Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sometimes persuasion is arm-twisting with threats. This is one of them. The Speaker of the House doesn't have time to be a nice guy. He needs a supporting vote today. He has been a good fellow for too long with his fractious party members, and he is reminding them to get in line. It will be interesting to see if they do. Or, to put it another way, it they don't, the Speaker has lost control of his party, a near-fatal situation and a perception of weakness that will be hard to overcome next year at election time. In all organizations there is a time to stop talking and to start acting. Most don't have the deadlines that Congress is facing, so talking can go on for a long time without resolution. CEOs say that they wish they could act faster than they have, but the inertia of their organizations tied them down. The same is true in Washington where two views of government are colliding in an ugly way. It is too soon to know what will happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if Congress misses the August 2 deadline.