Congress has been working on fixing the deficit for months now, but it still has not made any real progress. Why? Because they're acting like little kids instead of sitting down and talking like adults. If I wanted to watch people talking behind backs or making fake Twitter accounts, I'd be watching Pretty Little Liars, not C-SPAN. Both Congress and Obama could benefit from a good, old-fashioned manners lesson from elementary school. Here are some things they could learn:
Be kind and respectful of others
Obviously, President Obama is not in favor of the sequester, as he has made several public speeches asking Republicans to adjust their plans for the deficit. Both parties here could benefit from a lesson from Miss Manners. Instead of telling the public, "Hey, I did what I could and the Republicans aren't responding," Obama could phrase the speech differently by taking some responsibility and being kind to the Republicans rather than passive agressive. On the other hand, Republicans should probably adhere to what the President is saying and take his wishes into consideration when hammering out the sequester.
Be willing to compromise
Although Chris Christie might have been trying to make a political move by being supportive of Obama's efforts during Hurricane Sandy, at least he was showing some bipartisanship. This was one of the few times when Republicans and Democrats have successfully worked together. However, the Republican Party is now disapproving of Christie and did not invite him to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference. This is just one of many instances where bipartisanship has been reprimanded instead of supported. If both parties encouraged compromise more, the sequester may not even be a problem.
Treat others the way you want to be treated
Obama and the GOP are great at treating each other in the same fashion. For every time a Republican questions Obama's birthplace, there's a video or press release from Obama attacking how stubborn Congress can be. However, neither party wants to be treated that way. A good, old-fashioned lesson in open and honest communication is key here. If Obama and Congress could just sit down and talk to each other without blaming each other, we could be looking at an actual deal that incorporates the best of both plans.
Choose battles wisely
Why bother fighting to get to stay out late tonight, when you could save your energy to ask for a vacation for spring break? This is a lot of energy and effort that the Republicans are putting in right now; however, they still have four more years under Obama. After losing the presidential election in 2012, the Republican Party obviously has a lot of restructuring to do, and part of that should be the way Republicans interact with the Democratic party. A better battle to choose would be garnering support for Congressional elections in 2014 and even the presidential election of 2016.
Direct quote from John Boehner: "We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something." Using this type of language doesn't deepen Boehner's argument, it is just unecessary and sounds immature. Politicians already get really bad reputations and this is part of the reason: People will get really fired up about something and translate that energy in a way that is rude and ineffective. There are ways to communicate dissatisfaction while being polite, and everyone in Congress would benefit from that lesson.