He does politics for a living and has succeeded in a competitive domain, we should listen.
The issue is that Gerrymandered seats are safer, the elected official *is* communicating with voters, but the electorate he must worry most about is his own party in the primaries.
If you have a seat that is safe for one party then you get elected by activists of that party, not voters in general which leads to people getting elected from both parties who would never win on their own merits if they had to "communicate" with a more representative portion of the electorate.
They don't get re-elected by doing a good job, they get it by convincing activist members of their own party that they "represented our values".
They don't get fired by screwing up, but because some faction of their own party, be it unions, Tea party, some religious or ethnic group don't like them or because they sleep with someone that causes a fuss.
So the surprise is not that elected official are less than the best, the surprise is that they know such advanced maths as "some numbers are bigger than others" and that grasp foreign politics well enough to know that the Queen of England isn't a New York bar.