We have changed. The old "Do Nothing Congress" has deteriorated into "PLEASE Do Nothing" the best we can hope for is gridlock. The Olympic organizers in Vancouver must really envy Washington, not just for our snow, but our downhill slide.
Is it only now that Evan Bayh has seen the light of our darkness? He has spent his whole life in this mud pit. His father, Birch Bayh, was a Senate legend who was unseated by Dan Quayle, for crying out loud. So the kid has always known what he got into.
Fairly, or unfairly, Quayle was viewed as a lightweight, who not only knocked out a heavyweight, but went on to be Vice President.
Anybody who believes Sarah Palin could never be elected President should remember Dan Quayle, who was a heartbeat away. In fact, bitter Democrats point another "Son Of", George Bush, the 2nd.
So don't rule Palin out, no matter how many think she's an unqualified bubble head. Bayh, meanwhile, seems to have ruled himself out.
Imagine his frustration: He has always been a bit charisma-challenged. So he chose to cast himself as someone who moved deliberately.
That simply doesn't hack it. We live in a media-charged world where instant gratification is the only gratification,
Even though it has taken him two generations to see, he has finally realized our political system is stuck...mired in a toxic sludge of sound bites and other cheap shots.
Some have been slightly offended at comparisons between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. The truth is though, that both enjoyed success largely based on the force of their personalities.
Obviously the two are very different. He is very thoughtful, clearly she is not. But these days thoughtless dominates, substance doesn't matter. In fact it is something to cover up in stage presence.
That's what killed health care reform. It's too complex. We have become so flabby as a nation that most of us don't want to do the hard work necessary to understand important issues. The result is we become fair game for the demagogues who concoct their distortions and rise to the top while our country goes down the tubes.
What seems to be happening now, is that some other disillusioned members of Congress, like Bayh, who emotionally invested in their naive belief the system could accomplish something good, have decided to cut their losses. They're climbing out of the pit, deciding it's not worth the hassle.
Reason is being drowned out by the angry din. It's the age of the T-Party. Fear and ignorance rule inflamed by opportunistic manipulators. They're on to something with their politics of resentment. What's not to resent? We are asked to believe in a setup that doesn't work.
What's surprising is it took Evan Bayh this long to discover that. But now that he has, he's packing it in and leaving things to the next Dan Quayle. Or Sarah Palin