The Power of Plain Speaking

Politicians of all stripes go to Washington and lose the ability to relate to people. Part of that is an inability for politicians to speak plainly, even when talking to the base.I have criticized Mitch McConnell repeated for wanting to beat the spread instead of actually beating health care. Being in the good old boys club that is the United States Senate means Senators often put collegiality before the fight.Some of you have said I have been too hard on Mitch McConnell, but I stand by the comments.In Matthew 5:37, Christ told his disciples, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’.” His brother James in his eponymous book at 5:12 echoed Christ, writing, “Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”This is not to say Mitch McConnell is “condemned” or “evil” or anything of the like. This is just to point out that sometimes plain speaking is a good thing. And often, politicians should actually say “yes” when they mean “yes” and “no” when they mean “no,” instead of dancing around the issue.What is this all about? Today on This Week With George Stephanopolous, Jake Tapper, filling in for George, asked Senator McConnell, “Do you think that Republicans running for Senate in 2010 should run on a platform of vowing to repeal the health care reform bill, should it become law? And will that be one of your first items should you regain control of the Senate, repealing what you guys call Obama-care?“Senator McConnell’s answer?

Well, certainly, politically, it’s a big problem for them. They all kind of joined hands and went off the cliff together. Every single Democrat provided the vote that passed it in the Senate. You have seen what’s happened already with Congressman Parker Griffith in Alabama switching parties. There are rumors there may be others. There is great unrest in the Democratic Party. And the reason for that is, the surveys indicate the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to this effort to have the government take over all of their health care. It will be a huge political issue next year, and that’s why you hear the Democrats saying, let’s don’t tackle any more big issues. I mean, I was reading an article this morning indicating they don’t want to do cap-and-trade anymore, they’re nervous about financial reregulation. What they understand is the new administration and the new Congress has squandered its goodwill with the American people, leading to what could be a big setback for them a year from now.