February 26th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #768 'Taking the ball and going home'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Despite roaring world events, the tension continues in a variety of states where budget issues have pitted unions against elected officials in a not too friendly manner - unlike my letters to the White House, which are always friendly.

Dear Mr. President,

When I play tennis, I tend to push the pace. A lot. My serves come in rapid succession, and after each point I sprint to the line to serve again, especially if it is really hot out. See, I’m not that good at the game, but I have a lot of natural stamina; so even if I lose a lot of points early in the match, I can make them up later when my opponent grows tired from the relentless speed.

It is a legitimate and effective way to win, and many times I’ve sent a playing partner home shaking his head over how he lost a once massive lead. But in a classic, sportsmanlike sense, I can see how some might see this as, if not “dirty,” at least a “questionable” tactic.

And that’s pretty much how I think a lot of citizens see the antics of those lawmakers who have fled their own states and gone into hiding like rabbits rather than face a losing vote. They are breaking no rules. And yet, it brings a whole new intensity to that “Party of No” label you have so happily tagged onto the Republicans when they would not cooperate with your plans.