Saturday, April 2, 2011

Compromise, Capitulation, and other "C" Words

I just noticed that capitulation is not far off from copulation, but that’s irrelevant I suppose.  Anyway, the sentiment these days among the esteemed members of the American electorate is that Congress is too slow to act.  So what’s the solution to this stagnation?  Compromise, right?  We want Congressmen and women to work together, to cross party lines, hold each other fervently as they shed soft tears of joy over their new-found partnerships.  Right?
"God hates me."

Boehner has to decide whether to go with the Tea Party retards and make huge cuts, make no cuts and let the government shut down, or compromise with Democrats to make smaller, less radical cuts.  Although I, for one, would love to see John Boehner uncomfortably snuggle up to Barney Frank, I don’t harbor any illusions about their ability to compromise.  And guess what: it’s not their fault.

Although so many people throw the word compromise around as if it actually means something profound when they say it, most Americans don’t want their congressmen to compromise.  “GASP!  That’s absurd Bob!  Of course we want compromise!  We want to end partisan bickering and get something done in Washington bla, bla, bla, bla!”  HTNS, you’re a god damned liar.

Most Americans don’t actually want compromise, but another C word.  No, no, no!  Although I’d love nothing more than to drop the “C” word, I don’t wish to alienate everyone in my audience.  The other C word is capitulation.  How many people would make the Democrats pay at the polls if the Democrats actually said “you know, evil Republicans, you’re right.  We didn’t compromise anything on this health care bill, and we want to bring it back and let you in on it so we can reach something that satisfies both parties”?
Well we all know that will never happen.  Why?  Because the Democrats know that if they compromise, even a little, then their constituents will be pissed off and accuse them of betrayal, of being spineless and giving in to the evil Republicans.  Here’s the problem: either voters don’t have a dictionary and thus don’t understand the actual meaning of compromise, or they just don’t understand how politics works.  Actually, it’s likely both.
Best bumper sticker line ever: "Tea Parties are for little
girls with imaginary friends."
Sorry to break it to you, but compromise means that you will have to give something up.  It doesn’t mean that you brow-beat and stonewall the opposition until they capitulate and let you have your way entirely.  But as we all know, not all Americans are akin to sacrifice when it comes to principles.  We want to have our cake and eat it, too.  Think I’m wrong?  Go read Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History, or Robert Kagan’s The Return of History and the End of Dreams.
If you want shit to get done in Congress you have to realize that politics is all about deciding which principles to sacrifice and which ones to keep intact.  Machiavelli knew that in a world full of shit heads, it’s nearly impossible always to stick to your guns if you want to survive.  Stop being fickle lovers by sending your representatives mixed messages.  If you truly want compromise then start thinking of what you’re willing to give up, otherwise, stop whining.

2 comments:

Harrison said...

Hopefully the GOP will play the shutdown better than Newt did with Bill.

Jack Camwell said...

As long as they're willing to compromise on something then they'll succeed in making the Democrats look like fools. The idea is that Amercans were fed up with the Democrats' attempt to fix things, and thus voted in the Republicans to try something different.

If the Democrats don't compromise then they're going to look like as though they are unwilling to follow the bidding of the American electorate. Hopefully Boehner wises up and doesn't do exactly what the Tea Partiers want him to do.