The US Senate is a fascinating institution with a long, distinguished history of exciting personalities and significant historical actions.
But the US Senate is now in the midst of so much turmoil and upheaval that its image and reputation are in great danger of being irreparably harmed for the long run!
46 percent of the Senate membership will have changed since the inauguration of Barack Obama as President in 2009, including the announced retirements over the next two years, and the likelihood of possible defeats of sitting members in primaries or reelection contests in 2014 making an even higher percentage than 46 percent by the beginning of the 114th Senate in 2015!
Retirement has been the most utilized method of leaving the Senate, including such luminaries as the following:
Evan Bayh, Chris Dodd, George Voinovich, Judd Gregg in 2010
Kent Conrad, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Herb Kohl, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, Jon Kyl in 2012
Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg, Jay Rockefeller, Saxby Chambliss, Carl Levin in 2014
Defeat has been another way to remove members of the Senate, including:
Russ Feingold, Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter, Bob Bennett in 2010
Scott Brown, Richard Lugar in 2012
Death has also taken away the following:
Robert Byrd, Edward Kennedy by 2010
Daniel Inouye by 2012
Moving to other positions in government or political groups include:
Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Ken Salazar by 2009 or 2010
Jim DeMint by 2012
John Kerry by 2013
Altogether, the totals are as follows from 2009-2014
46 and counting, when one adds the likelihood of the defeat of some sitting Senators in primaries or elections in 2014, making HALF the Senate likely having changed since the 111th Senate met in January 2009!
And the statesmanship and experience that will be lost will be replaced by many Senators unwilling to negotiate or compromise, a hallmark of the historic Senate, which played such a major role in American history!