This Yahoo article makes clear why Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) is about to retire; he is tired of the partisanship, gridlock, and pointless politicking going on at the expense of the American people.
Here's the link:
Here's a relevant quote:
Bayh blamed the current atmosphere of intense partisanship on the need for Senators to constantly campaign to be reelected to another six-year term. Citing his father, a popular liberal Senator in the '60s and '70s, he noted that "back in the day they used to have the saying: 'You campaign for 2 years and you legislate for 4.' Now you campaign for 6!" He noted that the need for constant fundraising made it nearly impossible to focus on passing legislation.
The writers of the AP article, Andrew Golis and Brett Michael Dykes, summed up an appearance Bayh made on MSNBC this morning as:
Flatly denying any possibility that he'd seek the presidency or any other higher office, Bayh argued that the American people needed to deliver a "shock" to Congress by voting incumbents out in mass and replacing them with people interested in reforming the process and governing for the good of the people, rather than deep-pocketed special-interest groups.
When a dedicated public servant such as Evan Bayh says it's time for all incumbents in both parties to go, there's an even bigger problem brewing in Washington, DC, than we had previously considered.
It's highly unusual that a public servant says even in private that everyone needs to go -- that gridlock, partisanship and politicking have gone too far and have interfered with the people's business. But it's even more unusual when a politician says the same thing (that gridlock, partisanship and politicking have to go) publicly -- because that's an indictment not just of his own party and the other party, but of how we're attempting to govern, period. That, in essence, is Bayh's problem. We can't get anything done because no one wants to really do the work -- they'd rather just posture and pontificate and argue. This is why we're in major trouble.
Bayh said today that the system is irretrievably broken -- the language used by a divorcing couple, mind you -- and that there is no way anyone who is currently there can fix it, because they're all out of touch (and perhaps out to lunch as well) because of the mindless machinery that makes House members go from vote to fundraiser and back again, and Senators likewise.
I never thought I'd hear such difficult honesty from _any_ politician; it's refreshing to hear it, but it's also a sign of how desperate and dire our circumstances have become.
(crossposted at Alegre's Corner)