April 1, 2012

A grand compromise

On this first day of April, I let my imagination run not to what Washington does, but what it could be.

Imagine a group of Democratic and Republican representatives and senators who come together to foment an ambitious plan. They could propose to put all politics aside and work on grand compromises in the spirit of our founding fathers. They could call themselves the Coalition for Common Sense, and their motto might be "serious solutions for a complex country."

This group need represent only a small, centrist, bipartisan subset of Congress. If it included 73 congressmen and 20 senators, less than 20 percent of Congress, each one could pledge to attract two additional members to approve their compromises.

Every great innovation in this nation was forged from the minds and hearts of a small group of committed individuals who were capable of respect for our differences, and united by a grander vision.

I gather the premises of this inspirational group will be profound indeed.

Like the vast majority of their constituents, these leaders could recognize that we have to return to the notion of "by the people and for the people."

Hopefully, they would agree it is ludicrous that corporations and unions are now considered people and can make multi-million-dollar donations to super-PACs that have so distorted modern politics.

Most of the country agrees that mega-corporations are entities of our creation, but have at times become mechanisms of political domination. We should get corporations, lobbyists, unions and special interests out of politics. If their individual members want to exercise their freedom of speech, then please do.

But, to offer corporations the greatest freedoms without the constraints and accountability of the rest of us is simply nonsensical. This group of representatives could return politics to you and me by taking money's influence on the media out of the equation.

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