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D.C. legislators might benefit largely from divorce mediation

Imagine that you’re stuck in a bad marriage that can never end, with no chance of ever breaking free despite a hundred reasons or more to run madly toward the door that blinks “divorce.”

In other words, and notwithstanding a fundamental disconnect in your relationship, you’ve simply got to make the best of it -- forever.

Say hi to Congress.

Marriage commentators often refer to that “walk down the aisle.” On Capitol Hill, reference is often simply made to “the political aisle,” a chasm marked by discord on both sides that seems insuperably dysfunctional. These days a helping hand or offer in compromise seldom seems extended across the gulf that separates America’s dominant political parties. Words like civility, reason and friendliness have long given way to descriptions of Democratic/Republican relationships marked by terms such as hostility, rancor and obstinacy.

How can amity ever prevail in such a poisoned atmosphere?

Carol Bailey has an answer. Bailey is a family law attorney, who, like some of her peers across the country, commands special training and experience as a divorce mediator.

Mediation is the ticket, she says, for curing some of the ills relating to what she calls “the “dysfunctional marriage” that marks the current Congress

Divorce mediation works for many bickering couples by emphasizing a calming atmosphere, active listening, a turning away from negativity, consensus building and shared victories.

Aren’t such strategies precisely what is missing on Capitol Hill, as partisans on both sides of “the aisle” simply put up their shields, drown out the other side and insist on their own positions?

Bailey is visiting Congress this week, hoping to hand out a pamphlet she has written on mediation to each congressional member. That pamphlet sets forth a number of basic mediation techniques that work for couples across the country, including in Florida.

Let’s hope that the tract gets a bit of well-deserved attention in the corridors of political power, where compromise and reason seem to be in short supply.

Source: Politico: "Divorce mediator wants to help Hill," Patrick Gavin, Jan. 10, 2014

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