Evan Bayh bailed at the last minute on the people of Indiana. Two days before the petition turn-in date, he surprised them all by saying he wouldn’t run again for the Senate. Of course, by sitting on a huge campaign chest he’d already sent a “don’t run against me” message to all.
Right there is the root of the problem. We don’t encourage debate, challenges or the questioning of our leadership anywhere near the level we should. In a day of instant communication- where transparency should be easier- it’s actually gotten harder to nail down exactly what these jokers are saying. It’s so complex- some of them don’t even know.
And why is that? We’ve got the best politicians money can buy.
Bayh is kidding himself if he doesn’t think that he’s just another pawn of the K St. lobby contingent. Until we take the huge money out of politics- we’ll never elect our best thinkers- because they rarely have the dashing good looks that being a sound bite politician requires these days.
Abe Lincoln would never have made it in today’s political environment- too ungainly and plumb ugly.
Bayh gives a good swan song in today’s New York Times– which some read as a set up for him to run as a “centrist,” third-party candidate in 2012. Bad news Evan, if Michael Bloomberg decides to do the same thing, your campaign chest is rounding error.
Of course, we can blame the voters for being apathetic to the screwing we’ve been given by these puppets of corporate America, or we can blame partisanship, or the rules of filibusters, or any number of things as he does in his piece:
Of course, the genesis of a good portion of the gridlock in Congress does not reside in Congress itself. Ultimate reform will require each of us, as voters and Americans, to take a long look in the mirror, because in many ways, our representatives in Washington reflect the people who have sent them there….
Our most strident partisans must learn to occasionally sacrifice short-term tactical political advantage for the sake of the nation. Otherwise, Congress will remain stuck in an endless cycle of recrimination and revenge. The minority seeks to frustrate the majority, and when the majority is displaced it returns the favor. Power is constantly sought through the use of means which render its effective use, once acquired, impossible.
What is required from members of Congress and the public alike is a new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest. In a time of national peril, with our problems compounding, we must remember that more unites us as Americans than divides us.
But maybe it’s way beyond that. Maybe the world has changed faster than our vaunted system. I find it almost criminal that our local elected officials feel a need to hire lobbyists to represent our interests to those who are supposed to represent us. But, I’m in the minority- as most voters have no clue this is going on.
Maybe we’ve gone wrong from the git go? Maybe the parliamentary system with its ability to call an election at will is a more viable solution these days? No more long planning horizons, no more spending a third of your time in office planning for the next election. Maybe we shake things up to stop the buying off of our elected offices- until the system devolves back into larceny.
Today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show talks about Evan Bayh and his swan song. Greg calls for a return to the original electoral college system. I call for complete elimination of cash in politics. Take a look- and weigh in.