Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Old War Horses

The idea that "old war horses never die" is, fortunately, wrong. For years in Washington, we had Senators and members of Congress who knew the art of cutting a deal, where each side won and also lost. We had people like Tip O'Neill in the House and Ted Kennedy in the Senate, who worked out deals, doors closed, without the need to go to the brink. Much has been written about the impact of the new tax deal on average and wealthy taxpayers, but how in the world did we avoid the "fiscal cliff”? During this most recent budgetary crisis, various discussions among combinations of leaders like President Obama, the majority leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, and the House Speaker, John Boehner, could not come up with a workable deal. I kept wondering what had happened to the leadership in Washington. This deadlock was one for the books. But, like magic, leadership finally did emerge! With the House in gridlock and the Majority Leader of the Senate unwilling to budge, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Vice President Joe Biden. These two "old war horses" worked together and came up with a solution. Was the solution perfect? No. Did it resolve the crisis? Yes. It may not mean much to most people, but for me, it gave me hope. Thank you, Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell, for showing us Washington can still work. I hope you will keep it going.
Ed Mallon