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POLITICS: Compromise isn’t always a virtue

Letter by Christian R. Courvoisier, Spanaway on May 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm with 26 Comments »
May 12, 2011 3:38 pm

Re: “America will disdain compromise at its own peril” (TNT, 5-11).

Tim Rutten’s excellent analysis of political trends away from compromise postulates that compromise is essential to the healthy political life of this country and that “a democratic system that disdains compromise has no way forward but the brutality of simple majoritarianism … a path sown with its own perils.”

Suppose my wife and I disagree over what color to paint the living room. Is this a life-or-death decision? Hardly. As a wise husband, I probably will let her win this one without a fight.

But what about far more serious issues of right and wrong, such as abortion? Should I vote for a pro-abortion candidate, a “choice” which I abhor, on the premise that such candidate promotes other respectable programs, all of this for the sake of compromise? I don’t think so.

Rutten writes: “. . . a majority of registered voters . . . say they prefer elected officials who stick to their positions over those who make compromises with people they disagree with.” To which I add: If these positions are moral and just, then yes: I expect those elected officials to abide by them, no matter what the cost. But applying pragmatic “solutions” for the sake of compromise when good and evil are involved? Never!

Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. Rarely are things so simple that they can be defined as just good and evil. Is it good to increase tax cuts to the rich and large corporations at the expense of the poor and elderly? I think most Americans would prefer compromise over gridlock and want to see the country move forward.

  2. bobcat1a says:

    One man’s good is another’s evil. For anyone to demand rigid adherence to his particular moral values under penalty of law is to walk the path to theocratic rule. Live your own morality and keep it out of our laws unless you like rule by ayatollahs. There are universal moral principles but not many and even those are subject to different definitions and perceptions. Just remember, the ayatollahs you choose may not always agree with you; are you willing to risk that.

  3. aislander says:

    If you can’t see that government is a religion for those on your side, bobcat1, and you are imposing YOUR moral values under penalty of law, then you haven’t examined yourself and your beliefs the way you insist conservatives examine ourselves and our beliefs. After being accused by lefties of every type of thought crime, I can assure you that I have thoroughly examined mine…

  4. But Islander, it is the right that confuses Religion and Government.

    And that is the problem, by mistakenly believing they are doing ‘Gods Work’ the right would rather shutdown/destroy the government rather than to cooperate and compromise.

  5. Roncella says:

    xring, come on now you libs have alot of dirty laundry that needs washing now.

    You libs have the clinton/lewinsky mess in the oval office, John Edwards mess as he ran for the Presidency last time, scandals of all kinds with charlie rangle, the other senator with a freezer full of money, maxine waters being investagated on and on.

    Maybe its time a few dems. in the Congress did a little more of Gods work, with being more honest and open and stop scaring old folks about losing their social securtiy and other benefits.

  6. aislander says:

    xring: I didn’t say that lefties COMBINE religion WITH government; I said you MAKE a religion OF government. That’s why you fight so hard to protect it from any reductions–except for defense of course…

  7. bobcat1a says:

    aislander, you have a burden of proof here. Where is the religion of government except in your mind?

  8. Roncella, compared to the R’s the D’s are pure as the driven snow.
    Former U.S. Senator John Ensign – resigned due to sex scandal.
    Former South Caroline Governor Mark Sanford – resigned due to sex scandal.
    Former U.S. Senator Larry Craig – resigned due to sex scandal.
    Former U.S. Representative Richard Curtis – resigned due to sex scandal.
    Former U.S. Representative Mark Foley – resigned due to sex scandal.
    Former Pastor Ted Haggard – fired as pastor of New Live Church and resigned as president of National Assoc of Evangelicals – due to sex scandal.

    FYI – it is the Republicans that are fighting to protect the defense budget, along with all the other corporate welfare, and entitlements for the rich.

  9. beerBoy says:

    No Republican controlled government has ever reduced the budget or stopped the growth of government.

  10. aislander says:

    Technically correct, beerBoy, but wrong in spirit. The Republican Congress under Clinton DID reduce the growth of government and actually achieved a budget surplus. Remember, spending bills must originate in the House.

    bobcat1 the idea of making a religion of government started with Rousseau, the seminal leftist philosopher and has remained ever since. The Jacobins replaced Christian holidays with secular ones, celebrating Reason and other secular paradigms. The Nazis did the same thing, giving the effort a bad name, so other lefty movements had to camouflage the tendency, but it is still there…

    Finally, I feel somewhat put upon to defend the Republicans when I am most assuredly not one, but at least they have some aspects that ARE defensible, unlike that OTHER party…

  11. aislander says:

    The reference to Rousseau and the French Revolution reminds me that they resulted in arguably the first fascist government under Robespierre and the first modern dictator, Napoleon. The American revolution was about restoring personal rights and natural law, NOT about returning to some idea of a romanticized past or of putting the collective above the individual. The result of that revolution, while not perfect, was at least self correcting until the abrogation of the Constitution…

  12. aislander says:

    Oh, and the American Revolution was NOT about creating a New Man, something that every leftist movement has been about…

  13. Islander,
    The American Revolution was about separating the Colonies from the Mother Country. Nothing more, nothing else.

