Congressional leadership elections today will sadly be a reminder of just how shallow the pool of leaders really is in American politics.  On both sides of the aisle, old political stalwarts have proven to be damaging for our entire system.  On the left, Nancy Pelosi, a stooge for the radical Obama agenda, and Harry Reid who long ago disavowed his legal responsibility to lead the Senate.

On the Republican side, after last week’s thumping and considering the significant image problems faced by the party, it is a shame that Mitch McConnell will coast to another term as minority leader in the Senate. An ineffective spokesperson for conservative values, McConnell has permitted himself to be seen as an obstructionist at a time when Senate Democrats have ground Washington to a standstill.

Both sides have younger, bright, more forward-thinking leaders who haven’t been burdened by years of acrimony and antagonism with Democrats. Why not use them?

Congressional leadership elections are all about sleazy seniority politics, and Americans should demand better.

The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in nearly four years.  House Republicans have put forth and passed legislation that begins the process of dealing with our systemic fiscal crisis, but then allowed themselves to be branded as a do-nothing majority during a national election.

Everyone raves about the strength the Republican bench. Well, what good is a bench if we don’t use them? Why don’t we take some of our new leaders off the sidelines and let them take the reins?

We hope today’s elections will have a less-than-predictable outcome, but don’t expect Washington to change without a firestorm. Conservatives need to demand better leaders and spokespeople to represent their values to the American people and drive a reform agenda. Frankly, so do Democrats. Maybe then Congress won’t be a laughing stock with an approval rating below that of telemarketers, polygamy, and communism.

By Ned Ryun, CEO and President of American Majority Action.