Let’s ban the verbs “bicker” and “squabble,” not for a month but forever.
You’ve seen those verbs often if you’ve been reading about the budget struggles between the Republican-controlled House, the Democratic-majority Senate, and the strangely detached Obama White House.
The implication is negative. Children bicker. Small-minded people squabble. When you use those verbs to describe the actions or words of John Boehner, Harry Reid and Barack Obama you are implying that they are arguing about trifles.
But they’re not. They were arguing about big things, vast flows of money, public policies with real consequences.
Yes, there is a certain amount of posturing and tactical advocacy. In every politician there is some mixture of calculation and conviction, in varying proportions.
But it’s pretty clear that in the negotiations over the budget for the remainder of fiscal 2011 Rep. Boehner and Sen. Reid were arguing about big things. That will be the case, if not more so, in upcoming negotiations over raising the debt limit and establishing a budget for fiscal 2012.