Thursday, April 05, 2012 By Aaron Brown
To summarize, the answer is because it is often an awful, low-paying job, unforgiving to families or people with careers. It demands year-round political work. It's politically impossible to raise the pay. It seems impossible to make it not be awful. Therefore we get a lot of people who like or are abnormally tolerant to that sort of thing. So ... partisan ballot initiatives and weird fishing regulations and blogger sex romps, here we go.
I don't think this applies to every member of the legislature. There are DFLers and Republicans both who have reputations for bright ideas and collegial behavior. But they are either a minority or they are silenced by the nature of the beast. The sad thing about the legislature (and probably all of politics these days) is that it takes well-intentioned people and turns them into partisan gladiators incapable of seeing themselves change for the worse. Has this always been true?
I expect it will get better someday, but only after a serious event or groundswell movement demands as much.