As I mentioned yesterday, since being ousted from the congressional race in the 8th District after the August primary, Independent James Windle has been spending time with family and plotting ways to continue delivering his nonpartisan message to the masses - including through writing op-eds for media outlets across the country.
*See Also: James Windle's Wood
And, as luck would have it, one of those op-eds just happened to be published by The Hill blog yesterday.
In an effort Windle laughingly says will likely earn him flack from friends on both sides of the political aisle, the former candidate, employee of the White House budget office and employee of the House Committee on Appropriations says Democrats and Republicans need to seize the opportunity to fix the nation's financial crisis - which includes jointly taking responsibility for the huge mess.
As we know, politicians tend to balk at the idea of taking responsibility for the gigantic messes they helped create, but that doesn't stop Windle from pointing out it's the only way the country will move forward toward what he calls the necessary "grand bargain" on taxes, spending, and entitlements.
While it is rare in politics today, taking responsibility is more important than ever. In the media age of cable news and social media, the propagation of fairy tales become semi-permanent wedges between the parties and their followers. People remember the misinformation campaigns. This contributes to stubborn, entrenched positions. Both parties accepting responsibility for the fiscal crisis is a necessary foundation for setting the tone of the next negotiations on a grand bargain.
There is a glimmer of hope for action on a grand bargain after the election but first the conditions need to be put in place for earnest negotiations. The sooner both parties move past the fairy tales and accept responsibility for their respective roles in the making of the crisis, the sooner they can come to the table ready to compromise to provide the economy much-needed certainty in taxes and spending.
Will our elected officials take Windle's advice, accept mutual blame for our financial clusterfuck, and finally reach his prescribed "grand bargain"?
It seems highly unlikely, but that doesn't mean Windle isn't right to push for it.
And as citizens, and players in the partisan bickering that's relegated our political system to a frequent punch line of inaction, we should have the foresight to do the same.