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Friday, July 23, 2010

Deliberation in the White House and Capitol Hill

AP reports:
President Barack Obama has ordered a more patient, deliberative style of governance from his aides and Cabinet members in the wake of a convulsive week surrounding the ouster of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod.

After telling Sherrod he regretted her forced resignation over racial remarks she made to an NAACP audience, Obama said in a nationally broadcast network interview he believes Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "jumped the gun" in sacking the veteran Georgian federal worker.

A furor erupted this week over a conservative blogger's posting of portions of a speech Sherrod gave in which she told of giving short shrift attention 24 years ago to the pleas for financial aid by a poor white farmer. Sherrod is black, and the operator of the website posted a portion of her speech. The blogger, Andrew Breitbart, said he did so to illustrate racism within the NAACP, which earlier accused the tea party of having racist elements.
In an interview, House Republican Leader John Boehner discussed how his party would run the House if it regained a majority:
He said he wants bills posted online at least three days in advance, and he wants cameras in the Rules Committee room. He also insists he won’t be like past Republican speakers, vowing to be candid and straightforward in his dealings with the public and media.

“I am not Barack Obama and I am not Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. And those of you who have dealt with me over the years know that that’s a fact and it will remain a fact.”

And like many Democrats and Republicans of late, Boehner bemoaned the state of Washington politics. The House, he said, is devoid of legislators and many are merely “members.”

“This is supposed to be the greatest deliberative body in the history of the world,” he said. “But there’s very little deliberation, there’s very little, very few legislators among the 435 members. And I really think that members are being short-changed. I came out of the Ohio Legislature, a place where it was a legislature and you were taught and you learned how to become a legislator. And I think that we need legislators in the U.S. Capitol.”