This was a time when politicians were smart, oozed tons of charm and weren't shy about drinking bourbon & branch water. The words politics and entertainment are seldom found in the same sentence, but The Best Man is loaded with both.
"By the time I left Congress, there was no significant bipartisan legislative activity -- none. We went from a time that produced a number of bipartisan bills to a time in which there were virtually none."
I've been thinking that journalists should add a "civility" beat to their shrinking offerings. At least they should give a little extra air or ink (literal and digital) to challenge politicians when they hit below the belt.
While there may be an element of truth to Santorum's argument that compromise, in the long post-World War II era, usually resulted in more government, it's too simplistic as history and too pessimistic as a compass for future action.
Obama has seemingly reaffirmed the end of wishful working for bipartisan cooperation in Washington. Coupled with his recent speech at the site of Teddy Roosevelt's "Square Deal," perhaps we are finally seeing the end of his fruitless courtship of Republican partners.
At this time of year, Congress, who once again didn't get their chores done, might take a cue from children who aren't messing up because they know it's better to be good and nice than to risk getting on Santa's naughty list.
Speaker Boehner's attempt to concoct a narrative about some compromise of a compromise depends on who's listening. And that's where the president and Senator Reid have an opportunity to play the spoilers.
The Ryan-Wyden Medicare reform plan may well be less than perfect. But we know that all or nothing will in the end get us nothing. Ron Wyden and Paul Ryan deserve praise, not scorn, for at least trying to chart a path out of the quagmire.
The fact that the Republicans and Democrats in our Congress can't and won't work together to tackle extreme challenges that threaten the welfare of our country is proof we need a third political party.
Maybe the only real solution to all of this is for the public to take the 2012 elections very, very seriously, and send a more definable mandate to the politicians on the decisions they are entrusted to make.
As I have listened to the increasingly harsh political rhetoric coming from Republicans, I have thought back to a special night in early 2009 and the spirit of cooperation ushered in by our newly elected president, and wondered where it all went.
With less than two weeks to go before its November 23 deadline for $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts, the twelve members of the bipartisan "Super Committee" have agreed to freeze time on November 22, so November 23 never happens.
This week, in an act of faux-compromise, Speaker John Boehner decided to press a vote on President Obama's jobs legislation. Not the entire bill mind you, just one piece that was included to engender support from Republicans.