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Let's Replace the Entire Senate

Photo by kevindooleyThomas Friedman writes today that he thinks the US Senate is a bigger risk to our future than BP. I'd agree. I say in November, instead of having elections for a third of the seats (most of which look to change hands), let's toss everyone out and start over.

Without waxing too political, from my vantage point it looks like a lot of good ideas go to Washington to die. The optimism that many of us had for a new (better) America with the election of Obama have been stalled on the floor of the Senate. Obama seems to be a very hands-off manager that wants to delegate. He lets the Senate legislate and then executes that legislation when it gets to his desk. Very CEO-ish.

This isn't bad, except when things need to get done. The Senate, which should act like a COO, instead seems to be hanging around the breakroom all day - bickering, complainging, pointing fingers, and taking 15-minute smoke breaks. (The old joke goes, "If 'pro' is the opposite of 'con', no wonder they call it 'Congress' instead of 'progress'.)

It's time for all of them to move on.

I even suggest this at the risk of this kind of guy (yes, he is really running for governor in the state where I live) or this kind of woman being elected. But at this point, I'd take it.

When progress stops, something has to change. This is true in business, the nonprofit world, education - you name it. And since very little meaningful legislation has happened in the last decade, let's change the people. Shake things up. Start over. Find new blood. Bright minds. Bold ideas. Deep passion.

Add term limits. Decrease salary. Add performance bonuses. Sometimes I like that Washington doesn't operate like a company, and then other times I loathe it. Nowhere else would you be allowed to do nothing for years and keep your job (and get a raise).

Brian Reich tweeted this same sentiment after healthcare reform was passed. It stuck with me. He's on to something. I'm on board.