    The Constitution united 13 independent small states in to a single state, and SEPERATED religion and government.

    The people who fought the revolution, and formed the Nation were ALL liberals willing to concede some of their individual freedoms to the State for the greater good.

    Natural Law was also used to justify the divine rights of kings’

  14. aislander says:

    What you do not understand (or wish to understand) about the Founders, xring, is a LOT.

    The Constitution created a Federal (look up “federal”) government with the states having more power over their affairs than the US government had. Its responsibilities were limited by that Constitution but expanded by the courts and certain administrations, but the intent was always to limit that central power. The Northwest Ordinance was promulgated by the same Congress that created the First Amendment, and on the very same day. It read, in part, “…”Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” It obviously assumed that religion was part of public education, and therefore worthy governmental encouragement, which is a far cry from an established religion, barred by that First Amendment.

    Classical liberalism is just about the complete opposite of modern liberalism, and the Founders were classical liberals.

    Natural law has NOTHING to do with the divine right of kings. Natural law led to the idea that there existed certain natural rights, inherent in the individual, from which sprung many of the basic ideas in the Constitution and Declaration.

    Sheesh! And you accused me of (willfully?) misquoting. You seem to say anything you think may support your collectivist point of view, regardless of whether it is true or not…

  15. Roncella says:

    xriing, the many dirty dems would leave alot of pee stains in the snow.

    We could debate who has had more colorful representitatives Dems. or Repubs. but thats almost like asking what came first the chicken or the egg.

    I will sum it up this way, as I have said many times in many posts, If your happy be represented by the likes of,

    Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Anthony Weiner, Chuch Shoemer, Barey Frank, Al Gore, Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the list goes on and on.. then be happy and keep voting for them and follow them off the cliff all together/ Liberals/Progressives/Socialists.

  16. Roncella,
    Better the group you listed than any of the sanctimonious hypocrites from your side of the aisle.

  17. aislander says:

    There is a line in “Pygmalion” in which a certain person is described as “oiling his way around the floor.” If that doesn’t fit Chuck Schumer, I don’t know what does…

  18. Islander,
    If you replace Christian holidays with secular ones you are anti religious, not creating a new religion.

    The Nazis tried to replace Christian beliefs with the old Teutonic/Norse gods and goddesses.

    Northwest Ordinance was originally promulgated under the Articles of Confederation and reaffirmed by Congress under the Constitution.
    A Confederation is a weaker version of a Federation.

  19. Roncella says:

    Aislander, Chuch Schumer has replaced kennedy as the most far left mean spirited, nasty, ugly, liberal in the Congress, although he has some close buddies in barney frank, barb boxer, anthony weiner, some others.

  20. aislander says:

    xring: “There are none so blind…”

    Religion: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”

    See yourself, xring?

  21. aislander says:

    You’re right about Schumer, Roncella, but he goes about his business with an unctuousness that I cannot stomach, which makes him worse than Kennedy, in my opinion. If you recall the three monkeys in “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil,” I was thinking of emulating that with Schumer, Durban, and Reid: Unctuous, Sanctimonious, and Lugubrious…

  22. Roncella says:

    aislander, Yes they are a bunch of characters, no doubt about that.

    But I have to admire their voracity and guts when they are for an issue or bill to get passed in Congress they never tire and never give up.

    They hold press conferences with the lame stream media right there at their side night after night, week after week until they get what they want.

    Some EstablishmentRrepublicans could learn something from them on that front.

  23. Islander,
    RE your 5 -15 – 11, 4:55 post: You make is sound like our revolution was a response to the French revolution which began in May 1789.

    Our Revolution ended in May 1783.

    “Do I see myself?” No, I don’t. I do see the right-wingers giving blind unquestioning obedience to the failed policies of the GOP and Tparty.

    The techniques you so decry in the D’s are a major part of the R’s play book.

  24. aislander says:

    I didn’t compare the two revolutions, xring; I merely contrasted them…

  25. Roncella says:

    xring, I don’t decry the methods some liberal dems. in the Congress use to get their very far left agenda passed, I Admire It, they never give up till they get what they want.

  26. “I don’t decry the methods some liberal dems. in the Congress use to get their very far left agenda passed, I Admire It,”

    “Do I respect many of the far left liberal senators or what they have done to America, not really.”

    Which is it, Roncella?

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