From Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), explaining why he’s retiring after 42 years in Congress:
I believe the job of a good politician was to be used up fighting on behalf of causes you believed in, and when you are used up, to step aside and let someone else carry on the battle. Well, today I feel used up….Given that fact, I have to ask myself how I want to spend the time I have left. Frankly, I do not know what I will do next. All I do know is that there has to be more to life than explaining the ridiculous, accountability destroying rules of the Senate to confused, angry, and frustrated constituents.
….I am also increasingly weary of having to deal with a press which has become increasingly focused on trivia, driven at least in part by the financial collapse of the news industry and the need, with the 24-hour news cycle, to fill the air waves with hot air. I say that regretfully because I regard what is happening to the news profession as nothing short of a national catastrophe which I know pains many quality journalists as much as it pains me. Both our professions have been coarsened in recent years and the nation is the loser for it.
Meanwhile, speaking of the world’s greatest deliberative body, Democrats say that GOP senators are “either breaking rules or ‘hold-laundering.’ ” Just try explaining that to confused, angry, and frustrated constituents.