PLEDGE NOW
Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
In this Feb. 2, 2009 file photo, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

In this Feb. 2, 2009 file photo, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

If you talk with former US Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Tom Daschle (D-SD), they’ll quickly admit that there aren’t any easy fixes for the current political stalemate in Washington, D.C.

“Congress and the President aren’t solving any of our important problems,” Snowe said. “That should disturb all of us.”

But the two former Senators think they have a solution that will — over time, eventually — help tweak the lack of meaningful movement in DC and our respective state capitals and make a real difference in political compromise.

At the root of our political paralysis is our drawn-out primary system, the Senators told us.

“Working across partisan lines encourages a primary challenge,” Snowe said. Often, those primaries are full of motivated and highly partisan voters who send similarly partisan actors to DC. For a centrist, civil Congress — the Senators and their Bipartisan Policy Center write — a nonpartisan redistricting system and national, unified primary voting day could help change the tenor of debate and discussion in Washington.

And that new Congress should be in session more often, Daschle told us.

“Congress is only in session around nine days a month,” the former Majority Leader said. “The money chase is increasing problem.”

Many of our callers today pointed out that few political leaders take these kinds of positions while they are in office or in larger positions of actual power, which may be true, but Snowe said there isn’t anything new or extreme by their policy prescriptions.

“I’m a can-do person and this is a can-do country,” Snowe said. Is she right? Can a national conversation and earnest dialogue change our political system for the better? Or do you agree with Duke University Law professor Jedediah Purdy, who thinks political fights can lead to real policy progress?

Or are  you with our self-described Libertarian caller from Nashville, who thinks that a stalled Congress is a good thing that helps prevent further governmental abuses?

Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 2, 2015
In this file photo, Judy Blume attends LA Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April. 21, 2012, at the USC Campus in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Beloved children’s author Judy Blume is writing for adults again – on disaster. Judy Blume joins us.

 
Jul 2, 2015
This file image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber, with the Arabic bar below reading: "Urgent: The heroic martyr Abu Amer al-Najdi, the attacker of the (Shiite) temple in Qatif", which the Islamic State group's radio station claimed responsibility for.  (AP)

A big, provocative look at the sophisticated online efforts of ISIS to recruit and lure Westerners to their cause.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
8 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment