Dems: Stop Copying GOP Obstruction Tactics

Dems: Stop Copying GOP Obstruction Tactics
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

"No" is a word used too often by legislators. Faced with a tough vote, it's easy to explain why you're holding out for a different, better, competing idea. Maybe you object to a single provision. Maybe you hope that a more perfect bill will emerge after the next election. A “no” today protects you from having to take responsibility for controversial decisions tomorrow.

The problem, of course, is that our form of governance requires give and take, and solving big problems necessarily requires leaders to take political risks. The Constitution guarantees that competing interests have a role in crafting legislation. And for more than two centuries — except for the Civil War — Americans have showed that collaboration works best in the service of perfecting the union. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill. Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Bipartisan cooperation has sustained American peace and prosperity.

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