Tag Archives: Congress

Businessmen get it on!

Congress is not yet engaged in business of any note. we want men of business among them. I really wish you were here. I am convinced it is in the power of any man who understands business, and who will undertake to keep a file of the business before Congress & to press it as he would his own docket in a court, to shorten the sessions a month one year with another, & to save in that way 30,000. D. a year. an ill-judged modesty prevents those from undertaking it who are equal to it.
To Caesar A. Rodney, December 31, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders appreciate the focus businesspeople bring to government.
Rodney (1774-1822) was a Delaware politician, Jefferson partisan and namesake nephew of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was not a businessman but a lawyer and was about to take his place as a member of Congress after years of service in the Delaware legislature.

Jefferson thought Congress would benefit from having more successful businessmen as members. They knew how to organize, prioritize and remain focused. If they would bring those same skills to Congress, those bodies would accomplish more in less time and at less expense.

The President thought businessmen were being unfairly modest, “ill-judged” he termed it, in staying from public service.

“Our attendees are highly educated,and very discriminating professionals …
Our attendees literally loved your presentation.”
CEO, Lanit Consulting/Foliotek
Your audience will love Mr. Jefferson!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Congress Tagged , , , , , , |

Pissing THEM off a little can help US behave.

… nor do I foresee a single question which ought to excite party contention. still every question will excite it, because it is sufficient that we propose a measure, to produce opposition to it from the other party. a little of this is not amiss, as it keeps up a wholesome censorship on our conduct;
To Ephraim Kirby, December 10, 1802

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Shrewd leaders appreciate the value of opposition.
In a previous post, Jefferson wrote that the country was doing so well, there was little to recommend to Congress in his annual report (State of the Union Address as we know it today).  He expressed the same sentiment to Kirby, with nothing on the horizon to divide the republican party.

Yet they were bound to propose something, and it would of necessity cause the Federalist party to rally in opposition. That opposition in turn would keep the republican party on its toes, united in its focus and proper in its conduct.

“The address was fascinating history
and presented with a flair that kept the audience spellbound.”
Region 7 Conference Chair, National Academic Advising Association
How many of your conference speakers will keep your audience spellbound?
Thomas Jefferson will!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
1 Comment Posted in Congress, Politics, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Shut up, quit and go home.

I observe the house [House of Representatives] is endeavoring to remedy the eternal protraction [prolonging] of debate by setting up all night … I have thought that such a Rule as the following would be more effectual & less inconvenient. ‘Resolved that at [VIII.] aclock in the evening (whenever the house shall be in session at that hour) it shall be the duty of the Speaker to declare that hour arrived, whereupon all debate shall cease.”
To John Wayles Eppes, January 17, 1810

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Effective leaders understand the value of a deadline.
A previous post from this letter complained about long-winded speeches in the House, and the ill effects they had on its members and the public. Here, Jefferson observed that Congress was trying to deal with the problem by letting the debate go into the wee hours of the morning, wearying everyone involved. He offered a solution.

Why not have the House agree in advance to end all debate at a designated hour? He suggested a mechanism for disposing of whatever was being considered at that moment, and then they could adjourn and go home for the day.

Jefferson asked his former son-in-law to use his idea in any way he could, but not to reveal him as the source of the suggestion.

The House of Representatives did not change its ways.

“Thanks for making our convention a big success.”
Central Bank
Mr. Jefferson will help make your meeting a big success!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Congress Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Would you just shut up?

I observe that the H. of R. [House of Representataives] are sensible of the ill effect of the long speeches in their house on their proceedings. but they have a worse effect in the disgust they excite among the people …these speeches therefore are less & less read, and if continued will cease to be read at all …
To John Wayles Eppes, January 17, 1810

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders who talk too much undermine themselves and disgust others.
Eppes (1773-1823), Jefferson’s former son-in-law, was a member of the House. The two men corresponded often on political matters. Here, Jefferson noted the long speeches given in Congress House members were starting to burden House members.

Worse yet, their long-windedness was wearying the citizens. (Speeches were sometimes printed in local newspapers.) Public irritation was evident, because fewer people were reading those speeches. If the trend continued, they wouldn’t be read at all.

Jefferson depended on a literate, well-read and engaged citizenry to safeguard the republic. Congress was driving people away and thus undermining the government.

“Mr. Lee was a principal speaker for the 2004 Executive Forum…
His ability to think, adapt, and accept the prescribed role … was outstanding.”
Executive Director, Greater St. Louis Federal Executive Board
Mr. Jefferson’s presentation for your audience will be outstanding, too!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment Posted in Congress Tagged , , , , , , , |

Can ANY group, especially Congress, be truly impartial?

As to a coalition with Mr. Hamilton … it was impossible. … principles conscientiously adopted, could not be given up on either side. My wish was, to see both Houses of Congress cleansed of all persons interested in the bank or public stocks; and that a pure legislature given us, I should always be ready to acquiesce under their determinations, even if contrary to my own opinions; for I subscribe to the principle, that the will of the majority, honestly expressed, should give law …
The Anas, February 7, 1793

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Idealistic leaders hope (unrealistically) for a level playing field.
Jefferson was President Washington’s Secretary of State, Hamilton his Secretary of the Treasury. The two lieutenants butted heads on practically every subject, and neither would back down.
In this instance, Jefferson believed that financial speculators in Congress, Hamilton partisans, were voting their own pocketbooks. Jefferson wanted impartial Congressmen, ones who would make decisions on the merits of an issue, not because of any personal interest. He ascribed to majority rule, “honestly expressed,” and was willing to accept decisions from an impartial body, even if he disagreed.
Jefferson could be idealistic! To “cleanse” Congress of certain partisans and create a “pure legislature,” unaffected by personal interests or those of their constituents was not realistic in 1793. Nor is it 220 years later.
The Anas was a collection of Jefferson’s personal notes on a variety of subjects.

“Our city officials were mesmerized  … the attention to detail…
the insight…the motivations and values…make your performances so exceptional.”
Executive Director, Missouri Municipal League
Invite Thomas Jefferson to mesmerize your audience!
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

Leave a comment Posted in Congress, Human nature Tagged , , , , , |