I suppose I should respect what Bob Packwood has to say about passing major legislation, given he was a big player in the Senate for a long time before his personal improprieties brought him down. But I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his prescription for a bipartisan tax bill:
First, is the president willing to get behind any bill that might pass Congress on a bipartisan basis? He must be on board ahead of time. If his position is that the bill must raise revenue and Congress’s position is that it must not raise revenue, forget it. Work instead on the Keystone XL pipeline, defeating the Islamic State, achieving Middle East peace and other issues that might find bipartisan congressional and presidential support.
Next, pick a small cadre, and start working on a bill.
Then, don’t dither. Get at it quickly, and finish it quickly.
And do it secretly. When the secret meetings are over, spring the bill full-blown.
Finally, make sure the bill has grandeur. Small steps will not stir mankind. Giant ones will.
Will the president lead with leadership? Will this bill stir mankind? What does that even mean in this context? I think one can safely say Packwood struggles to understand the present dynamics of U.S. politics, especially the relationship between the Senate and President Obama.