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December 22nd, 2009
11:39 AM ET

Dear President Obama #337: Pass the sausage

Reporter's Note: As more details emerge from the health care vote in the Senate, so are the deals that were struck for passage. I got a great deal on tires for my car once. Here’s my daily letter to the president.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

If you have the power, and heaven knows as President you ought to, I wish you would issue some sort of decree against anyone ever again saying that old “it’s like making sausage” quote in regard to lawmaking.

For starters, it’s just not true. No matter what goes into sausage making (and I don’t want to know, thank you) the result is a tasty breakfast morsel that nestles down steamy and hot alongside the eggs. It’s spicy, filling, and delicious. Who could ask for more? On the other hand, lawmaking is something best not contemplated before breakfast, it often doesn’t go well with anything except campaign contributions, and plenty of times lawmaking eaves everyone asking for more!

A case in point: This whole health care bill out of the Senate this week. As details emerge of precisely how the deal was done, I find myself thinking it is a great disservice to throw sausage into the comparison. But more, I can’t help but feel disappointed in some of our elected officials.

I know that I am probably being far too Pollyanna about this, but for crying out loud, would it kill an elected leader to once-in-a-blue-moon just vote for something because he or she thinks it is right; instead of because a Prada gift bag of goodies for the constituents was tossed in, too? Sure, lawmakers are supposed to serve their folks back home. Sure, that often means getting government projects, contracts, and special treatment for the home turf. But again, I ask, aren’t there some things that ought to supersede that kind of thinking?

Getting health care reform this far along has been a monumental task for you and your supporters in Congress. You have faced relentless and solid opposition from the Republicans. You have fought shifting public opinion and industry objections. Whether you have done all that for good or bad is for you, the voters, and the Capitol crowd to hash out. But it must be disappointing for you to see people who are at least theoretically on your team holding out their hands for a tip before they’ll play. Can you imagine Brett Favre having to pass out checks to his linemen before each game or fear their defection?

I know this is how politics works. I’ve been around long enough to realize the folks under the big dome are far from saints. But it still seems sad that such important measures can come down to such base motives. Makes we want to go drown my sorrows in a plate of sausages.

Speaking of saints…you no doubt noticed that my Saints finally lost a game. To the Cowboys in case you missed it. While I’m not thrilled about that, I’m also not disheartened or complaining. They are still a great team and expecting anyone to win all the time is both unrealistic and, I think, unhealthy.

Hope all is well…call if you can.

Regards,

Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Isabel Siaba

    Tom,
    Merry Christmаs!!!

    Thanks for the daily letters to the President. Your work is very good and tireless. Thanks!

    December 22, 2009 at 10:14 am |