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Slade Gorton
Political leader

Slade Gorton

A former U.S. Senator and Washington State Attorney General, Slade Gorton served on the 9/11 Commission.

The barest compromise

"Leaders" in Congress have no "authority" to be undermined. Every member is an independent contractor responsible to his or her own conscience and constituency which, of course, differs from every other.

Leaders do, however, have a duty to assemble a winning coalition, and skill consists in doing so with the least possible inconsistency with the overriding goals. So they make such compromises as are necessary to reach a majority, and if the price is too high they toss in the hand and start over. A 220-215 win shows the leaders gave no more than they absolutely had to.

By Slade Gorton

 |  November 10, 2009; 5:51 AM ET
Category:  Political leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"So they make such compromises as are necessary to reach a majority, and if the price is too high they toss in the hand and start over."

Exactly, given the severe restrictions on a procedure that is supposed to be considered legal in this country (almost 90% of counties in the country don't offer the service) the price was definitely too high to try to restrict the right of a woman to decide what happens to her own body further. They should have thrown in the towel and started over, but wanted the credit for passing a "historic" bill on health care way too much, since this is what Obama ran on.

Posted by: EAR0614 | November 13, 2009 12:59 PM
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The anti-abortion amendment was a sham.

While it would prevent government run health care from directly paying for an individual woman's abortion, it would permit the government to contribute funds to women's health organizations, which could then contribute the money to abortion clinics that could provide free abortions.

Posted by: mike85 | November 11, 2009 2:58 AM
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