Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lessons taught by Muskie desperately needed today

[30 January 2005 - Portland Press Herald]
Today, as a conference of experts at Princeton University concluded in December, a decline in comity, bipartisanship and cooperation is hurting the nation's ability to address the nation's needs and create solutions that serve the public well. What can we learn from Muskie's leadership model for accord and bipartisanship? Gov. Muskie believed in reaching public policy decisions by a process based on facts, broad participation by those with different opinions and vigorous but civil debate. The object was not to beat the representatives of the other party, but to reach agreement on policies and actions that would benefit the people of Maine. ... For Muskie, creating policy was like weaving a rug with a complex pattern, rather than patching together a quilt. It took time, creative thought, strong collaboration with Republican leaders, and help from everyone willing to do their homework and contribute. Some legislators do not have the patience for this. More

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