Follow the Leader (or not)

On the one hand we’re told that politicians cautiously hold a finger to the wind before acting and lack the courage to get ahead of their constituents. On the other, when politicians step forward—as Obama did on the TPP or ACA or David Cameron did on EU affiliation or Angela Merkel on immigration—their positions are deemed proof of the growing gulf between the governing elite and the masses who would be impacted. Continue reading Follow the Leader (or not)

Camp Tax Reform Strategy. Just Do It

camp There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful.  Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.

That was then.  Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere. Continue reading Camp Tax Reform Strategy. Just Do It

We Are Adrift

boatThe shutdown has ended…and now for the showdown. Recent polls show the great majority of Americans are unrepresented in the Congress. And it is time for them to exercise their muscle. Continue reading We Are Adrift

Tea Party Waives Regular Order

members The good old days in Congress are probably gone forever and that is just as well because they were never really as good as nostalgia suggests. Should the newcomers seek his counsel, Rep. Gutierrez might tell them to be careful what they wish for. Continue reading Tea Party Waives Regular Order

FDR To Speechwriter On Leadership

pwEditor’s Note The public debate over whether the United States Congress will buck public sentiment and approve a use-of -force resolution in Syria — or whether the potential failure of that resolution would even keep the president from upholding the “values that define us” through military intervention — is expected to continue into next week when the Congress reconvenes from its summer recess.

During the interlude between this week’s special congressional hearings and next week’s impending votes, this FDR quote from 1937 about leaders moving forward without great support seemed timely: Continue reading FDR To Speechwriter On Leadership