Archive for compromise? what compromise?

When violence becomes ordinary, we "become numb and apathetic"


no violence

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "A rapid-fire surge in PG-13 violence," Nov. 12

In the entertainment media today, guns and gun-related violence, along with high body counts, proliferate without meaning or grieving. We've become numb and apathetic.

This is not acceptable.

Early on in NASA's rocket programs, there was plenty of awe, excitement and attention. Once launches into space became more common, the interest and attention died down.

Violence becomes ordinary by a similar process of increased exposure. We have come to accept the shootings and random deaths as commonplace and fail to realize the serious damage to our society as a whole. We have become what is promoted: death and destruction.

Guns kill, and whether it's real or just playacting, this violence is working its way into our psyche as a normal part of life. This is wrong. We need to enact tighter regulations to cease this random and gratuitous violence.

Enough is enough.

Beverly Franco

Monterey Park


Re "The NFL's bully boys," Opinion, Nov. 12

When considered in the context of an NFL team's locker room, bullying can arguably be considered as part of the bravado and machismo that accompany the pro football game. Unfortunately, this bullying is merely a reflection of a more subtle but far more serious machismo in government and elsewhere.

Who can forget George W. Bush's infamous "bring 'em on" taunt to insurgents in Iraq? Today, everyone in our military is regarded as a warrior, bestowing on him or her a degree of invincibility.

We try to impose some sanity into our antiquated gun laws, only to be shouted down by those who would rather fight than compromise. In some areas of the nation, individuals delight in walking into restaurants with their guns, as a display of aggression and manliness.

We all love our football and consider the accompanying machismo just part of the game. Beyond football, however, these qualities have graver consequences.

Bob Constantine



Democrats have already compromised by abandoning the goal of a single-payer system


compromise cartoon

How many times have many of us on the left have openly wished for Medicare for All instead of a health care system centered around Big Insurance?

We get sick, they profit. We don't get sick, they profit. We kvetch, they profit. We vote for Progressives, they profit. We point and laugh at Fox and Friends, they profit. We endure endless Cialis commercials, they profit. We hold our ears and scream "Lalalalala!" they profit. We mock Miley Cyrus, they profit. Miley Cyrus mocks us, they profit. We write inane lists like this one, they profit.

In the Los Angeles Times, there's an op-ed by Jane Mansbridge, a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. She reminds us of how much we've already given (given IN):

Fundamentally — and infuriatingly for the Democratic base — Obamacare is inherently a compromise because it is a health insurance reform law rather than an overhaul of the structure of our nation's healthcare system. [...]

Yet the single-payer system had already been compromised away when the final 2009-10 healthcare negotiations began. ... [M]any Democrats compromised, even those who considered the single-payer approach to be by far the best policy.

Instead of pushing for single payer, they rallied around another approach: the "public option." The public option would have preserved the current employer-based system of private health insurance coverage while providing a government-run healthcare insurance alternative as well as a safety net for the uninsured. Importantly, it would have also injected much-needed competition into an environment where private insurance plans are increasingly consolidated.

But even that wasn't good enough for Republicans and some ConservaDems. The most conservative Democrats were the ones who really got my blood boiling, but that's another post for another time.

For many Democrats, these compromises have been hard to swallow... Despite all these compromises and concessions, House Republicans still forced a government shutdown.

Indeed, now we have the Affordable Care Act, a law that is based on Romneycare, a Republican health insurance plan.

But Dems are the ones who aren't compromising. Got it. Jane Mansbridge called it a "shell game." She's right:

The Democrats have compromised over and over again. Now it's the Republicans' turn to play fair.

That last sentence? Great sentiment, impossible demand. Republicans don't know the meaning of the word fair.


Conservatives: Legislation = bad! "Tea-party logic simply regards the existence of compromise as disqualifying."


i hate everything

This Jonathan Chait New York Magazine article, "Conservatives Hate All Legislation Now," reminded me of the old Life Cereal commercial in which little Mikey hates everything. Mikey, you've met your match:

One of the novel developments in conservative thought during the Obama years is a burgeoning hatred not merely for government but for lawmaking. Before the Obama era, the ends of crafting laws divided the parties, but the means did not. The process of corralling votes, placating hold-outs, and hammering out compromises was not something either side especially loved -- you've heard the classic line about watching the sausage get made -- but also not something that one side disliked more than the other. But a hatred for lawmaking has emerged in the Obama years, first as a Republican tactic, and then as an apparently genuine belief system. [...]

But tea-party logic simply regards the existence of compromise as disqualifying. The moral purity of opposition has become untethered from any political or policy objective, and appears to have sprouted into an actual freestanding principle [...]

[T]he hatred for legislating has gained a strong enough hold over the conservative mind as to render them unable to consider the merits of any bill at all.

And we thought baby Mikey was obstinate and poo-pooey? He's got nothin' on conservatives.

Without some ability to move on projects, enact legislation, reverse climate change, build up our crumbling infrastructure, educate and care for all Americans, make voting rights a given instead of some unattainable dream, treat immigrants as the caring people they are and women, gay Americans, and minorities as equals, this country will deteriorate faster than you can say What the frack? And I do mean frack.

So conservatives, which is it? Your hatred for lawmaking, or your so-called love for your country?

