David Gergen says the failure of the super committee to make a deficit reduction plan, “represents a reckless, irresponsible gamble…. It’s difficult to remember a Congress that has put the nation so much at risk in the service of ideology and to hold onto office. Partisans on both sides are grievously failing the country.”
Gergen has worked for four presidents. He is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. His CNN commentary today asks, “Have they gone nuts in Washington?”. Excerpts from the article:
- Republicans complain that federal spending under President Obama has gone up dramatically and cuts should come there before any new taxes. Democrats say that the rich have increased their wealth much more rapidly than the other 99% of Americans, while their taxes have gone down, so that the first order of business is to raise taxes on them.
- Such contentious disagreements have characterized our politics since the dawn of the republic, and in almost all crises of the past, political leaders have worked out compromises. …Our “leaders” of today, however, have tossed aside the wisdom of the Founders.
- (President Obama) has been exercising the most passive leadership imaginable. Nor have the Republican candidates for president been any more engaged. Why are their campaigns so focused only on 2013 and so detached from a crisis that continues to deepen in D.C. right now?
- Sorry, our noble leaders tell us, we have to focus now on election 2012. What was it that Louis XV used to say? “Après moi, le déluge”?