As the 110th Congress prepares to convene on Thursday, NPR’s Weekend Edition host Linda Wertheimer talked to Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff about the parallels of the Democratically-controlled U.S. House with the Colorado House in 2004.Responding to a question by Wertheimer about whether he felt pressure from his Democratic brethren to get even with the Republicans after winning back the statehouse, Romanoff responded:
Sure. Some of the sisters too.
There is a sort of carnivore wing in the Democratic Party that is out for red meat. They wanted to take revenge.
We had to remind them that the Golden Rule does not mean ‘do unto Republicans as they did unto us.’
When asked whether, in hindsight, that was a successful strategy or if the new Colorado majority should have “wailed on them” for a while, Speaker Romanoff laughed and showed off his “big boy pants”:
It would have been more cathartic but I felt very strongly that the right thing to do was to play fair, play by the rules. Try to tap the talent of the other team. Pass bills not on the basis of the party affiliation of their sponsors but just on the merits of their ideas. I think that all makes for better government.
If I had any advice to offer my congressional counterparts that would be it. Stop pointing fingers and picking fights and start solving problems.
We shouldn’t suffer from the illusion that our party has a magical monopoly on good ideas.
A recording of the whole interview can be found at NPR: Colorado Democrat Talks Bipartisan Politics.