Let me finish tonight with some good news.
What makes politics fascinating - and what makes government work - is the unexpected common ground - when two different points of view merge.
Like when the Tea Party folks get together with the liberals.
I was going over the roll call of late yesterday’s vote on those fighter engines the ones that are made in John Boehner’s congressional district, the Pentagon says it doesn’t need.
Fascinating. You’ve got liberals from the East and Left coasts all over the list of those who voted to kill the spending, people like Gary Ackerman of New York, Bob Brady of Philly, Conyers of Detroit, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut - liberals I’ve known for years, solid Democrats.
On that same side of the vote are a whole bunch of Republicans - Tea Party people - who just came to the House.
The vote to kill the aircraft engine won 233 to 198. The Speaker was on the losing side the bill. So were his top lieutenants, and leadership wannabes like Michele Bachmann. The so-called champion of the tea partiers voted with the pork bellies.
Well, nothing is simple in this business and one person’s waste is someone else’ fiscal genius. Bachman’s office, for example, pointed to a GAO report that said having the engines made in Boehner’s district “duplicate” the engines made somewhere else would save billions of dollars. Go figure.
The point here is that there’s common ground here - for the people who think the government spends too much money and those who thinks it spends too much of its money on defense procurement.
So now the question is to find other areas where this happens. If they’ve save a half billion here maybe they can save billions or tens or hundreds of billions elsewhere.
If you expect people to agree on everything before they agree on anything, you’re not going to see much get done, not going to see much cutting.
The good thing here is that liberals joined Tea Partiers and beat the old-boy establishment, the old mentality of you-save-my-pork I’ll-save-yours.
This is a bad week for the pork bellies, pretty good start for the Tea Partiers and progressives. As Charles Dudley Warner once put it, “politics makes strange bedfellows.” This is one time that sleeping together gave John Boehner a bad night - but saved the country a half billion bucks.