The art of politics

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

– Groucho Marx

Well, as of this writing, President Obama has just invited a second group of Republican senators to have dinner with him to talk about debts, deficits, sequestration, budgets and a whole bunch of other money stuff.

According to a story on, the president asked Sen. Johnny Isakson (who?) to ask 12 GOP senators to dine with him on April 10. And he doesn’t want it to be the same senators he met with last month.

Apparently, the president is going to keep talking to different Republicans until he finds one that agrees with him on anything.

But, seriously, the president is trying to reach out to build some bipartisan bridges. Perhaps by combining targeted budget cuts (as opposed to across-the-board sequestration) with meaningful reform of the tax code, there can be a consensus on cutting deficits.

There is also the hope that a consensus will contain the best ideas from both parties, instead of one of Groucho’s wrong remedies.

Let’s face it, sequestration is the worst possible solution – mindless slashing, no differentiation between essence and flab. It is a black mark on both parties that a mechanism that was supposed to force them to meaningful solutions actually went into effect.

Maybe these dinners will instill the sense of civility, cooperation and courage our complex financial problems require.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.