A new book by MSNBC's Chris Matthews looks at the political relationship between former President Ronald Reagan and former House Speaker Tip O'Neill. The point: show today's divided government how to work together.
An excerpt from the book, via Playbook:
Today we have government by tantrum. Rather than true debate, we get the daily threat of filibuster. ... Presidents make 'recess' appointments to end-run Senate consent. ... I truly believe it doesn't have to be this way. ... The credit for [the Reagan-O'Neill] civility goes not to their off-duty socializing and shared Irish stories: it was their joint loyalty to American self-government. ... They respected elections, accepted who had won, knew that duty came with office. It's all true. I was there. ...We need leaders able to balance large purpose with equally large awareness of the electorate, what message the voters have sent. In a worthy contest this goes for those who've won but especially for those who haven't. The rules of fair play can't be simply cast aside. You ask if such behavior is possible. I wrote this book to show that it is."
Matthews's book, Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, publishes Oct. 1.