Usually, one can count on The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza to be hyper partisan. Yet, this article, written with Sean Sullivan, makes a good point, that people do not really want compromise, despite polls slamming Congress for not compromising and all the yammering that people do. They tell us why
1. Everyone likes the idea of compromise — both in politics and in life more generally. We all like to think of ourselves as reasonable people who are always looking for the common-sense middle ground on a given issue and we want our politicians to reflect that approach. But, our desire for compromise goes out the window when it’s an issue that matters to us and/or where we are convinced we are right. Same goes for politics.
2. Compromise doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. One man’s compromise is another’s concession. Detailing what a compromise might actually look like in, say, talks about a grand bargain on debt and spending, would send many compromise-seekers running away from the negotiating table.
3. Compromise isn’t rewarded politically. Remember that large majorities of the House — Democrats and Republicans — face only one real threat to their political careers: a challenge from their ideological left or right. Redistricting, the decennial line-drawing process in all 435 House districts, is one reason for such lopsided districts. Compromise is a dirty word in primaries where the electorate tends to be the most conservative (or most liberal) voters who prize philosophical convictions over pragmatic legislating. There is not only no incentive to compromise then but there is actually a disincentive to do so.
The second point is the biggest one: we do not all think of compromise as the same. We’ve seen this recently with gun control. There are things we can compromise on, things that would make sense and would not violate the 2nd Amendment. Yet, where is that middle point? Where is the point that each side will give something up? Consider abortion: few on either side will meet at any point.
I’m willing to meet Warmists on certain points, but not for hotcoldwetdry. We do need to expand alternatives and find other, cleaner forms of fuel. Their idea of compromise is to tax fossil fuels out of existence and to waste tons of money on companies that are bound to fail (but were good Democrat donors), as well implement massive regulations that control every aspect of Other People’s lives.
There is a 4th point to this, namely that when a compromise is made, one side, and, let’s be honest, it is typically the Democrats, take advantage of that and demand more more more, either during the negotiations or afterwards.