This video from schoolhouse rock may bring back memories of 4th grade social studies. If you haven’t seen it, consider it Legislative Process 101.
The current deficit negotiation process has not been a great showcase of the altruism and statesmanship of America’s political leaders. In this great scene from Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Senator Smith and his assistant go over the process of proposing a bill. Although his knowledge of the legislative process is lacking, it would be nice to see this kind of political passion and concern for the public welfare every now and then on C-Span 3. The key to any policy process is the people involved in it. In juxtaposition to Mr. Smith, advancing legislation in the real world requires more than faith in the American Dream. The process is all about getting the votes behind the bill; a process in which personality and political savvy can be more of an asset than a law school education. A tactful, motivated, and well respected politician who knows how to make deals can do far more than a bum with a good idea.