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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 17, 2013 at 7:02 PM

D.C. exhibits stunning lack of leadership

President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Lawmakers Wednesday voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Lawmakers Wednesday voted to avoid a financial default and reopen the government after a 16-day partial shutdown. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Obama encourages fight between parties

What we just witnessed in Washington, D.C., is a stunning lack of leadership [“Out of jeopardy, but for how long? page one, Oct. 17].

The speaker of the House is unable to come up with a coherent message as to why he chose this time and place to “take a stand.” I admire someone with the courage of his convictions, but I’m still not clear on what those convictions were. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just says no and refuses to allow votes on House bills. The president refuses to negotiate with Republicans, which is the story of the last five years and is exactly what got us in this mess in the first place.

Right or wrong, tea-party Republicans were elected in 2010 as a repudiation to Obama and with a mandate to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The president has never bothered to try to reach any sort of rapprochement with them, though he knew this issue simmered all along. He had to know this fight was coming, and did nothing but encourage it, thinking his party would gain. That may be smart politics, but it is the opposite of good leadership.

Mark Stratton, Bothell

Comments | More in Government shutdown | Topics: government shutdown, Obama

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