So, Obama is touting that Democrats are more willing to compromise than Republicans.
This actually isn’t as laughable as it appears. Why? Because I believe that he actually thinks this.
What is lost in all of this is the art of compromise. What actually composes a compromise?
On Facebook awhile back, one of my friends lamented why can’t people get on the compromise train? After all, we wouldn’t have a Constitution if not for compromise.
Let me start by offering an fantasy football anecdote.
In fantasy football, there are two types of trades: Fair trades and trades where one party gets trade-raped. Rookie fantasy football players are usually very reluctant to get involved in many trades because they don’t want to make a mistake.
In my super-duper dynasty league, the first year saw few trades. The reason being that the trust wasn’t built between owners to come to the table to make a fair and decent trade.
The point of all this is…trades only occur when there is trust. When I trust that someone is not just trying to get from me, but also willing to give me something of value…a trade will happen.
The same goes for compromise. You have to trust the person you are dealing with.
Obviously, there is a severe lack of trust in Washington, DC.
But let us examine the first question I asked…exactly what makes a compromise? Let us take a different approach.
Let’s look at political policy as a product. I will choose gas. Let’s assume that the average price for gas is $3. Let us assume that one party, the consumer would like gas for $1. Now, let’s assume that the other party, the gas station wants to sell the gas for $5. The goal in any “compromise” would be for the consumer to negotiate the cost as close to the low side of $3 as possible. This would be a “common sense” compromise.
The problem with what President Obama said is he is like the gas station. Undoubtedly, the Democrats have the upper hand in power. They control the Senate and the Presidency. So, they hold more leverage. I am sure that the gas station that is the Democrats in DC, are always willing to go down to $4.75. But that ain’t compromise.
Let’s take the fiscal cliff deal. You know where the GOP started out? $2.75. $1.00 would have been $1 for $1 tax increases to spending cuts. What did they offer? 1:4 (1 dollar in spending cuts for every $4 in tax increases). What did they get? Barely any spending cuts. Where was the compromise?
But, gosh darnit…those Democrats walked all over their principles to go down to $4.75 didn’t they? Let’s throw them a party.
This is why Republicans don’t trust President Obama. He is trying to negotiate several deals with them right now. Debt ceiling, gun control, and immigration. What does he do? Says his party is always willing to go down to $4.75 and lambasts Republicans for not agreeing to those terms. That isn’t leadership and that sure as heck isn’t compromise. This President has shown zero ability to negotiate compromise on ANY deal since he has been President. Healthcare? No compromise…shoved it through. Stimulus? He told the GOP that he had won and they deserved no seat at the table. Debt ceiling I? We know from Woodward’s book that Geithner had to talk the President into EVEN NEGOTIATING, he just wanted to go over the cliff and pin it on the GOP. Fiscal cliff? He didn’t even negotiate it. Vice President Joe Biden did. That is right…Joe Biden was the voice of reason (at least avoiding the dang thing).
So, what about this great immigration compromise? I would say it is about a $3.50. I am thankful for Senator Rubio’s presence because he was able to get some major goals put in the immigration reform. In fairness, we don’t know the complete details of the arrangement so I reserve the right to change my opinion. But as of now, it resembles something more like compromise than we have ever seen under President Obama.
Too bad that those Senators aren’t willing to tutor him on what real trust and compromise looks like.