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Keller @ Large: Saying ‘No’ Is Easy, Saying ‘Yes’ Is Hard

BOSTON (CBS) – I watched a lengthy TV interview with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer the other night – keep in mind, this is what I do for a living.

And I noticed something interesting – Schumer was more animated than I’ve ever seen him.

Was it a reaction to some kind of funky herbal tea that Rachel Maddow fed him beforehand? I don’t think so.

I’ve seen Schumer interviewed many times in the past when the Democrats held the Senate and a Democrat occupied the White House, and I’ve never seen him so focused and energetic.

And he’s just one example of a consistent pattern I notice in our Washington politicians – they seem far more dynamic in the role of spoiler or nay-sayer than they do when they have the majority behind them and a chance to really lead.

I found a blogger online who explains this pretty well: “No is really an easy way out…. Yes is a challenge. Yes means making a commitment. Yes means figuring it out.”

And in politics, Yes means having ideas, submitting them to the crucible of compromise, negotiating their passage, taking credit when they succeed and blame when they fail.

That’s hard work.

It’s so much easier to be the party of No, which Democrats like Schumer bitterly accused the Republicans of being for the last eight years. But now it’s the Democrats’ turn to say No, and they seem to be loving it.

Funny how it seems the rest of the culture is the opposite.

Have a stupid or vicious thought? Don’t hold back, express it online!

Want something you really can’t afford? Go on and get it with your good credit!

But maybe that is what happens in Washington.

Got an itch to just say No after a bitter election loss? Why, go ahead, just say yes, and scratch it!

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

More from Jon Keller
Comments

One Comment

  1. I think, Jon, your assessment of the Republicans being the party of “no” during the Obama administration is missing some key players in the affairs of Washington: Barack Obama,Harry Reid, and Nancy pelosi….

    Obama was a man obsessed with his own belief that he knew better than anyone else and refuse all but the most minor of compromise.

    Harry Reid? He manipulated the legislation and processes to remove any opportunity for Republicans to be part of the government.

    And, Nancy Pelosi? “We need to pass the bill for you to see what is in it”. That says it all about the hard work of compromise.

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