November 30, 2011

REAGAN HAD ONLY EVER BEEN AN EXECUTIVE, SO HE GOVERNED:

How to Free Congress's Mind (AMY GUTMANN and DENNIS F. THOMPSON, 11/29/11, NY Times)

What enabled the uncompromising mind-set to dominate our politics? We live in the era of the permanent campaign, and the uncompromising approach is designed for campaigning: voters are inspired by high-flying promises never to give in on their favorite causes, while the news media thrive on low-lying attacks, endlessly repeated even (or especially) if they are mendacious.

Although campaigning is essential to democracy, this degeneration of American politics over the past three decades enables the uncompromising attitude to dominate like an invasive species, spreading beyond its natural habitat of the campaign to the government. Once there it overwhelms the compromising mind-set, which is far more suitable to governing, calling on politicians to adjust their principles and respect their opponents to reach agreements. [...]

Only a few decades ago, Ronald Reagan -- a staunch partisan -- criticized the "radical conservatives" in California who thought " 'compromise' was a dirty word" and "wouldn't face the fact that we couldn't get all of what we wanted today." Not coincidentally, it was under President Reagan that Congress passed the most far-reaching tax reform law of the century, a classic bipartisan compromise.

And yet today Reagan's professed followers go out of their way to avoid association with the very idea of compromise. Speaker John A. Boehner, pressed to explain why he would not try to compromise, said, "I reject the word."


The UR has only ever been a...well, nothing really...so he's done nothing.  If you want compromise elect someone who's achieved them previously.



Posted by at November 30, 2011 12:25 PM
  

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