Birch Bayh


Mike Tomasky writes:

Bayh has always been shall we say a frustrating sort. Never a profile in courage. His father was a senator too, the much more liberal Birch Bayh. Birch lost in 1980 to Dan Quayle in the big Reagan sweep, and Evan surely must have seen that the voters gave pops the boot for being too leftie and adjusted his priorities accordingly. He was for the Iraq war, he’s a big deficit hawk, etc.

I always wonder about this stuff. Birch Bayh has been out of the Senate for 30 years, but people still remember him as a key architect of Title IX, a proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, and a crusader for sensible political reform like electoral college abolition. Thirty years from now, I think Bayh the Elder will still be remembered in that way. The feminist moment of the 1970s will be an important historical topic for decades, and Title IX and Birch Bayh will always be an important part of that story. Who’s going to remember Evan Bayh in 2040? What will he be remembered for? His die-hard commitment to the children of multi-millionaires?