By Ken Feltman (originally published in Politico)
Ties of respect and friendship allowed President Lyndon Johnson and Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen to move historic civil rights legislation to enactment. Speaker Sam Rayburn used his “Board of Education” meetings to get to know and influence his colleagues over bourbon, branch water and sometimes a game of cards. Cooperation is easier among friends than among enemies. Period.
Anything that can create ties of respect and friendship among the leaders of the country should be welcomed. We cannot expect that one golf game will make up for the the jokes that Johnson and Dirksen delighted in playing on each other. Golf may never replace Rayburn’s bourbon. But it’s a start.