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February 14, 2012

When Compromise Is The Wrong Thing To Do

Jennifer Granholm spoke out against those in Congress who have steadfastly opposed compromise and have, thereby, obstructed the ability for the Congress to get anything done.

Compromise is central to the art of governing.

To compromise is to recognize the validity of diverse needs, wants, values. In any diverse society, you have to compromise to bring these together.

So, when does compromise make no sense? When is compromise the wrong thing to do?

If we demand that the legislators compromise, we are assuming that they are in office for the purpose of governing, that they are interested in governing -- and the evidence is that the GOP is not, as a matter of ideology, interested in governing.

Their long-standing attack on government as an institution, marked by the hostility toward government workers, is central to the GOP belief. In their view, government must be shrunk, as Grover Norquist infamously said. That government is best which governs least.

So their refusal to compromise is consistent with this core anti-governing belief. By refusing to compromise, they obstruct government, which then governs least.

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