Completely on point is his Op-Ed contribution in the Sunday (saturday online) NYTimes. The point being that both the American peops and the critters we've elected to do "our" governmental bidding would all rather bash each other for political gain and out of personal fear of political loss of the power to determine our own futures, than we would step back and breath deep before commencing to compromise, NOT our principles, but our approaches to building our Nation up, addressing it's inevitable (and sometimes perennial) short-comings and continue to recreate the most profoundly democratic and reason based Society to come on the anthropological scene since the Dawn of Our Time.
He even makes a swell start of it by pointing out that Congress is, by nature, a rather easy target for our scorn. "BASEBALL may be our national pastime, but the age-old tradition of taking a swing at Congress is a sport with even deeper historical roots..." Rather than wasting time (my Op) debating or just discussing the reasons for that political pastime, Bayh gets specific on how things have gotten so bad that next to nothing of any positive effect can get done when the two (and only two, unfortunately) sides refuse to even entertain the notion that their colleagues are or even can be anything but the Opposition.
As if we don't all want the Exact Same Things! The strength and security to continue on as a Free Democratic Republic. ONE Nation. Indivisible (even with or without god!) If the Constitution allows for Congress to see any among our fellow citizens as the "opposition" it is specifically and categorically the other two branches of Government.
But I digress...
Time and my own propensity to ramble when enthused by what I've read both suggest I wrap this up with a bit of the more powerful and, back to being on point, on point portions from Bayh's piece:
page 3 online:
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.
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.
Immediately previous to that extremely accurate assertion of the problem at hand and what to do about, Bayh suggests reducing from 60 to 55 the votes needed to override a filibuster. Whilst I agree, entirely, whole-heartedly, enthusiastically as ever can I be about the debased use to which the procedure has been constantly put as of late, I would rather see some other method of minimizing its practice. 2/3 of the chamber's agreement may be too much, but a nice round 60, low for a Free Throw %, but astounding for a 3 Pt shooter, is a solid requirement, IMO.
Okay. I'm off to take on another day! Late!