The Super Bowl Party That Should Have Been

The key to getting along is some beer and a good football game.

      Successful organizations find ways to bring their people together at various opportunities in order to break down the barriers that inhibit efficient operations. More than one deal has been struck over a cold beer. In business, in politics, and in life in general, the more we interact with each other, the more likely we are to find common ground.

      Competing idea’s are not new to our country. In fact, they are the heart of what makes us great. One of the best books I’ve ever read on this is The Thirteen American Arguments. In it, the author states that arguments are the heart of our government. But disagreements don’t mean we can’t talk to the other side.

      Two hundred years two of the most polar opposites in American Government were Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. But these two individuals still managed to come together in what is known as one of the great compromises in our nation’s history when Jefferson invited Hamilton to his house for dinner. What became known as the Dinner Table Bargain shaped both financial policy as well as the location of our nation’s capital city.

      What we need is to seek out opportunities to talk to the other side without shouting and yelling. We have seen some efforts to this end recently that should be celebrated. It was good that President Obama went to speak to the Republicans. It was good when Jon Stewart appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor”.

      What is not productive is when one side of the argument tries to use these episodes to keep score. Also not productive is when opportunities to truly build bridges are missed, purposefully or not. The President missed a golden opportunity to build alliances with his Super Bowl gathering tomorrow. Only one Republican was invited. Was an invitation extended to Representative Cao (R- LA) because he, like Obama, is rooting for the Saints, or was it because is one of the few Republicans that supported the Health Care Bill?

      Either way, he’s not the guy that needs to be there. Granted it’s a small gathering of people. (Politics Daily reports that there will be three other Representatives and one Senator, along with some military veterans and various Cabinet members at the event). But this is definately an opportunity lost. What would have been better is if he would have invited people of differing thought process and then made the mandate “no talking about business”. 

      How about Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell sharing photo’s of grandkids at halftime?  How about Nancy Pelosi telling Scott Reed about great places to take the family in Washington this spring? How’s that for incomprehensible images?  What about a gatering of nothing but Republicans?  Unfortunately, as is, this event will do nothing to break the echo chamer of party politics. If anything it may add to it.

      If these people don’t have the ability to drink a beer and watch a football game together, how do we expect them to solve trillion dollar problems? Congress needs to accept the fact that, despite differences in philosophy, they, as a group, are tasked with getting things accomplished.   If they don’t learn to hang together, they should hang separately. We as Americans must quit cheering for “our side” at the expense of progress. We need to demand from our governemnt (as opposed to demanding from our party) results, not excuses.

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4 thoughts on “The Super Bowl Party That Should Have Been

  1. Jay says:

    Great post. I tend to agree that part of the process is disagreement with a healthy will to share with each other and a willingness to try to understand each other.

    Where I think things went horribly wrong, as of late, has been the total unwillingness of the liberals in both houses of Congress to be inclusive of anyone who wished to contribute to the process of healthcare legislation.

    While claiming the Republican Party was the party of no, the liberals unequivocally refused to allow them to contribute in any meaningful way. While pointing out that the republicans had nothing to offer in the way of alternatives, they systematically refused to give any time to the actual proposals that were brought forth.

    Mr. Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of their ilk have been very clear about not needing bipartisanship but that looks to change drastically, but unfortunately by force; ergo Scott Brown and the up and coming midterm elections.

    You are very right, indeed. There is a lesson to learn here. Now if Mr. Obama will only put more emphasis on unity and less on protecting his own political capital and forcing his agenda down our throats. If he wants to lead, if any of them wish to properly govern this Republic, they need to shut up and listen.

  2. betabob says:

    Thanks for the comments Jay.

    Realizing you lean to the Right, check out this post from an authour that definately leans to the Left. While you may disagree with some of his assertions early in the piece, I think you may find the second half right on the mark, and even refreshing to hear coming from the other side of the fence.

    http://www.patrolmag.com/sessions/1980/governing-american-stupidity-and-congress

  3. Jay says:

    Great read and you are right about the strong finish.

    Although I really do hate the way people lump the “American public” together as if there are no free thinkers out there or that they mindlessly support a party because they are pandered to. There is so much more to it than that. There are the idiot robots out there but I strongly believe there are free thinking people all over this country and on both sides. I indict the politicians, not the people. It seems a common thing for the leftist politicians and pundits to go after the people instead of those pushing or pulling the laws, policy and regulations.

    Quite a bit of it has to do with the fact that we have a system with no room for a third party. On both sides, we end up having to either stay home or hold our noses while at the ballot box. I am more a classic liberal than a republican but because of a short list of strong disagreements with libertarians, I am a member of the Republican Party. I don’t like the GOP right now and think they have been loosing their way for quite some time but the alternative, the REAL alternative is a band of radical leftists. When there are two sides, you play Switzerland and hope you don’t get your ass kicked or you take sides. I’d rather take a side and actively participate in my future, one way or the other. People call themselves independents but there are so many strong differences between the base ideologies of the two parties. One party does/did and can again stand for liberty and the power of the individual and the other for the collective. One for property, the basis of our free society, the other for a socialistic myopic utopia that claims to champion the proletariat over the bourgeoisie but only leads to mediocrity.

    I would just drool over Ron Paul if he wasn’t pro-legalization of drugs and pro-choice. Right now I like him right where he is; one of 435 instead of 1 of 1.

  4. betabob says:

    I hear you and respect your opinion. I believe it is true that our system is not really set up to handle a third party, though many would like one.

    I don’t think claiming independent status is the same as demanding a third party, though. I think you are correct when you describe the ends of the political spectrum, and as such both parties will tend to gravitate toward absolutes, if left to their own devices.

    I believe the solution is in the middle. I believe limited government is the answer. That said, there are times when governemnt needs to be active.

    One great thing about registering independent is that you cna vote in wither primary (at least in NC). This is the best way to help avoid the stay at home or hold your nose situation you described.

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