December 14th, 2011
09:23 PM ET

Letters to the President #1059: 'Flying the coop'

Reporter's Note: At some point in each 24 hour period I write yet another letter to the White House. It is as regular as sunrise, although potentially not quite so uplifting.

Dear Mr. President,

From where I sit, there seems to be a big game of chicken going on in D.C. these days. Both parties are futzing around with legislation related to jobs, making what I hope are at least honest proposals, and yet they seem to be betting primarily on failure. By that, I mean, they are furiously triangulating ways to make sure that if everything goes to heck, any complaints from voters will come to roost in their opponents’ barn.

(Do you like the way I worked that poultry analogy into my opening graph? Ha!)

I continue to be amazed.

For all we’ve been through with this squirrelly economy, it seems as if the two parties might finally join forces to do something positive. And yet, here we are with the same kind of gridlock we’ve been complaining about for years now. Your side blames the Republicans for trying to block everything. They in turn are blaming you Democrats for grandstanding with votes that are intended to make just that point.

Partisan voters, I presume, have no trouble falling in line with whichever of those positions matches their own, but for the rest of the country I think it is just hopelessly confusing.

Despite all our cynicism, I think many people would desperately like to think that Congress is largely comprised of people who will put the good of the nation above the good of their party. But the evidence suggests that may not be true.

It’s kind of depressing frankly. And here we are in the season of giving! Oh well.

More tomorrow. I’m headed home. Call if you can.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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