Tonight on 60 Minutes, just days before we vote for a new President and a new Congress, the program covers the gridlock between the two parties. Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. Harry Reid discuss whether or not the Senate is broken. Is it? We also get a short history lesson on American politics, and a compare/contrast perspective of American elections from historian, David McCullough. Finally, Packer’s Aaron Rodgers, shares his story of making it from the bottom to the top.
33 Senate seats are up for grabs in the U.S. Senate this coming Tuesday. Sen. Coburn, a Republican, says the Senate is broken. For the first time in 51 years, Sen. Coburn points out some legislation that has not ever been passed before compared to past Senates (like a major defense act). Former Senator Snow even believed that she’d be of better service as a private citizen than as a public official. She says we’re not dealing with debt reform, the fiscal ceiling, etc.
It wasn’t always this way though. The Senate was once an effective Senate. Partisan battles were always worked out behind closed doors. Today, we can’t get past our differences (video shown of senators just arguing with each other constantly). Brain dead ideology has taken over logical compromise a current Senator comments. Why is it so difficult to compromise? Sen. Coburn says it’s leadership – when the goal is to get re-elected rather than to solve problems, then things get broken. Don’t like a bill (probably just because it’s coming from the other party)? Then filibuster. Bill dies. Senate cracks. Again. 20 of 22
Is there a bright side to all of this? Senator Coburn comments that yes there is. We, the American people, are lucky the Senate isn’t in session right now. Otherwise, they would’ve passed some expensive monetary bill. Of the 33 seats, 20 of the 22 incumbents fighting to keep their Senate seats are expected to win. I wouldn’t expect a fixed Senate anytime soon.
David McCullough reflects a little on American history and politics with 60 Minutes. He shares we all tend to always think that we are a nation in decline (referring to one of John Adam’s letters and a conversation with his dad during President Truman’s election). But that’s what we want, McCullough says, we want someone different who will solve problems and do something unpopular to make change. “History is human,” McCullough says. “When in the history of human events…” McCullough quotes Jefferson.
McCullough remembers back to the days of Truman’s election who at that time was considered to be the loser against Dewey. Papers had headlines saying “Dewey Defeats Truman” but we all know that that wasn’t the case. Truman won and McCullough says it was all about his authenticity. Today, McCullough says we should have the opportunity to see the “authenticity” of today’s presidential candidates. If anything though, today’s mudslinging presidential times are not match compared to the 1800’s according to McCullough. Also, McCullough believes that the greatest president was President George Washington. “He (President Washington) did everything right,” McCullough says.
McCullough gives a short history tour and lesson about the times of the Founding Fathers. What life was like, the food they ate, the dreams they dreamed. Some interesting facts include that most of the discussion surrounding the Declaration of the Independence happened on July 2, not July 4. Not much apparently happened other than the formal signing of the document on July 4. Since Jefferson was a quiet man, McCullough also says he would’ve been awful on television today, and that it was Adams who really kept pushing that now is the time to separate and declare our independence.
The leader of the Pack, Aaron Rodgers. “Packers” is the oldest name in pro football, and is the smallest NFL city with the most number of Superbowl championships. In fact, the team is the only non-profit, community owned football team in the NFL. One of the owners quotes Lombardi: “God, Family, Packers.”
Aaron Rodgers, wasn’t so well liked as he is now especially during Favre’s return (“well liked” is quite the understatement). A young Rodgers almost gave up on his young football career because he was short and small. Luckily, he didn’t give up and now he’s got one Superbowl ring. For now. This brings us to the bounty scandal where some Saints were supposedly paid to “take him out.” But hey, Rodgers knows it’s part of the game and he knows what to look out for.
Image Credit: 60 Minutes