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Editorial: Congress is losing members quickly

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opinion Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The approval ratings of Congress and its members are at an all-time low.

In fact, according to some recent polls, 11 percent of Americans approve of polygamy, while only 9 percent approve of Congress.

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Apparently members of Congress have a similar low opinion and are choosing to retire. As of today, 10 senators and 37 members of Congress are not seeking re-election. There are 28 Democrats and 19 Republicans not running in 2012.

More members may yet decide not to seek re-election this year.

Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine announced last week she was ending her re-election campaign. The moderate Republican had been campaigning hard for 2012 re-election, but decided she no longer enjoyed Congress.

Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington was facing no major re-election challenge in his district. He said simply he and his wife have decided "to enjoy life at a different pace."

In another sign of the growing dysfunction of Congress, Senate Republicans blocked the advancement of the transportation bill. Such legislation traditionally had broad bipartisan support.

As Snowe noted, political domination and strategy are taking priority over governance for the common good. More importantly, the Congress' ability to function has become a national embarrassment.

Unfortunately, many politicians -- Democrats and Republicans -- at the national and state levels have forgotten one important fact. They and their opponents in the other political party are first, and foremost, still Americans.

It is time every politician looked in the mirror and remembered that fact.

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