March 26th, 2010
11:16 AM ET

Dear President Obama #431: Two men enter ... one man leaves

Reporter's Note: President Obama’s legislative plans continue to fuel a regular Thunderdome of conflicts up on the Hill. I only hope it doesn’t interrupt mail service as I continue my campaign to send a letter a day to the White House.

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Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I think your Capitol pals have finally gone completely around the bend. What the heck is happening over there? All I’m hearing about is arguments over this, and fights over that, and threats, and flying bricks, and zinging bullets, and running in the halls, and Bob’s-your-uncle we’ve got a revolution on our hands!

Granted, it’s not that bad at this point, but it sure is getting ugly. Your side blames the Republicans for the flaming grease on the stove, and they blame you for pushing and making them spill it. Both sides have their points, but mainly it seems like what we always get in DC is precisely what we are getting now: More finger pointing than you’ll find at a New Mexico UFO sighting.

Let me fill you in on a secret, just in case you’ve forgotten since leaving Illinois. Some Americans will side with the home team, some with the away team, but an awful lot of them will just be mad that once again the game has ground to a halt while the benches empty for yet another brawl.

I’m not saying it’s dull. To the contrary, it is plenty entertaining to see the lawmakers in loafers clawing at each other like wet cats in a cardboard box. But it’s no way to run a country. Personally, if you’re all going to have such a hard time getting along, I think we’d be better off if you’d just go ahead and punch it out.

Sure, it could be a Pay Per View event to help offset the deficit! Can you imagine the viewers that would whip out the credit cards at the mere prospect of an electric fence, double-shackled, steel toe boot, slap fight beneath the dome between John Boehner and Harry Reid? Pure gold. And, I might note, probably about as productive overall as the nonsense we’re seeing now.

I know people get upset. I know sometimes voters and the folks they elect come a little unhinged. And I know at any moment one side may be more to blame than the other. But I also know that this whole movement toward less civility and more rancor in our politics is regularly fed by both sides, and the only way it can be reined back in is by both sides behaving with a little more restraint, decorum, and respect for not only each other, but also for the process.

Until that happens, call ESPN and the cable company. Let’s get ready to rumble…at least we ought to get something worthwhile out of all this. Call if you want tomorrow. Can’t wait until the weekend.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Boomer in Mo

    And in Missouri, a Republican and a Democrat had to be pulled apart on the floor of the Mo. House before they got into a fist fight in front of a gallery full of fourth graders. Great. We have Karl Rove, Beck and others of their ilk, both Dems and GOP to thank for this sorry state of affairs.

    March 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  2. Dee, New York

    I am not surprised by the lack of decorum in the lower ranks when their leader publicly uses sarcasm and snide remarks to mock and blame the minority party every chance he gets. Maybe if he showed a little class, he would raise the level of civility by example. I have never seen such unseemly presidential behavior in my life. No drama?? Change??

    March 26, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  3. giancarlo

    i knew,the stake is high, 16% of gdp for hc and the 'green bill' with oil companies, in wikipedia there is a good article about the ethernal battle between federalists and antifederalists, all this in the middle of a crisis and two wars.Tones are high but at this point everyone has to give away mask and an HONEST confrontation,based on true data and facts has to be done.The only way to avoid a war on media is that before accusing or defending from an accuse everyone should wait a while in order to collect true data and facts, cold assessments dont pay in short therm but in mid long therm they pay for sure.

    March 26, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  4. Vivien Wolsk, NYC

    I appreciate the point but I really can't fault Obama for this one. He acts more civil probably than he should. McCain and some some other poor losers are really out of control. It's just egotism and poor sportsmanship! Additionally I am sorry to say I think the race card is in there too. Some bigots just can't accept that a black man is our President.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  5. Blair

    Nice piece. A hollow victory if the only intent of the rancor was to mitigate Democratic losses in the midterms.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  6. Ted

    3-2 odds on Reid in 4 people...

    March 26, 2010 at 8:26 am |