When Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) announced his intention to not run for Congress next year — he's taking a post in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration — he stressed that it was the "brutal party politics in Washington and fundraising" that contributed to his decision.
In just about six months since they were sworn in, we’ve already seen three retirements and two resignations from the House of Representatives. In the Senate, there have been seven retirements.
You can hardly blame them. Congress has never been more unpopular. Approval ratings for Congress are regularly in the single digits.
And they don’t get much done either. With just 22 pieces of legislation passed so far this year, lawmakers are easily on track to set new lows in productivity.
It can't be much fun to work there.
But the underplayed story this cycle is how hard it is to get qualified candidates to actually run for office. Both Republicans and Democrats are having trouble finding people willing to put themselves up for public office.
As this Congress drags on, it will be interesting to see if the trickle of retirements turns into a wave.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
Subscribe to the Week