Changes in political parties in either Congress or the White
House do not automatically cause changes in the ways of doing things. Cautious
attention to the flow is imperative. Tradition feeds on itself and dies hard,
However, understand there will be missteps by parties
assuming new leadership roles. Anybody out of power for so long has forgotten
what it was like to organize, plan, and execute. Besides, the book has been
rewritten many times since.
New alliances are formed, old ones
strengthened. Know the new players, staffers, structure, and power points.
Congress is not a manufacturer for the executive branch. It is a separate
branch of government, and will accept responsibility only for matters it
wishes to be within its purview often on its own timetable.
science is a contradiction in terms.
Never assume that politics will
Newton's law does not apply. There may not be a
reaction, but an overreaction. It could be based on misconceptions, wrong
perceptions, or responses to the media. Be prepared for it.
is give-and-take, the way we solve problems peacefully. The purpose of
politics is to win, thus having one's point of view prevail.
Compromise might not fit your political shibboleths, but practicing its art
to attain most of your objectives is what the other guy will be doing for his.
Officially, Congress runs by rules, traditions, and institutions.
Unofficially, it runs on personalities, persuasiveness, political winds,
paybacks, commitments, issues coalescence, constituent feedback, personal
agendas, and polling data.
Almost everyone can agree on the problems. Finding agreement on the
solutions is extremely difficult —
including the distribution of anything considered excess, or largesse.
New programs have been easy to establish. Dismantling old ones
requires the wisdom of Solomon and the skill of Merlin. By the same token,
passing legislation is easier than defeating it.
To reach maximum efficiency in carrying out personal objectives,
representing constituent needs, and discharging legislative responsibilities,
a Member must remain in the Congress. Therefore, it stands to reason that
reelection is the prime motivator.
The DoD is in the insurance
business. If we buy enough stuff we won't have to use it.
Bad data or no data are data and will be used by Congress to decide
the future of your program.
Reelection is the prime motivator of Congress, but remember who elects. The
driver is C 3 — equaling
constituent, constituent, constituent. Understanding a corporate constituent's
interest will allow you to respond best to the Member.