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The heroes of this story are the so-called Gang of Six. The group is led by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss, who are joined in meetings by Senate veterans of the president's deficit reduction panel -- Republicans Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo and Democrats Kent Conrad and Dick Durbin. The group's off-site negotiations have attracted more than 30 of their Senate colleagues.
The Chambliss-Warner partnership follows in the model of Simpson-Bowles. We've even seen this kind of pragmatic but principled partnership achieve successful breakthroughs on social issues like same-sex marriage, where former Bush v. Gore opponents Ted Olson and David Boies worked together to overturn Proposition 8 in California. It all follows a consistent centrist formula -- define the common ground that exists on a given issue and then build on it. That's how we move our nation not left or right, but forward. But these efforts need your support. People who have the courage to reach across the political aisle spend much of their time taking buckshot from both sides. The activist base of their own party too often condemns any compromise while the establishment from the other party sees a once and future opponent and declines their support.
But if you're part of the 93% of Americans who say they want to see less partisan fighting in Washington, it's time to stand up and support efforts like the Gang of Six. Send the message that you want to see more senators have the courage to join in the cross-aisle talks.