Monday, 1 February 2010
When I was in the United States I took the opportunity to boost my library of autobiographies & biographies of current members of Congress. This week - after completing Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" - I began a programme of reading some of these works. This include books by or about John Lewis; Mitch McConnell; Barney Frank and Jim Webb. I have started with Harry Reid's "The Good Fight". Senator Reid represents the State he was born in (Nevada). In the book he describes growing up in Searchlight, a mining town. There are many insights into why he cares deeply about the healthcare issue.
I'm particularly interested in what legislators, especially whips, have to say about their work. In explaining why reform can take such a long time, Senator Reid says "Legislating is a process, a flurry of deals. What's impossible today is possible tomorrow, and sometimes you have to grind it out." Frustrating the the public - but a key truth about the involved process of negotiation which is central to the work of legislatures.
Senator Reid's website can be accessed here.