My Republican friends on Facebook- and some on their blogs- are howling this morning about the deal that the House and Senate have passed. $1 billion in pork, they say. Everyone got screwed, they say. And Obama flies off to Hawaii. True, all true. And I think a lot better could have been done- IF we were all of one mind.
There are 234 Republicans in the House, 201 Democrats. There are 51 Democrats in the Senate, 47 Republicans. 66 million Americans voted the Democrat ticket in November, 61 million the GOP. If there is anything we are not, it is "of one mind".
Now, I'll admit that we ended up with a compromise that required a lot of Republican "compromising". And I am not in love with the fact that it's okay for House Majority leader John Boehner to have to make his party bend, and allow voting on Democrat proposals in the House, while Harry Reid can still deny Republican measures a hearing in the Senate. However, there is a "Tea Party" mindset that refuses any compromise. Not one dime of new taxes, not one dime of loophole closure. And, oh by the way, not one bit of reining in the defense budget, despite the fact that EVERYBODY knows that if the Pentagon paid retail for what they purchase, they could easily cut their budget by a third. Can anybody define "no compromise in a divided society"? I can:
Fact is, this nation put in a majority Democrat in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House. One would expect compromise to run that direction. Should the GOP be happy with what they got? Probably not, but compromise is like that. Fact is, if the GOP wasn't trying so hard to protect corporations that already have all the protection they need with their tax lawyers, accountants, and offshore accounts, and trying so hard to protect an overinflated DOD budget that puts too much money into purchases and too little into soldiers and veterans, they MIGHT have a few more supporters. And perhaps Democrats will feel the same way when the lack of cuts cripple the economy to the point that all those unemployment extensions are ate up and a whole new level of people expecting handouts are created, or their President's sloppy handle on foreign relations and security allows somebody a little closer to home than an ambassador to get killed.
But for now, it is a country "not of one mind"; and all the standing-your-ground you want won't change the minds of those who are doing the same on the other side. You might just as well light yourself on fire in protest- you only eliminate those who believe as you do, don't change the mind of those who don't, and leave a smelly mess for those who are left to clean up.