Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leadership and Congress (or Lack Thereof)

On June 27, the Post published a piece from former Senator Tom Daschle regarding the dirty leadership of Congress. You can read more about it at:

As we watch the talks on the debt ceiling and deficit reduction slowly and painfully start to fall apart, I think this question of leadership is paramount. For those who, thankfully, don't follow the day-to-day drama in Washington, DC, here's the scoop: First of all, there's a group of Senators (or is it a gaggle of Senators? I'm not sure) working on a cadre of proposed cuts designed to keep everyone equally satisfied enough to vote increase the so-called debt ceiling before the U.S. defaults on its loans. The group used to be called the gang of six, but, since one gave up and left, are now the fabulous five and, no doubt, will become the fearsome four soon.

Meanwhile in the House, a bi-partisan group has been trying to come up with a bazillion dollars in cuts in the federal budget, but everyone git cranky with each other over the question of taxes, so people their ball and went home. If it sounds like a schoolyard (or a soap opera) it kind of is.

So in my opinion here's the real problem: while our system of government is designed to encourage all the infighting and arguing, the Founding Fathers had some hope that someone would step-up and bring all these factions together. Unfortunately, right now everyone is sticking like glue to their side, with little thought of compromise.

For advocates, this means that maybe we'll have to be grown-ups. Maybe it means that we should let our legislators know "Hey, compromise is OK, it's how it's supposed to work." Too many people spend too much time telling elected officials that it's "my way or the highway." The only way we're to get out of this mess is if we we work together and maybe we as citizens need to set the example. If you'd like to do so, go to, look up your legislators and let them know what you think!

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