Waiiit a minute. Wait. A. Minute! Mikey's all grown up now. Who's to say he's not one of our current-- Dun dun dun-n-n!-- Republican Congress members?

thinking hard hmm rub chin


Here's what GOP extremism looks like... and these are just headlines from the past 24 hours


gop extremists

It's truly mind-boggling that Republicans can't get past their own extremism, especially after being trounced in the November elections. But that would be rational, and the GOP simply can't go there, now can it? Why learn from mistakes when you can continue to make them over and over and over again?

Take a look at the following headlines and tell me how we can see even a glimmer of hope for a Congress (or state legislature) with members like these:

GOP Rep: ‘It’s About Time’ We Had Another Government Shut Down

Tea Party Senator: ‘I Don’t Think What Washington Needs Is More Compromise’

New Republican Senator Says Gun Safety Is ‘Unconstitutional’

Alabama Lawmaker To Introduce Bill Arming Teachers, Despite Opposition From School Officials

Conservatives Open New Congress With Unconstitutional Bill To End Birthright Citizenship

 Happy New Year.

banghead gif


Twenty-four states will be controlled by Republicans in 2013


Via Think Progress

A new election, a new year, a new outlook, right? Yeahnotsomuch. Washington gridlock isn't going anywhere, and now it appears that compromise could be a lost cause in 2013 for many state governments. One-party rule will see to that. Via the New York Times:

Come January, more than two-thirds of the states will be under single-party control, raising the prospect that bold partisan agendas -- on both ends of the political spectrum -- will flourish over the next couple of years. [...]

Twenty-four states will be controlled by Republicans, including Alaska and Wisconsin, where the party took the State Senate, and North Carolina, where the governorship changed hands. At least 13 states will be Democratic, including Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon, where control of the legislatures shifted, and California, where the already dominant Democrats gained a supermajority in both chambers. (The situation in New York, where the potential for single-party control by the Democrats rests on the makeup of the Senate, is still uncertain.)

Power will be split in, at most, 12 capitals — the fewest, said Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures, since 1952.... Over all in this election, Democrats had more victories among the roughly 6,000 state legislative seats that were up for grabs...

Here's one example of what happens when Republicans run states:

And don't get me started on Voter I.D. laws. Via ProPublica:

Aside from Rhode Island, all voter ID legislation has been introduced by Republican-majority legislatures.

News21 also has this report on the close affiliation between the bills’ sponsors and the conservative nonprofit group, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).


Jeb Bush: Just kidding!


Yesterday, in a post about Republicans eating their own (specifically, Grover Norquist getting all worked up over comments by Jeb Bush), I wrote:

Jeb Bush thinks Ronald Reagan (In this video, at about 18:25, he talks taxes) “would have a hard time” finding “common ground” today:

Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground.”

Everyone was buzzing about how reasonable Jebby sounded, and how he's positioning himself as a more rational Republican as compared to those in his stubborn, intransigent party who have moved to the extreme right.

There he was faulting his fellow Republicans for being disagreeable and unwilling to find "common ground," and for that he got lots of attention. Grover was sputtering his disapproval (“That’s foolish… It’s stup—it’s bizarre. … There’s a guy who watched his father throw away his presidency..."), Jeb was quoted on all the usual cable shows, what a day it was!

Well guess what?


Via First Read:

In a series of tweets today, Bush said: "The point I was making yesterday is this: The political system today is hyperpartisan. Both sides are at fault."

He added, "My dad & Reagan sacrificed political points for good public policy."

And he concluded: "Past 4 years, Democrats have held leadership roles w/opportunities to reach across political aisle. For sake of politics, they haven't."

Oh, so that's the point he was making. Silly us for misunderstanding. It's really the Dems' fault after all, because Daddy and the Saint were patriotic martyrs, but those lefty extremists, they haven't compromised one bit.

I guess he's been under a rock for the past three years.

The preceding flip flop moment was brought to you by Willard Romney.


Republicans Eating Their Own: Grover Norquist vs. Jeb Bush


Jeb Bush thinks Ronald Reagan (In this video, at about 18:25, he talks taxes) "would have a hard time" finding "common ground" today:

Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican Party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground."

Republicans conveniently ignore the fact that Reagan raised taxes many times. As the Reagan president's page specifically notes:

  • In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

A picture's worth...

Via Maddow Blog


And of course, there's that little thing called the horse's mouth:

Jeb Bush makes a good point. The GOP would label St. Ronnie as a liberal Marxist socialist today. Why, I bet they'd demand to see his birth certificate and accuse him of eating dog meat.

But first things first: Jebby is no moderate, so don't get lulled into a "He's no W, he's not so bad" moment. That said, it is a treat to see Republicans eating their own.

Grover Norquist of "sign my anti-tax pledge or you're political toast" infamy didn't like Bush's remarks one little bit.

TPM is reporting that Grover said things like this about Jebby's Reagan comments:

That’s foolish... It’s stup—it’s bizarre. ... There’s a guy who watched his father throw away his presidency on a 2:1 [ratio of spending cuts to tax increases] promise... And he thinks he’s sophisticated by saying that he’d take a 10:1 promise. He doesn’t understand — he’s just agreed to walk down the same alley his dad did with the same gang. And he thinks he’s smart. You walk down that alley, you don’t come out. You certainly don’t come out with 2:1 or 10:1.”

And then he blamed Reagan's tax increases on a Democratic-led Congress. Grovie's such a class act, isn't he? And by class act, I mean he's "foolish, stup-- bizarre."