Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And you wonder why...

If you find yourself skeptical of politicians' rhetoric, Ezra Klein thinks the hypocritical circumstances of Democratic Senator Evan Bayh's retirement are a perfect reason why:
When he decided not to seek reelection in 2010, he published a precise and devastating broadside against the institution in which he and his father had served. Instead of merely condemning the bitter partisanship of the place, he proposed to close the loopholes that had enabled polarization to metastasize in paralysis. “Filibusters should require 35 senators to ... make a commitment to continually debate an issue in reality, not just in theory,” he wrote. And “the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster should be reduced to 55 from 60.” Strong stuff. He then went after money in politics, calling for “legislation to enhance disclosure requirements, require corporate donors to appear in the political ads they finance and prohibit government contractors or bailout beneficiaries from spending money on political campaigns,” not to mention “public matching funds for smaller contributions. Bayh had no record of leadership on any of these topics. But, in part for that reason, it was particularly potent to hear him speaking out on them.
But Bayh, rather than returning to teaching as he told Ezra that he wished to do, will be splitting his time between a law firm that lobbies for big corporations and foreign governments and... being a commentator for Fox News.

Ezra's full post is well worth a read.

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