The RP: A Closing Argument for the Presidency

In his latest column in The Huffington Post, The RP introduces No Labels‘ newest set of policy proposals to promote problem-solving in Washington: Make the Presidency Work!  No matter who is elected tomorrow, we need a stronger chief executive in order to help fix our broken political system.  And No Labels has a plan to make this happen.  Read an excerpt:

Promises, promises.

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney are certainly making plenty of them.

Recent experience, however, suggests they will have a hard time keeping many of their promises.

It’s not because either is intentionally lying (all the time); but rather, it’s because gridlock, obstructionism and hyper-partisanship have become the rule in Washington.

Chances are very good that whoever sits in the Oval Office for the next four years will have to deal with a Congress that is closely divided between the two parties. One party may control the House and the other the Senate. And, even if one party were to have a majority in both bodies, progress will be confined by Senate rules that make it almost impossible to pass anything unless 60 of its 100 members agree.

Historically, divided government can work. President Ronald Reagan, a conservative Republican, and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a liberal Democrat, famously joined forces in the 1980s to shore up Social Security and pass comprehensive tax reform.

More than 50 years ago, President Eisenhower won support from a Democratic Congress to build the Interstate Highway System.

The Civil Rights laws of the 1960s passed only because a significant number of Republicans joined with Democrats in a common front against discrimination.

The common thread in every instance: Presidents and legislators who crossed party lines to put their country first.

In recent years, unfortunately, hyper-partisanship and political point-scoring have emerged as dominant themes. Over the last two decades, no matter which party held the White House, the opposition’s consistent, knee-jerk response was to “just say no” to almost anything the president proposed.

To be fair, some of the resistance reflected honest differences in policy. And, also to be fair, presidents also have often failed to reach out meaningfully to the other side.

But too often, the legislative paralysis has been simply a function of politics.

With a fiscal cliff threatening to derail the economy; a record budget deficit that threatens long-term prosperity; health care costs rising with no end in sight; challenges of immigration, energy, and global warming continuing to mount and fester; and an ever-present concern about potential terrorism on the homeland; it’s high time to change the environment in Washington so that the president and Congress we choose on November 6 can work together to solve problems.

No Labels, a grassroots movement of more than half a million Republicans, Democrats and independents, has introduced a set of proposals that would make it easier to get things done in Washington. Our Make the Presidency Work! action plan consists of 11 common-sense proposals that would help break the gridlock, by changing outdated rules and traditions that get in the way.

Click here to read the full column.

Click here to sign onto No Labels’ action plan.


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