With the announcement from Indiana's Democratic Senator Evan Bayh that he will not seek reelection to the Senate, the phrase "another one bites the dust" comes to mind. Incumbents from both parties seem to be dropping like flies as they decide to just go home rather than face an increasingly angry electorate.
The announcement from Bayh, once a rising star in the Democratic party and mentioned as a possible running mate in the 2008 election, should be especially stinging to all of us. Although he still loves the idea of public service, he said, he no longer "loves" being in Congress. He referred to an increasingly "dysfunctional" body that appears to have lost sight of what they are doing.
Indeed, in a recent forum with President Obama, Bayh had the gumption to look the president squarely in the face and tell him it was time for elected leaders to have the courage to make hard decisions.
He will hear no argument from me on that one. And even though I would probably not side with Senator Bayh on many issues, it causes me great sadness to hear that a leader of his caliber can no longer stomach Congressional service.
But who can blame him?
While this or that Senator or Congressperson is busy cutting sweetheart deals with colleagues to win a vote on a bill, another is appearing on CNBC or FOX to lambast someone who sits across the aisle.
While closed-door meetings are taking place to hammer out a health care plan, the House Speaker is saying she no longer has the votes, then insists there will be a health care plan.
The president proposes a joint forum to talk about health care, to get ideas from both sides, but skeptical Republicans grouse about what he might really be trying to do.
Something tells me it wasn't supposed to be this way when our founders laid out the plan for this country. Can you say compromise? Not to mention bipartisanship?!
It is a sad day indeed when good and decent men and women no longer have the stomach to serve in Congress, something that once was considered a privilege.