This teaching moment is in the spirit of our continuing drive for bipartisanship.
It was Tip O’Neill who, as Speaker of the House, famously battled President Reagan, but still managed to get along. It would be a positive change if the relationship between Speaker O’Neill and President Reagan became a model for today’s politicians.
[The] rivalry between O’Neill and Reagan was comparable to that of President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s … O’Neill called Reagan the most ignorant man who had ever occupied the White House. [But] privately, O’Neill and Reagan were always on cordial terms, or as Reagan himself put it in his memoirs, they were friends “after 6PM.” [Reagan] once joked he had received a valentine card from O’Neill: “I knew it was from Tip, because the heart was bleeding.”
We need more of this personal respect after hours, it would defuse a lot of tension and improve our national debate.
Since the first step on the road to recovery is to admit your addiction, let’s own up to our own toxic methods of debate, which are perfectly illustrated in this Monty Python clip.
Sometimes laughter is the best medicine, especially when you don’t have a lot of choices.