It isn’t hard to understand why so much has been written this year about public anger with Washington and the way it works.

The candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump didn’t emerge out of thin air. You don’t have to believe that socialism or Trumpism provide a good answer to the nation’s ills to see that people are angry.

They should be angry. Voters see that after Congress and two presidents collaborated to bail out the banking, automotive and insurance industries, the economy is mired in a stagnant funk, producing only 2 million net full-time jobs since President Obama took office.

They see elected officials losing touch with their constituents and cozying up to rent-seeking special interests who have their hands out for subsidies and regulations that will hurt their competitors. They see them dropping anchor in Washington, and becoming wealthy from what is laughably referred to as “public service” in a nation where suddenly that’s the most reliable path to riches.

Washington is a world where the Clintons’ seven-digit income, based not on merit but on influence peddling, is the norm, not the exception.

In Indiana, the nation’s heartland, this anger is playing out in a Senate race that deserves to be studied. Evan Bayh, a Democratic former senator and governor with a last name revered in the Hoosier State, seemed an easy double-digit favorite when he made a surprise last-minute entry into the race for his old seat this spring.

Bayh is now widely expected to lose on Tuesday. If he wins, it won’t be by much. The reason is that he epitomized the crony culture that the public detests.

Local and national media have brutally revealed how Bayh’s term in the Senate ended when he retired in 2010. At the time, Bayh actually penned a New York Times op-ed lamenting the influence of fundraising and political calculation. But he had been spending months while still in office on a job hunt so he could cash in his influence to the highest bidder.

Bayh’s hunt proved successful: Between 2015 and last month, he earned $6.3 million as an unregistered lobbyist and by sitting on various corporate boards. That’s about five times as much money as Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs’ slugger who won Rookie of the Year in 2015 and is currently a favorite to become the National League’s Most Valuable Player for 2016.

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How does an obscure former senator score such a payday? There are hints in Bayh’s late Senate career, which news media have ruthlessly explored. Bayh got cozy with everyone who might be able to pay him. On the day he voted for the financial bailout, he lunched and golfed with bank lobbyists.

He lost touch with the home state where he remained popular. His Indianapolis condo, the nominal street address he used when filing to run for Senate this year but barely remembered, wasn’t even a crash pad for him. When in Indy in 2010, he stayed in hotels instead, sometimes at taxpayer expense.

Bayh’s story, especially if he loses on Tuesday, should be a warning that voters don’t like Washington panjandrums who fleece struggling taxpayers to line their pockets.

The problem goes back to the dramatic centralization of power and money in the federal government that settled years ago over Washington like a very slow-moving climatic depression.

The pressure has built within that brooding cyclone, and the electorate is beginning to thunder. Insiders must learn that the weather is changing, and accordingly humble their lifestyles. Or they can expect to get struck down by the angry electorate.

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