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Hitting the Political Links

June 10, 2011 - Joselyn King
Democrats and Republicans in Washington are often teed off at each other. You have to think the solution to stalemates there just might come on a golf course.

The question is, why didn't somebody think of doing this before now?

President Barack Obama -- the Democrat -- has invited House Speaker John Boehner -- the Republican -- to play a round of golf with him on June 18.

Yes, the president usually doesn't like to mix business with his golf time. Yes, they both will have metal sticks in their hands. And yes, hopefully Boehner can hold back the tears if he misses the fairway.

But to paraphrase Mark Twain, hopefully their good golf walk won't be spoiled by feelings of ill will. Could it be that they might just actually start to relax and talk to each other while on the links?

And if that happens. . . well, who knows what might be accomplished.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said recently he noticed since coming to Washington six months ago that not much socialization happens there between legislators. They largely keep to themselves and offices, and head straight home when the opportunity comes, he said.

As such, not much progress is made on solving the nation's problems.

Maybe ice cream is the answer? Former first lady Dolly Madison thought so.

Her husband, James was just the fourth president of what was then a young America. The elected legislators away from home just didn't know how to act in their newly established roles. Sometimes they fought -- literally -- for their beliefs on the House and Senate floors.

Other times they would hit each other over the heads with the spittoons that were present at their desks. (Absolutely gross, I'll admit.)

Madison came up with the idea of having a dinner each week at the White House for members of Congress, where they could sit together in a civilized way and get to know each other. She thought maybe that might help to curb the violence and ill will that was stiffling the nation.

And the lawmakers came to the White House. They wanted a taste of that delicious new recipe she had discovered for something called "ice cream."

There's no word on if Barack and John plan to split an icecream bar while on the links. But what wouldn't they do for a Klondike bar?

Of course, Mrs. Obama might just switch that sugar-based carrot for a real one.


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