The 'Saturday moment' Congress needs
In July of last year Congress and the National Football League were in similar spots. Both were mired in endless negotiations, Congress over raising the debt ceiling and the NFL over a collective bargaining agreement.
And just when the country began to wonder whether both their favorite sport and their government were going to fail them, the NFL gave them a truly great moment. It's a moment that Congress has yet to have, and therefore hasn't been able to move on from a summer of bickering like the NFL has.
It came in the form of a hug. Not just any hug, but one between a short Jewish team owner and a 295-pound lineman. And when Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, embraced Jeff Saturday, a player from his rival Indianapolis Colts, football fans breathed their first sighs of relief.
The moment was particularly poignant as Kraft's wife, Myra, had recently passed away after battling cancer. In the wake of the tragedy it seemed as if both sides didn't just come together unwillingly, they were again realizing they were part of the same team. Now, of course, both sides didn't get all that they wanted, and players and owners will still have plenty to disagree on. But when the football season came to an end, the lockout seemed like a distant memory.
The same can't be said about the problems in Congress. Sure the Budget Control Act allowed the debt-limit to be raised, but the partisan bickering (even on that very same topic) remains at an all-time high, and because of it the country largely believes the government is broken.
The country isn't looking for a hug between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner. But it does need a moment that feels like the two sides are truly working for the same goal. Congress needs a Kraft-Saturday moment. Who can best step up?