Monday, March 1, 2010

Evan Bayh & the Washing of His Hands

On February 20th Evan Bayh sent in an Op-Ed letter to the New York Times on why he was leaving the Senate (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/opinion/21bayh.html) and it appears mainly due to partisan politics. In the letter he gives many reasons and examples as to why Congress is failing the American People; “strident partisanship, unyielding ideology, a corrosive system of campaign financing, etc.” and he goes on to state that “any improvement must begin by changing the personal chemistry among senators.” I’ll give him kudos for coming out and stating the obvious however if you yourself are frustrated with the process how do you think the American people feel?

In effect Bayh is washing his hands of the problem and instead of fighting and working to change the culture of the Senate and politics in general he is leaving. I know for myself I have been waiting for the day where someone would get in there, stir things up, and really push for change. Someone who would say to hell with party politics and do what is good for the country. In his letter he states exactly what is wrong with Congress today and puts forth some good begging steps to fix it so I feel it would serve him better to stay and fight for what he believes.

Right now we have the extreme edges of the parties trying to dictate to each other how things need to be instead of coming to a middle ground and doing something meaningful. I was hoping Obama would be the person to change this trend but I feel he has been sucked into party politics instead of working for true compromise. Obama is not totally at fault for this as Republicans stall everything that he tries to put in motion and congressional Democrats are not much better within their own party. Right now Bayh has a great opportunity to really try and do something to change this from the inside, and I think that is what is most frustrating to me, just another wasted opportunity.

It really is becoming a never ending cycle of candidates who only care for their own political futures and not what is truly good for the people. The only way I see this ever changing is having everyday citizens start running for office, but in order to do this we need changes in campaign financing and term limits. Trying to get these changes in campaign finance and terms limits seems to be a daunting task for people whose only mission in life is to get reelected.