When only 47 out of 100 Senators stick around for a hearing this important, that basically answers the question:
“How did we get in this situation?”
We allowed political office to become a career choice, not a patriotic calling. With big salaries, incredible perks, power and social prestige -- not to mention lifetime health care and cushy pensions -- politicians became beholden to lobbyists and re-election donors who want favors, not the citizens they're supposed to represent. Write all the letters and emails you want to the politician "representing" you. The only ones that get read are the ones promising big-time financial support.