Griffs Notes 1/3/07

President George W. Bush wrote in the WSJ Opinion pages today and I wish he’d write more often. His desire to find common ground with a newly elected, Democratic controlled Congress is to be commended. But his message of optimistic compromise and working together is undermined by some tough talking that could set the stage for more underwhelming results.

The abysmal record of the last Congress speaks for itself and the need for change is important for a nation that needs to secure itself, its border, its economy, its energy dependence, its entitlement programs and its public schools.

But this veiled threat in the piece offers neither promise nor evidence that things will and can change:

If the Congress chooses to pass bills that are simply political statements, they will have chosen stalemate.

So the President seems to have found his veto pen? I wonder where it was - the Roosevelt Room?!

President Bush has only used his veto pen once in the six years of his 2 terms – on July 19th, 2006, to reject legislation to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research. Yet it would seem that threatening to use it now for politically motivated bills is blatantly political itself? I hope he isn’t sending the message that it’s still my way or the highway?

And to make matters worse, Nancy Pelosi has vowed to coronate her becoming the nation’s first female Speaker of the House by shutting Republicans out of the legislative process in her first 100 hours. Soon-to-be Speaker Pelosi once vowed to have “open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process.” Now she seems to be hell-bent on increasing the minimum wage, strengthening ethics rules and governing control over prescription drug prices WITHOUT debate or the opportunity to offer alternative Republican amendments. (Let us not forget too that the Republicans have been treating Democrats in a similar fashion for the last six years.)

It’s supposed to be a new year with the opportunity for progress, right? Therefore I can only reach one conclusion – our elected officials have forgotten what they’re supposed to do. They are the chosen ones to carry out the American people’s will.

As one of my colleagues pointed out – at a time when many employees have to work under new ownership management and learn to work with new bosses, it would appear that the Legislative and Executive branches do not want to do what’s in America’s best interest.

Finding out that bi-partisanship is DOA on January 3rd is not a good start.

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