a reasonable politician refusing to buy whole-heartedly into his party's "party line". Soon, surprisingly, BAYH-partisan vultures huddled together to squawk, " Conflict of interest!" toward the vicinity of his gorgeous wife Susan's business associations. Evan became a man with no country, or at any rate, no party?
Bayh claims that extreme divisiveness, clouding our political climate, prompted his decision to abandon his senate seat. Is this a bold move after all? Should we take him at his word? Extremism certainly breeds extremism. Conservatives out-conservative one another these dark days. Progressive liberals appear to seek compromise at the cost of definitive action and live up--or down--to their reputations of gathering into a circle formation and shooting at themselves.
Personally (very), I sympathize with your current stance. As a tax-paying citizen, I exercise my free-speech-voice via letters-to-the-editor, greeted with either complete agreement and pleas for more OR a deafening silence OR snarky comments from "bloggy" individuals who sense my Democratic leaning and POUNCE like a duck on a June-bug! It's hardly worth the effort. It's a wash. Treading water. Although, I prefer to believe we must simply, appropriately, and in a non-partisan manner, challenge the status quo.
I have only one hope for this nonsensical earth-quake we Americans currently experience, for I do fear this "divide" might be our ultimate un-doing. Barack Obama, whom I often characterized as an appealing "paper doll", must transform into more of a "3-D" fellow and fix what NEEDS fixing. I appreciate his diplomacy, and I admire his mind. However, being our president, he ought to grow a spine. As comedian Bill Maher recently expressed to Larry King, "Barry's 'freshman' year has now concluded."
Senator Bayh, thank you for the wake-up call. If you're NOT demonstrating cowardice in fleeing from an agonizingly conflicted legislature into the arms of high-paying lobbyists, I shall applaud your choice to register your distaste for damaging partisanship gone wild. Hard to distinguish these days between those who actually care about the welfare of our nation--including their fellow countrymen--as opposed to those who pursue their own self-serving agendas.
"All for one and one for all!" "Yer either fer us or agin us!" In between, what we have here, folks, is known as an alarming chasm, not just an "Any Given Sunday" harmless pigskin skirmish. To compromise or not to compromise. Lunatic fringes rule? What a dilemma. Perhaps as news-casting days wear on, Senator Evan Bayh may emerge as a savvy iconoclast whom we refer to eventually as President Bayh? He recognized a problem, addressed it, and moved on, leaving us all a bit flabbergasted though sitting up and taking notice nevertheless. Come to think of it. We ARE in dire need of some kinda coach, umpire, or referee to wave those arms and blow that whistle!
A prayer, of the conservative-progressive-libertarian-"just folks" variety: Please remember to avoid shooting any and all messengers. You might be sorry in the morning.