Hardball with Chris Matthews, 9/19/13, 8:33 PM ET

How political grown-ups work things out

MSNBC's Chris Matthews finishes the show talking about his memories of how Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill worked out issues like political grown-ups.

On debt ceiling, lawmakers must act like ‘political grown-ups’

Updated

Let me end tonight with this.

Anyone with a brain must be wondering how this game of chicken down in Washington is going to end.

After the right-wing in the House gets the Republican majority vote to insist on the death of Obamacare, after the Senate rejects it, what then?

And what happens when the deadline of Oct. 1 comes and goes without the government being funded?  What happens then.

And what happens as the days pass and no deal is struck between the Republican House led by Speaker John Boehner and President Obama?

When does the day and the hour arrive when both sides have made their points – the Republicans’ anger and Obamacare, the Democrats’ resistence to killing it?

What then?  How do the two sides agree to put up the truce flag and let the Republic continue?

I remember one method my old boss Tip O’Neill used when he was Speaker of the House.  He sent word to President Reagan that if he wrote a letter to the Democrats in the House asking them to vote for the debt ceiling bill, O’Neill would encourage those Democrats to vote for it.  Reagan accepted the deal. The Democrats got the requested letters, and the debt ceiling fight was resolved.

The time will come when both sides in this fight will have made their points.  I’m hoping when that day and hour arrives, they will look back to how true political grown-ups worked things out.

My book on O’Neill and Reagan will be out by then.  I sincerely hope it helps.

On debt ceiling, lawmakers must act like 'political grown-ups'

Updated