The main problem (extreme partisan deadlock) is systemic, meaning that it has been brewing for some time and that replacing a few individuals will not be effective at all. Consider that in our last Congressional election around 90% of those running for re-election won their bids. Compare that to an overall approval rating that is approaching 10%. Something is not right.
One proposal I heard mentioned would be to set term limits on members on Congress, such as those that exist for the President. This would require a Constitutional amendment. If you're unfamiliar with the process, it begins with either a 2/3 vote of both the House & Senate or by a 2/3 agreement by state representatives at a constitutional convention. After this the proposed amendment is sent to state legislatures where 3/4 of them (at least 38) must ratify it to make it a permanent part of our Constitution. The last time this happened was twenty years ago (and the time before that was twenty years before that). [source] At the very least it would take a long time and face considerable obstacles. However, it would likely have a long-lasting effect once it happens.
How about a more radical change? Many democratic countries use a parliamentary system of government. While getting a new model for our government may seem like a lot to learn over, most people don't really know how our current government works anyway so we wouldn't be losing that much. According to Wikipedia the advantages of this form of government are:
"One of the commonly attributed advantages to parliamentary systems is that it is faster and easier to pass legislation...[and] has attractive features for nations that are... ideologically divided."
Sounds great right? But given how hard it might be to get a constitutional amendment going (see above), fundamentally changing our government might be as likely as adopting the metric system.
Let's step back a moment. Let's try something within our control. Everyone can vote. The only problem is that we not using it very well. We're part of the problem. Remember what I said above, we're unhappy with the status quo but allow the keepers of the status quo to stay. It seems the logical thing to do would be to start voting for whoever is NOT the incumbent.
But what about the issues? What about taxes, the economy, [insert issue you're passionate about]? Yes, those are all important, but our legislature is stuck and needs our help to reset. I would give that a higher priority. Also, don't say, "But my representative isn't like those other guys." Yes, I'm sure most people feel that way, but you can only vote for your representative, not any else's. That's what you can control, so you must. It's not personal, it's business.
Like Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, the American people lay wounded in the street. Will we pick favorites, or declare, "A plague upon both your houses." Voting Anti-Incumbent in 2014 might be the best decision we could make. What do you think?