America's Political Scene: The Impact on Domestic and Foreign Policy
Luncheon Presentation by Evan Bayh, Former US Democratic Senator for Indiana
"The institutional inertia gripping Congress is no laughing matter." So wrote Senator Evan Bayh in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Why I'm Leaving the Senate." While the US faces many challenges — the deficit, economy, energy, healthcare — the legislative institutions have failed to act and tackle these threats. Lamenting the rise of strident partisanship and dwindling social interaction between senators of opposing parties, he points out that the current political system promotes party unity at the expense of bipartisan consensus.
So what has gone wrong in American politics? How does the lack of cross-party cooperation impact domestic and foreign policy? Is it realistic to expect Congress to put aside self-interest in favor of national welfare?
Former US Senator Evan Bayh (Democrat, Indiana) took office in 1999 and served until January 2011. He spearheaded the creation of the Third Way, an organization focused on common sense legislative solutions on issues that would otherwise remain bogged down in political turf wars. Bayh formed and co-chaired the Moderate Dems Working Group, a coalition of 17 Senate centrists committed to crafting pragmatic policy solutions to urgent national problems. Prior to entering the Senate, he was Governor of Indiana.
Bayh is now a senior advisor at Apollo Global Management and a partner at McGuireWoods LLC. He graduated in business economics from Indiana University, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia.