Lincoln, courage, and the cliff


Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a White House briefing for about two dozen Maine business leaders on the status of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations ongoing in our capitol.  It became apparent that everyone involved pretty much knows what the deal is going to be, and knows it has to get done.  But, amazingly, there does not yet appear to be the political will, or what I call courage, to actually get this important work accomplished.

I saw the movie Lincoln a couple weeks ago, and am struck by some remarkable parallels to today.  The film focuses on Lincoln's work to get the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery) passed.  This was a matter of utmost national importance, impacting the country's future; the issue was controversial, with many emotional opinions abounding; Lincoln had just been elected to a 2nd term; and there was a lame duck Congress, about to go out the door.  Sound familiar?

As Daniel Day Lewis so impressively portrays Lincoln, he had the wisdom and the vision to see what the right thing to do was for a broken nation; he had the political courage to take this on and use the full force of his power; and he had the political skills to get down and dirty, negotiate, persuade, influence, and do what was necessary.

My wish for this next week is that President Obama and Speaker Boehner view this film together, muster up the political courage to do what is right, and to get this deal done - for the good of our nation, and our future.  Merry Christmas?

Tim Hussey

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