Evan Bayh: How We Can Fix the Senate

It all starts with a bipartisan lunch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2010 4:30 PM CST
A 2006 file photo of Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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(Newser) – Evan Bayh thinks the Senate is so hopelessly mired in partisan muck that the only way out is for Democrats and Republicans to break bread together. "Let’s start with a simple proposal: why not have a monthly lunch of all 100 senators?" he writes in a New York Times op-ed headlined "Why I'm Leaving the Senate." He suggests the parties pick one topic to talk about, "absent the posturing and public talking points," as a way to improve "the personal chemistry" among senators.

Once the wheels are greased, they can move on to thornier problems such as the abuse of the filibuster and a campaign financing system that requires "perpetual campaigns," he writes. In the bigger picture, "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."

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