So, over the last two or three days, the mainstream media has asked multiple different Republicans, “Are you going to compromise with the president?” Many people tripped over themselves trying to come up with an answer. I think the answer is clear, that there will be no compromise. The Republicans have just been rewarded for being the most obstructionist group in recent memory. They opposed healthcare, they opposed Wall Street reform, they even opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. They opposed the rescue plan to save GM and Chrysler. They opposed the stimulus package, which saved or created millions of jobs. The calculus was simple – oppose and obstruct anything that can move the country forward. Success for the president means Democratic votes down the line and we, the Republicans, can’t have that.
President Barack Obama said on Wednesday afternoon that he thought that he could work together with the Republicans on energy legislation. I did not fall off my chair laughing, although I almost did. Energy legislation? Maybe, since the president had recently been on The Daily Show, he was joking. There is zero chance that the Republicans are going to “compromise” on energy legislation. The oil companies and their lobbyists have bathed the Republican Party in a sea of money. There will be no compromise on energy legislation.
The Republicans for the last 30 years have undergone a significant transformation. There was a time when you could find liberal and moderate Republicans walking around Congress. Unfortunately, they have gone the way of the dodo bird. There are no moderate Republicans anymore, at least not in Congress. Let’s think about how congressmen and senators get elected. They start in the local neighborhoods. They talk about issues and ask for donations. If you’re talking to a conservative group and you want to get them fired up so that they will reach deep into their pockets, you need to touch on those hot button items. The more you talk about the need for tax cuts, immigration reform and more defense spending, the more money will be thrown your way. Before you know it, your platform is extremely conservative. There is no room for moderation. This is what we have in Congress. We have conservatives and ultraconservatives. Both varieties of the conservative movement look at compromise as a sign of weakness. It is a sign of a complete lack of moral character, no conviction. Therefore, the only compromise that we’ve seen over the last 15 or 20 years is when progressives move further to the right.
Remember the words of Rush Limbaugh, “I hope Obama fails.”