GOP vs. Dems; No Compromise Equals No Solutions
Politics can be very complicated, or at the very least confusing. Case in point: what is it about the Republican pronouncement of “NO COMPROMISE” that President Obama and the congressional Democrats don’t understand?
Did they miss it when John Boehner, the presumptive Speaker of the new Republican-controlled House, announced that, “This is not a time for compromise?” Perhaps they misunderstood high-ranking Republican House member, Mike Pense of Indiana, when he said, “Look, the time to go along and get along is over,” even though he reemphasized, stating, “If I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: No compromise.”
Is it possible that the President took Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” as some sort of conservative jest?
It’s hard to tell what the President hears when congressional Republicans throw down the gauntlet and demand that he move in their direction. But, in response to the wave of emboldened Republicans taking intransigent positions against any sort of compromise, President Obama told the nation, “I believe there's room for us to compromise and get it done together.”
The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Fool me over and over again, and maybe the people who believe I’m actually being fooled are the ones being hoodwinked. Is President Obama really so foolish as to believe that the Republicans will engage in open, good-faith negotiations, or is he merely a performer in a stage show written and produced to convince the American people that somebody in Washington wants the status quo to change?
When the President spoke in Cleveland in September, he came out swinging. He artfully painted the Republicans as the champions of the very wealthy and articulated a plan for the extension of the Bush tax cuts that drew a line in the sand, defining $250,000 of taxable income as the divide between the middle-class and upper-crust. It was the perfect issue for the closing weeks of campaign 2010, but cowardly Democrats backed away in fear that the Republicans would paint them as tax-and-spend liberals.
Well, not only did the Democratic retreat fail to impress any independents, but it also ensured that there would be no resurgence of enthusiasm within progressive ranks. In fact, the real story of Election 2010 wasn’t the great turnout of Republican supporters, but rather that blacks and young voters stayed home. If even half of those who poured out to the polls in 2008 had been moved to vote, the election results would have been much different.Continued on the next page