Now it’s Saxby Chambliss who’s tossed in the towel on his public service career.
The Georgia Republican has announced he won’t seek re-election next year to a third term in the Senate. His reason is sounding like a worn-out replay: gridlock and extreme partisanship.
Chambliss gave notice this week that he’s done, joining the likes of former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine who last year was among the more notable retirees to lay blame on the Senate’s lack of compromise. Wyoming Republican Alan Simpson said much the same thing when he quit the Senate in 1997.
Republicans should have no fear, though, of Chambliss’s seat being captured by those nasty Democrats. Georgia is one of many solidly Republican Southern states that more than likely will keep the seat in GOP hands … and may in fact send another tea party ideologue to the Upper Chamber in 2014.
“This is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health,” Chambliss said in a statement declaring his intention to step down.
This is too bad.
Texans last year jumped fully onto the tea party bandwagon by electing Ted Cruz to the Senate to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison, who gave up her seat to challenge Rick Perry unsuccessfully in the Republican gubernatorial primary. My sense is that Hutchison had grown weary of the Capitol Hill bickering, given her own record of working well with Democrats. She, too, might have walked away, citing the same frustrations as others in her party have noted in their departures.
Serving in the Senate or in any other public office shouldn’t become a blood sport. But it has, at least in the eyes of good men and women who no longer have the stomach for the never-ending fight.
Very sad …