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Portman's good point: A leadership deficit all around

Rob Portman, Republican U.S. senator from Ohio, was in town on Tuesday. Portman, who has co-sponsored an environmental bill with Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, was here to campaign for Scott Brown. In an interview, he made an excellent point about governing.

The United States is suffering a “leadership deficit,” Portman said. Fixing that “requires the Republican Party governing, not being the Party of No, but the party of ideas.”

To critics who prefer simply to oppose President Obama’s agenda, Portman points out that gridlock means important priorities such as tax reform, entitlement reform and health care reform do not move forward.

Granted, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Obama are huge obstacles. But real leadership involves advancing alternatives, selling them to the people, and pressuring the Senate and the White House to act. Just railing against the President might be cathartic, but it is not leadership.

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