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November 29th, 2012
11:25 PM ET

Letters to the President #1410: 'Is this how DC does business?'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is embroiled in new talks about taxes, the budget, and...well, we all know where that is going...

Dear Mr. President,

It's disappointing to hear that you and your Republican pals are once again rapidly coming to loggerheads over this tax business. Fool that I am, I actually enjoyed a few delusional moments of thinking that both sides might want to work something out before we go vaulting over the fiscal cliff, and spinning to the canyon floor like Wile E. Coyote, but I guess I was wrong.

Of course it goes without saying that your fellow Dems are already blaming the Repubs for everything, and vice versa. I'm not sure how that gets us closer to a solution. I actually think heaving around snarky comments about the opposition probably does more to impede progress than to spur it on.

And yet sometimes you DC types seem like you just can't help yourselves. There really is something of a junior high quality to it. Put downs. Taunts. I'm surprised I don't hear members of Congress insulting each other's mothers.

And again: Who benefits? Does anyone really imagine that the other side is going to respond positively to such tactics?

Insults delivered in such a public setting are doubly damned; not only do they inflame tensions against agreement, but they also force foes into defensive corners from which they can not emerge without appearing weak.

It's something for both sides to consider, if you truly want things to work out. Sorry for writing so late tonight. Hope you're not already asleep.

Regards,
Tom

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