“The primary reason that talk is cheap is because there is too much supply and too little demand.” – George Bernard Shaw
I get that Republicans are hyped about what they want to do, having won a majority in the House, but enough talk already. I think we have seen or heard enough interviews with Michelle Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Darrell Issa, and those interesting newly-elected Members such as Kristi Noem…lots of appearances, statements about what they plan to do…enough of it.
We didn’t elect the new Congress to make media appearances. More than ever we no longer want words.
In business leadership training I’ve had these talkfests are called “bleacher conversations,” meaning that people are talking in the bleachers about the game, about what players did wrong, and what players should do. Nothing that the bleacher conversationalists talk about affects the game one way or another, because the gabbers are not down on the field, in the game.
We want our representatives down on the field, in the game, doing rather than talking. And let the doing do the talking.
Is anything valuable added to the country’s well being by another interview with Michelle Bachmann or Kristi Noem? Do we already know what they are going to say? Is a frog waterproof? (hint: it’s very similar to what they said the last time they appeared).
What does a real, working Member of Congress look like? They spend a lot of time listening to what people want and think. They use their contacts and networks to help their constituents successfully navigate through the federal government. They spend a lot of time learning about the mechanics of government and the specifics of legislative issues. They have ideas and they pursue those ideas with their colleagues. They influence their colleagues to work on solutions and to take action. They make informed and reasoned decisions about legislation that is before them.
And there’s no shortage of things to work on: how government can get out of the way and let the economy grow, how government can spend less money, how long term Medicare and Social Security benefits can be preserved, how Congress can become more open, less corrupt, and more responsible in the handling of its basic accountabilities such as passing a budget and spending bills that respect that budget.
Of course Members can appear on any program they want. It’s just that the continued talk – especially from the new majority – begins to irk after awhile. Several Republicans said this week that repeal of the health care bill was “just the beginning.” Much talk has been made of the billions in spending cuts the new majority will make. OK, but based on previous experience, we don’t believe you (you understand this, of course).
We know what goes on in the bleachers; let’s see some accomplishments on the field.