Senator Bayh is my hero for today. I am so sick of Congress and the White House. Everything he said is true. I am a registered democrat (soon to change) and I am ashamed of the democratic party and I am ashamed of the Republican party as well. We, the people, need to think for ourselves for a change and stand up to the business as usual and say that “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” and vote out them all. I want to see representatives in Washington from the Green Party, The Libertarian party, the Constitution party and independents running our country instead of the Democrats and Republicans who can’t make a simple decision without constant bickering. Neither of these 2 parties care about our country. The Dems/Repubs only care about themselves, about staying in power, about making the other look bad and about making a buck for themselves and their good ole boys. Obama isn’t about change other than making our inept government even bigger with more spending while in the process creating more havoc. There is no transparency in his administration like he promised (closed door meetings) He is just like the rest. He wants a pat on the back from his fellow cronies at the end of the day instead of doing what is good for us and our country. I even voted for the man but will not make that mistake again. I will not vote for a republican either. Senator Bayh hit it on the head about our government in Washington, DC and people will still vote for “their party” or whatever name they saw on a sign last or whatever mudslinging ad they last heard on tv instead of actually doing their homework and finding a candidate that will work for us. We, the people, are to blame as well as Congress and the WH.
Below is the story about Senator Bayh
Disillusioned Bayh advocates electoral “shock” to broken system
In an interview on MSNBC this morning, newly retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared the American political system “dysfunctional,” riddled with “brain-dead partisanship” and permanent campaigning. 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 en masse 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.
Bayh’s announcement stunned the American political world, as up until just last week he looked to be well on his way to an easy reelection for a third term in the Senate, and his senior staff was aggressively pursuing that goal.
But Bayh had apparently become increasingly frustrated in the Senate. In this morning’s interview he noted that just two weeks ago, Republicans who had co-sponsored a bill with him to rein in the deficit turned around and voted against it for purely political reasons. He also stated repeatedly that members of his own party should be more willing to settle for a compromise rather than holding out for perfection.
“Sometimes half a loaf is better than none,” Bayh insisted.
It’s no secret that the Senate has struggled to take action this year. With the two major parties unusually far apart in their substantive proposals for the direction of the country, even finding half a loaf to agree on has been difficult. Though the Democrats have had a substantial majority in the Senate for the last year, Republicans have escalated their threats to use filibusters (by forcing a cloture vote, see the graph below) to force Democrats to come up with 60 votes to pass any major legislation. And after Scott Brown’s election to the Senate last month gave Republicans a 41st seat, health-care reform and other Democratic goals were stopped dead in their tracks.
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.
Frustration over the increasing amount of money being spent on political campaigns isn’t exactly a new thing, as spending by candidates in the 2008 presidential election nearly quadrupled the amount of money spent by candidates in the 2000 election. Additionally, winners of House races in 2000 spent an average of $849,158 to do so, while House winners in 2008 spent an average of $1,372,591. Enhancing the concerns of many on the left and the right has been a recent Supreme Court decision to strike down the country’s existing campaign finance laws. Put simply, the ruling opens the door for an even greater influence of money by allowing corporations spend money directly on campaigns.
Meanwhile, voter frustration is high, making the fight for campaign cash all the more crucial to politicians hoping to remain in office. A recent poll found that 44% of Americans believe incumbents should be voted out of office.
However, reforms of Congress appear unlikely. There doesn’t appear to be any significant momentum at this time behind efforts to change the rules that govern passing legislation or Congress’s need to constantly campaign and fundraise. With an election year beginning, it’s also unlikely that congressional leaders will begin to see eye to eye more often on major legislation.
Perhaps a “shock” is indeed called for in order to change that.
— Andrew Golis is the Editor of and Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News blog