In my Wednesday column, I wrote that President Obama and most leading members of Congress know what a solution to the fiscal crisis looks like; they just can’t get there from here because they don’t trust one another much.
Obama is trying to change that by taking a dozen Republican senators to dinner Wednesday night at the neutral ground of Washington's elegant Jefferson Hotel, and by going to lunch in the Capitol with GOP Senate and House members beginning next week. The hope is that a little schmoozing will do the trick -- or at least end the silly notion that we wouldn’t have political gridlock if Obama spent more time with Republicans on the golf course.
But there’s a contrary view of our National Schmoozing Deficit: Maybe what’s needed isn’t more GOP face time with the president but less.
That’s the view, at least, of Mickey Edwards, who was a Republican member of the House from Oklahoma for 16 years. (Since he left Congress in 1992, he’s taught at Harvard and Princeton, served as a vice president at the Aspen Institute and worked on efforts to reform the political system, including the centrist “No Labels” organization.)