Oligarchies are not entirely unchanging. The oligarchy doesn’t care who its representatives are. An oligarchy runs at a certain number of elements or families or individuals or whatever, neither much more nor much less. Self regulating and self compensating. Members can die out to be replaced and others step up to the plate in their place.
Some families in the United States like the descendents of the Stuyvesant’s have been members of this oligarchy since before their parts of America were even British – Stuyvesant was running New Amsterdam before it was re-named New York – .far less part of the United States. Others such as the Kennedy family thrust and push their way on stage, kicking and shoving all the way..The oligarchy isn’t being personal and it is certainly never sentimental. Oligarchies are blind and even if it were that all the present members were wiped out tomorrow the system will return new oligarchs tomorrow.
So it pays to watch as new parts of the oligarchy emerge, where we see that father and son acts start up and the offices of state begin to be handed down as if they were parts of the family estate.
So last week we were treated to the sight of someone that might be considered part of the newer oligarchy turn up his toes and bow out. Birch Evans (Evan) Bayh III once Governor of Indiana and then Senator from Indiana from 1999 decided that enough was enough and retired. How strange. What can this mean?
For those not so familiar with Indiana, Birch Evans Bayh III born 1955 is the son of Birch Evans Bayh jr born 1928 who was a Democrat Indiana House Representative from 1954 to 1962. The family are old, old America tracing back to the seventeenth century and the original migrations. If you want the full nine yards of the tree check out Bill Reitwiesner’s excellent work at http://www.wargs.com/political/bayh/ntml
And his son Evan Bayh III is not so very old. Born in 1955 he is only 54 whch is hardly antiquated nowadays. He also has well connected wife who has been invaluable in drumming up campaign money. Small oligarchs a sort of novus homen. His decision for handing in the old dinner plate on that last day before filing thereby ensures that the choice for picking the new candidate falls not to the people through Primaries but reverts back to the democrats central head office. Something which doesn’t feel it wasn’t anything other than a well considered and beautifully timed decision.
He has reportedly said that he is not abandoning politics forever but is reconsidering things. Maybe he wants to be out of the fray of the mid-term elections to see if perhaps he might stand a chance at nominations come any election for a new democrat candidate in 2012. So maybe not be goodnight quite yet then….?
Copyright David Macadam 2010