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February 16th, 2010
08:22 AM ET

Dear President Obama #393: The good fight? Not so much...

Reporter's Note: President Obama’s party may be in for quite a fight this fall if it wants to keep substantial control of Congress. I don’t worry much about such things, perhaps because I don’t feel like I control much of anything…except one letter each day to your doorstep.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Before I say anything else, let me wish you a happy Mardi Gras! I say it with a certain longing in my heart, because Mardi Gras away from New Orleans is usually not nearly as happy as it ought to be. I suppose I could ask you to declare it some kind of national holiday, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work. I’ve lived in South Dakota in winter, and the last thing you’d want to do in that weather is stand alongside a road waiting for someone to sling a wad of plastic beads at your face. I suppose that could be a new winter Olympic sport, but it certainly would not be a celebration.

Anyway, on to other subjects. So Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is taking the big walk, eh? Not going to defend his seat. What is going on with your old crowd up at the Capitol? Seems like all sorts of elected Dems and Repubs are leaving faster than Nancy Pelosi at a Dick Cheney appreciation dinner.

I was struck by what Bayh had to say; that whole business of not loving Congress. He’s not the first one to say such a thing, of course. A few other ship jumpers on both sides of the aisle have expressed similar sentiments, and I think that is telling. I mean, when even the insiders don’t want to be inside anymore, doesn’t that mean something?

Of course, I can sympathize. Many days just reading about all the backbiting, nasty tricks, and dirty deals up there on the Hill is enough to make me want to spend more time with my family in Indiana,…and we don’t even live there!

Here is the really odd part: All of the people who are leaving, saying they just can’t stand what politics has become, were or still are in a position to change it. For crying out loud, these are Senators! Seems like it would be more valorous if they would keep their jobs, do the right thing, stand up to the extremists in their own parties…on both the left and right…and try to do what they say they believe in: Serve the people.

On a personal level I can’t blame them for quitting, but on a professional level I wonder why more don’t hang in there and fight the good fight. Sure, they might lose their seat somewhere along the line, but doesn’t that show more bravery than just giving it up?

Anyway, give me a buzz if you have some thoughts on this. I’d sure like someone to explain it to me.

Regards.

Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Boomer in Mo

    Congress is a lost cause and Bayh knows it. As long as money talks with Senators and Congressmen, ordinary Americans are priced out of Democracy and will continue to get stomped into the dirt. The Middle Class is dead and the rich and powerful have prevailed and will long-rule over the masses. Unless the workers in this country realize they have been fed lie after lie, and are constantly being tricked into working against their own self interests, most of us will continue to be dominated and deceived by the wealthy and multinational corporations.

    February 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  2. Roger Drew Williams

    Could it just possibly be because they are worried that "outsiders" might get elected and begin investigating (and making public) corruption, bribery, and other illegalities on "the hill"? Maybe these hacks figure that if they are no longer in office nobody will bother investigating them.
    Tea party cantidates, at least in principle, seem like they may not be willing to put up with the status quo as so many have done in the past. If "business as usual" is not in the cards for the future, it would seem plausible that some would see the writing on the wall and attempt to get out while they at least have a chance to enjoy their retirement (and ill-gotten gains) outside of a prison cell. It could also be a viable hypothesis that those leaving are some of those who know the most about the level of corruption due to their own activities in the past.

    February 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  3. D. Griffith

    It's not giving up. It's a trend. Boomers are moving on(retirement, consulting, etc.). This is a blessing in disguise. This trend opens jobs for the next generation. This is what makes the world go round.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  4. Joanne P.

    Perhaps the biggest point of the story is that the lobbyists and other mind-benders are on the verge of being exposed. Perhaps the feeling of uncertainty is weighing heavy on a good night's sleep. Perhaps after years and years of service, the best interests of the American people have become apparent under the Obama Presidency.

    February 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  5. Peggy Lee

    Dear Mr. President,

    This is in reguards to getting Americans back to work.

    I would like to make a comment on the job situation that you are planning.
    Where is the money coming from? I have been hearing that our country, The United States of America is low on cash. This is why we are barrowing money from China? I think we need to clean up our own back yard and keep the money home, instead giving it away. After we give money away to countries to help their people, Our help is not apprieated what is given to them. I know you are trying to help the American people get back to work. But please don't barrow the money from another country

    February 16, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  6. Tim Gibson

    Perhaps the biggest point of the story is the fact that the insiders no longer want to be part of the tribe on the hill, not with the threat of the Nancy Pelosi gavel, raised as if it is the powerful hammer in the hand of the god of thunder. Protected by the shield of the goddess of strategy and endeavour.

    It may well be the sound from the hooves of Pegasus as they touch the ground up on the hill. Is it a time when the best thing to do is walk away, even on the hill. Has mainstreet made it to the hill by way of virtue, an attempt to sleep at night given to letting it all go, taking a deep breath in seeing the lawn taken up, shaken and put back into place. You know, kind of tighty up the place, company is coming type thing.

    Some may actually enjoy standing by the road wating for a wad of plastic beads to be slung at their face even during a South Dakota winter, and others may be like the Florida manatee crowded near the warmth of the power plant in a global warming crisis. Or it just may be the year of the tiger.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:43 am |