On Talking Things Out
A Democratic president takes a bunch of Republican senators to dinner and invites the losing
It seems that an epidemic of direct talk has broken out to break the partisan logjam, from the
That initiative, which became a centerpiece of his successful re-election campaign last fall, was resumed in the run-up to the fiscal fight over the much-feared, much-hyped "sequestration." More stonewalling on both sides led to the virtual across-the-board budget cuts that now threaten to slow if not paralyze the government.
The president hit the campaign trail again, apparently believing that his congressional opposition would crumble if he sounded the alarm about the dire outcomes if the federal spigot is shut down. Only pressure from outside
Will all this chatter end up signifying nothing? Maybe. But at least it suggests a new awareness that the American people are fed up with a dysfunctional seat of government, with opposing sides doing little but talk past each other for dramatic rather than substantive purpose.
That's where the surprise spectacle of Sen.
In that fictional tale, the hero took on the
The young Kentuckian tilted with his particular windmill in the course of opposing the
In reply, Attorney General
Setting aside Paul's shared reputation with his father as an otherworldly crackpot, saying at length what was on his mind offered a stark contrast to what has been going on in official
That is, on one hand, the extended refusal of Republican congressional leaders to compromise with the Democratic president, and on the other, his seeming disinclination to get down into the trenches with individual Republican legislators to talk things out on a personal level. The latest flurry of apparent togetherness may offer the best hope yet for a functioning
Words, as they say, are cheap. But their expenditure in an open and earnest effort by responsible members of the executive and legislative branches to generate some break in the current fiscal and budgetary inertia would be a marked improvement in the second Obama term.
Much of such talk necessarily must take place in private, with or without the breaking of bread. It would be refreshing, however, to see a return to open and vigorous debate on the floors of the House and
Read the latest political news.
- Usual Suspects Using Terror Attacks to Bludgeon Immigration Reform
- Deportation: The D-word
- The Case Against Cutting Social Security and Medicare
- Useless Baggage
- Flying Over an Act of Monumental Stupidity
- Drone World
- Where Our Democracy Works and Where It Doesn't
- America's Just Not That into Obama
- 2017: After Obama
- Beware Public Opinion
- Why Do Liberals Fear Success?
- The Stealth Sequester
- 'Right wing' Does Not Equal 'Terrorist'
- Dubya's Library Opens Debate About Presidential Record
- Obama Eye-Candy Comment Leaves Sour Aftertaste
- Where Obama Should Listen to Rand Paul: Legal Pot
- Rand Paul Gets Schooled at Howard University
- Rand Paul has Explaining to Do
- Conversation Starters Paisley, Paul are Taking Their Lumps
- An Odd Push to Privatize Marriage
- Fear of Gay Marriage Backlash Overblown
- Can GOP Reverse the Damage Done by Iraq?
- Hagel's Challenge
- Wasn't Sandy Hook Enough?
- Gun Vote Reveals New GOP Divide
- Marco Rubio Comes Up Short on Gun Control
- Obama's Limited War on Guns
- School is a Battlefield, and NRA Determined to Keep it that Way
- Gun Laws and Human Nature
- Grief Without Borders
- Immigration: Of Athens and Jerusalem
- Chasing Infinity
- Why the Boston Bombers Succeeded
- Pollution in the News Stream
- Banking on the Poor
- Austerity Leaves Us Crying '96 Tears'
- A Shortage of Mercy
- The Separation of Profit and State
- The Morality Brigade
- What Would RFK Do?
- On Partisan Echo Chambers
- Campaign Finance Reform Brings About Strategic Shifts
- Big Sugar's Subsidy -- How Sweet It Is
- Dr. Ben Carson, New Right-Wing Hero
- One of These Things is Not Like the Other
- GOP Assault on Workers' Rights Continues
- One More Bush?
- Gun Control's Timid Advocates
- Gun Lobby Defends Their Cynical Business Model
- Right Decision, Wrong Reason
- Obamacare: Unhappy Anniversary
- Fighting the Last Political War
- RNC Power Grab
- The GOP Goes Under the Knife
- GOP Reboot: A 'Grand Open Party?'
- The Demise of Moderate Republicanism
- GOP Needs to Make Up its Mind on Immigration Reform
- Fusion Power on the Right
- Greatest Generation the Most Entitled
- Michael Bloomberg: Freedom to Make Stupid Decisions
- Chuck Hagel Survives
- American Recessional
- On Talking Things Out
- Rand Paul's Stunt Misses the Point
- What Rand Paul Got Right
- Flight of Fancy
- The Downside of Conservative Orthodoxy
- CPAC Unwise to Snub Chris Christie
- It's 'I Told You So' on Obamacare
- Mitt Romney's Surprising Post-Mortem
- Do We Need to Maintain A Dole For Former Presidents?
- Extortionist in Chief
- The Sound of Inevitability
- Bringing California Back
- The California 'Mordida'
- GOP Governors Still Know a Good Deal When They See One
- Governor Scott to Voters: Never Mind
- Another Scandal in Tallahassee? You Bet!
- This Florida Citizen Outraged by Citizens Insurance
- Visions: America after Hegemony
- High Court Ponders: Is Racism Over?
- A Ruling on Racial Progress
- Detroit's Decline
- Death and Life in Maryland
- Signs that the NRA is Losing
- Gilded Class Warriors
- 'Assassination Memo' a First Step in Setting New Warfare Parameters
- The Double Threats
- Rush to the Defense? Not So Fast
- Why Annihilate the GOP?
- A New GOP, or Just A Cosmetic Touchup?
- Government Spending That Isn't Smart
- Obama's Second Coming
- Operation Hubris
- Can the GOP Escape Its Bubble
On Talking Things Out | Politics
(c) 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc