Feb 24, 2010

Excerpt from Senator Bayh's New York Times Column

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.

The most ideologically devoted elements in both parties must accept that not every compromise is a sign of betrayal or an indication of moral lassitude. When too many of our citizens take an all-or-nothing approach, we should not be surprised when nothing is the result.

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.
So, what do you think?  Can we find a way to pull together just a bit and start to help each other, or will we continue our divisiveness?


  1. Scott Brown who I think acted in the best interests of his constituents, is hearing from those who take this 'all or nothing' approach to government. Watching Greta Von Sustern try to get Gov. Schwarzenegger to downplay the stimulus when all he could say was that it helped his state was farcical.

    The special interests co-opts an individual politicians self interest and they no longer represent the people who voted them into office. It is becoming easier for this to happen because we are so divided.

  2. I feel sad that Bayh is leaving, I can't help but think of quitting--although not in that Sarah-Palin-This-Is-Too-Hard way.
    But he's right. We need to take responsibility for our actions. We're too lazy when it comes to voting because it's easier to pick "incumbent" than it is to actually see and hear what the other man or woman has to offer. We need to stop voting party and start voting issues. We need to clean house and mean it, don't just say it because it sounds good.

  3. These are very good points. I think too many people are listeneing to too many orators with too much rhetoric. As for Congress, there is a political tradition involved. Each party want to take credit for reform. The party that's in gets it by default. The party that's out will stand back until the last miniute and then charge across the line and claim their prize of being the ones who did it as they did when the Iran hostageds were freed.


  4. Ken, the answer sits in the middle. Unfortunately, most moderates don't vote, aren't politically active, and don't take an interest in public affairs. My bet is on the divisiveness not only continuing, but expect it to get worse. Not what you wanted to hear , I'm sure.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)