The blame for the gridlock in Washington is shared between President Obama and congressional Republicans. Our younger citizens may not realize that it doesn’t have to be this way.

In the 1960s, President Johnson, a Democrat, worked with Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, R-Ill. On the floor of the Senate, Dirksen would be highly critical of the president, but once he and the president would meet, they would find ways to get what each other wanted to make laws and fill vacancies.

Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill publicly criticized President Reagan, a Republican, and his conservative policies, but again, they would put their differences aside for the good of the country and got the nation’s business done. Even during the days of his impeachment hearings, President Clinton phoned House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., to work on policy toward Iraq.

Rather than President Obama making speeches that mock the Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner suing the president, these two “leaders” need to worry less about their party’s fortunes in the upcoming midterm elections in November and get down to business.

Ted Jordan

Cape Elizabeth