Remember how the “Gang of Six” — the bipartisan sextet of senators who aimed to craft a deal to address the country’s long-term debt problems — was going to change the face of partisan politics?
Yeah, not so much. When the leaders of the two parties in the House and the Senate announced their picks for the debt “supercommittee,” which is tasked with finding more than $1 trillion in budget cuts before Christmas, there wasn’t a single Gang of Six-er to be found.
No Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who demonstrated his ability to find compromise on fiscal issues during his time as governor of the commonwealth. No Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who, despite his staunch conservatism, is quite friendly with the current occupant of the White House. Heck, not even Idaho Republican Mike Crapo made the cut.
Instead, the supercommittee picks by House and Senate leaders reflected a desire to put people in place who will be loyal to the party chiefs, with the possibility of compromise still in doubt.
And so, the gang was left on the outside looking in, the latest example of a much-ballyhooed attempt at cracking the code on partisanship in Washington that didn’t work out as planned.
The Gang of Six, for never figuring out the combination to the partisan (grid)lock, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
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