An odd couple indeed, Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat and Representative Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican have formed a two man coalition to get something done, especially when it comes to Medicare issues.
More important than the subject of their efforts is the fact that they are making one, together, including compromises, that work for all sides. I was going to say both sides but realize there there aren't just two sides. Congress just wants us to think that way. It's the gray area in the middle that matters most.
In Kimberly Strassel's recent Wall Street Journal column, The War on Wyden , it's obvious Mr. Wyden is taking his lumps from fellow Democrats. He's been called a 'useful idiot' by Paul Krugman, to wanting to help Mitt Romney get elected to no longer being a Democrat not to mention he was taking away a key argument from the Democrats. It's obvious to me that Mr. Wyden gets what his party does not. Without effort and compromise, nothing gets done.
Mr. Ryan, too, has taken his lumps and is often dismissed as being little more than a numbers wonk. The description is probably more accurate than not but it should be worn as a badge of honor rather than derision and I think that's just how Mr. Ryan feels.
So here we are. Two men out of the entire House and Senate doing what they were all elected to do. I wish I could be more positive when I say it's a start, but I can't. It's only two men.
Unless the tea party adherents realize they must do the same rather than digging in their heels and the remaining Democrats are willing to follow suit nothing will move forward. Especially when leadership won't bring bills to the floor for a vote or if they do they're filled with extraneous rubbish.
This stubborness is shared by both parties as well as a payback mentality when the majorities change hands. It's what the people are so angry about. Even the President does it. His way or no way. Until this behavior is changed we will forever muddle on just as we are now.
Can two men as diverse in nature as Ryan and Wyden light the way? Perhaps. One can hope. Because at the moment there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Just a dark dead end.