Compromise is How Things Actually Get Done

Wallace asked whether she (Sarah Palin) shouldn’t advise her crop of outsider Republicans to compromise in Washington to avoid obstruction.  “No, they should not compromise on principles. That’s been part of the problem… going along to get along,” Palin responded.

Now, I don’t know if Sarah Palin has ever taken a basic civics course before or really knows that much about politics begin with.  I don’t want to go on an ad-hominem tirade, because I know that goes nowhere.  What I do know is that the story of political power and actually getting what your constituents want (you know, the people you represent) is compromise.  If you refuse to compromise, then you will not get anything done.  During the last two years, nothing has gotten done in the federal government for several reasons:

  1. Senate Republicans stop everything that isn’t exactly what they want.  I may be old-fashioned, but I thought the use of the filibuster was intended to be used to in extreme circumstances.  During the last two years, the filibuster has become an everyday tool of the senate.  It takes 41 senators to invoke cloture, which means that really the only way to pass anything today is to have 60 members of your party holding seats in the Senate.  The only way that you can pass anything without being subject to the filibuster is if you can prove that it is part of the budget and use the reconciliation process.  The reconciliation loophole does not help when something like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell comes up in the senate.  John McCain is positioning himself as a more conservative candidate in Arizona and voting against DADT suddenly and leading a Republican filibuster.  It disgusts me that I voted for him in the Republican Primary for President.
  2. President Obama seems to care far more about policies and far less about the politics of them.  Obama is great with policy, but now that Rahm Emanuel is gone, it is interesting to think how he will get legislation through the House and Senate.  Peter Rouse, Obama’s Interim Chief of Staff is not the bad cop Emanuel is and the closest thing available at this point looks to be Tom Daschle.
  3. Obama did not meet with Republican nearly as much as he said he would.  You can’t be bi-partisan if you don’t talk to the other party.  It always seems to be a communication problem.  Read the recent New York Times Magazine article about Obama and learning on the job and you will see that the Executive Branch seems to think it is a communication problem and I tend to agree.

I would give more reasons, but honestly I really don’t have the time to continue to write about this.  More than anything, I am asking you not to give up on Democrats in the House and Senate.  They want to create change and were thrown into a bad situation to begin with.  I hate to blame the Bush administration (okay, maybe that is a lie, I love to blame them for things), but the economy to some existent is bad because of deregulation under Presidents Bush and Clinton.  The options were simple, fix it now or let it fix itself which would have been FAR more painful to the people and probably take longer.  Obama is our FDR, don’t take away his power, because I’m not sure what would have happened if we had another term of Hoover rather than FDR.


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