Blue Dog Day Afternoon

Evan Bayh’s announcement that he will retire this year, combined with the current state of the Democrat party reminds me of Al Pacino’s famous line in the 1975 film Blue Dog Day Afternoon.

“I’m dyin’ here…”

The stunning announcement by centrist Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh that he’s retiring from a Congress he no longer loves adds yet another name to a list of lawmakers fleeing a town they say has become acidly partisan. And it gives Republicans a chance to pick up a seat.

The decision by the Indiana Democrat, who was in strong position to win a third term in November in his GOP-leaning state, also compounds the problems facing Senate Democrats this fall as they cling to their majority in the chamber, where they now hold 59 of the 100 votes.

Bayh joins a growing roster of recent Democratic retirements that includes Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. Yet the congressional casualty list has a decidedly bipartisan flavor, with recent retirement announcements coming from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and other GOP House members from Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Arizona.

The comparison between the Democrats and “Sonny,” the main character in Dog Day Afternoon is especially ironic when you consider the fact that Sonny was caught trying to rob a bank.

Cross posted at Mike LaChance.