Communication or Acquiescence?

This morning I saw an editorial by our local newspaper publisher which criticizes Republicans for being partisan and uses the quote from Cool Hand Luke: “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. You can see the editorial here:

This is my response:

Dear Mr. Appen,


I find it instructive that you use the famous quote, “What we have here is a failure to communicate”, in your editorial.


The quote originally comes from the classic movie Cool Hand Luke and is spoken by the brutal and sadistic warden Boss Godfrey. After beating the title character with a blackjack Boss utters the famous line. In context the quote clearly means that “communication” will occur when Cool Hand Luke succumbs to the will of the warden and there will be no further discussion. To see the quote used as an invitation for dialogue is humorous.


The scene reminds me of the “bipartisan” meeting President Obama held with Republicans to win their support for his stimulus bill. When Republicans proposed changes to the bill, President Obama reportedly responded with, “I won”. Our president had the opportunity to incorporate conservative ideas into his stimulus package and thereby earn the votes of people that disagreed with him but instead he summarily dismissed them.


Let me be clear. I am not saying that President Obama is a sadistic warden. I didn’t choose the quote, you did. I am saying that actions speak louder than words. If President Obama’s actions are the type of “bipartisanship” you endorse then I respectfully disagree.


All politicians have a duty to put politics aside and do what is best for the country. They also have a responsibility to defend the principles which have served our nation well for more than 200 years.


Acquiescence is not bipartisanship.

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