Ok so I'm gonna start off with a statement that may surprise some people. I respect Nancy Pelosi. I really do. That's not to say I agree with anything she's ever said ("We have to pass the bill so that we can see what's in it…"). Hell, one time she tried to rationalize condom distribution as a jobs creator in the stimulus (http://thesop.org/story/usa/2009/01/26/nancy-pelosi-condoms-can-save-america.php).
But here's the thing. Have you ever been to San Francisco? It is a population of just under 1 million Nancy Pelosi's. She gets elected in overwhelming numbers there because she continues to represent her constituents. And that she does. So I ask you, what's the big deal? Isn't that how we want all of our representatives to act? Ben Nelson, Lindsey Graham, Blanch Lincoln, John McCain and many others (think "Blue dog dems") have come under scrutiny for failure to represent their constituents. And rightfully so. Scott Brown shocked many when he won as a Republican in Massachusetts, and rightfully so, but seemed to shock Republicans when he engaged in the bipartisanship he campaigned on. Why? We need more representatives like Scott Brown and Nancy Pelosi - it reflects an actual representation of our nation's population (you know, the purpose of a representative democracy).
Now you can disagree with Pelosi. I certainly do. And one could certainly argue that, although she represents her constituents, she is not reflective of the majority of Americans, and perhaps shouldn't have been speaker and "two heartbeats away from the presidency." But that's a different argument.
Our politicians have gotten too far removed from their purpose and senators and congresspeople. Political survival has overtaken representation, and this election is the best indication of that fact. This wasn't a Tea Party victory, a Republican victory, or even a Democratic loss. It was a sign of the growing condemnation of politicians ignoring the people that elected them to public office. And it happened on both sides. Castle, Murkowski, Crist, Feingold, Spector (the best example of political survival) all fell victim to dissent within their own party.
So what's the solution? Who the hell knows? But I have an idea. Term limits. If there's a definitive end in sight, the purpose of political office may be better served. There is no reason McCain should still be in the Senate (he spent half of his most recent term campaigning for president - how does that help serve Arizona's needs?). Teddy Kennedy had a brain tumor, and was still deemed qualified to represent the people. FDR, the greatest Democratic president ever, was barely cold in the grave when term limits were passed for the presidency. Why stop there? They didn't win, but you've gotta respect the likes of Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon (shout out to the WWE) - they campaigned in part of self imposed two term limit for their Senator seat.
After all, is there any reason some of these clowns should have job security? Based on the approval ratings, I'd say no.