The first day of the 112th congress, I wonder what's in store?
Top Topics: New Congress Edition
New Changes Made To The House
New Rules: House Style
Let The Battle Begin: Healthcare's Bloody Fight
Economic Fights Over Banking, Energy, and Jobs To Start
Oil Companies Want Offshore Drilling Bans Removed
Darrell Issa's New Investigations
Filibuster Reform Senate's First Priority
A Quick History Of Filibuster Reform
Chief Justice John Roberts To Administer Oath To John Boehner
Live Coverage Of Congress On Facebook
My Opinion: John Boehner's Leadership and Republican Strategy
Figures of Note:
Opinions of Note:
Senator Mitch McConnell on Senate Rule Changes
Rupert Murdoch on Ideas For Congress
My First Thought: Civility Is Key
Beyond the petty arguments posed by the fresh meat congress and the struggle for power by the incoming freshman, the American people only ask for one, simple message: civility. Okay, so I do not have a direct line to every single person in a America, and I am clearly using the bandwagon approach to ask for something. Nevertheless, I want my congress to work together. Bipartisanship is the only way to pass any type of legislation. I know that the GOP will plan to repeal the healthcare bill and find small spending cuts, but beyond the agenda, new groups should be formed. Numerous examples of bipartisan support for different programs would make congress quite productive. Barney Frank and Ron Paul, along with many other senators, have decided to work on cutting defense spending. Rand Paul from Kentucky has offered to find spending cuts with other senators.
The President could even find common ground with the GOP. Remember how President Bush worked with Ted Kennedy to pass "No Child Left Behind" or how Ronald Reagan formed a cordial friendship with Tip O'Neil, these stories could happen again. Tom Brokaw made the argument that Obama and Boehner should make a pledge to quit smoking, although Obama has been smoke free for 9 months so that might be hard to do. Having weekly beer summits, basketball viewing events, or even a surf and turf are all ways that the White House could reach out to the new crop of congressmen. Michelle Obama could even bond with the women congressman, somehow. Blaming your enemies for failed promises does not work, but finding ways to cooperate does. As Jon Stewart pointed out at his recent rally, "We work together every damn day." Why can't Washington? I do not have high hopes of new bipartisanship, but anything will do.
Photo Credit: Politico
The graphs are from Gallup and Paul Krugman's blog respectfully.