Pundits and politicos love the word “compromise.” There seems to be no better way for a politician and/or media figure to instantly be well-liked, appear perfectly “reasonable,” and go back to their inner circles having offended absolutely no one.
This past Sunday on ABC’s “This Week With Christiane Amanpour,” former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined in the fun and insisted that Congress has to “come back to the center in order to compromise.”
There’s just one little problem. That compromise is crippling our country.
Compromise left us with a nearly $900 billion tax deal that yielded no long-term economic certainty.
It left us with a budget deal that didn’t even stand firm on an already-laughable $61 billion in cuts, delivering far less while doing nothing to defund Obamacare.
It left us with a proposal from John Boehner to raise the debt limit that offered nothing substantial in the way of deficit reduction.
It left us with a Boehner-House proposed balanced budget amendment that offered neither a cap on spending nor a super-majority requirement to raise taxes.
In other words, GOP leaders have been more worried about compromise than doing what’s best for the country.
In the meantime, our deficits and debt continue to soar, Cut, Cap, and Balance got shelved for more “reasonable” options that will continue to wreak havoc on our economy, and the mandate that voters delivered in 2010 continually gets ignored.
With all due respect to Colin Powell, my advice to Republicans in Congress would be a bit different.
You see, we already have a tax-and-spend, big-government, fiscally-irresponsible force in Congress. It’s called the Democrat Party. They have been clear about what they stand for and where their policies will take our country — ballooning debt, insurance mandates, and high unemployment, to name a few things.
What we need is a solid, reliable force on the right willing to oppose those policies, stand firm on principle, and remind our president — and Sen. Reid and company — that the 2010 elections did mean something.
The 2010 GOP landslide victory should have given leadership on the right everything it needed to stand firm. Voters didn’t usher in that victory so that Republicans in Congress could cave to Democrats’ demands.
GOP leadership, when you enter an election battle and emerge as the clear victor, it is not you who has to compromise. It is not you who has to hinder your bargaining power by oh, I don’t know, taking a government shutdown off the table immediately. It is not you who has to settle for a balanced budget amendment that looks like it was drafted on the left, not the right.
Your job is quite simple, actually. It is to put forth serious proposals that conservatives can get behind.
When those proposals are rejected by Democrats, it is your job to articulate to the American people that the Democrats — that’s right, the Democrats — refuse to respect the will of the American majority. They refuse to cut spending. They refuse to limit government’s intervention in people’s private lives. They refuse to oppose legislation that stifles jobs and to support that which boosts economic growth.
And if the process comes to a standstill, then it is your job to remind voters and the media that that is partly what you were elected to do — to bring the ballooning debt in this country to a standstill . . . and to then start rolling it back significantly.
So, GOP leadership and Republicans in Congress, if Democrats are willing to abandon their disastrous policies in order to get this country back on track, then by all means — embrace that compromise.
But your compromising should end there.
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