The word compromise gets a lot of play in the world of political punditry. I would be a rich woman if I had a nickel for every time I heard a commentator praise acts of bipartisanship, while denouncing obstructionism.
Plenty of Republicans and Democrats pledged support for Obama’s December tax deal because the President gave an inch and allowed the Bush tax rates to be extended for two years. They applauded the bipartisan deal as a shift by Obama toward the center and a manifestation of the willingness of Democrats and Republicans to work together — you sacrifice this, I sacrifice that, and we meet somewhere in the middle.
The only problem was that meeting somewhere in the middle left America with a nearly $900 billion tax deal that injected no long-term certainty into the economy, extended unfunded unemployment benefits while offering no offsetting spending cuts, raised the estate tax back up to 35%, and included tax credits for ethanol and other features like tax breaks for film and television productions and tax credits for manufacturers of energy-efficient homes and appliances.
Instead of demanding a permanent extension of the Bush tax rates, rejecting the extension of unemployment benefits unless corresponding spending cuts were included, insisting on the removal of all earmarks for special interests, and holding the estate tax at 2010’s rate of 0%, the GOP by and large chose to compromise.
In other words, compromise and bipartisanship led to the acceptance of a lousy deal.
Moderates cheered. Obama got to play the role of a centrist while getting almost everything he wanted. America got handed almost $900 billion more in debt. Many special interests got their bonuses. True conservative voters who made their voices heard loudly and clearly in the 2010 elections watched more business-as-usual rob their hard-earned cash.
And plenty of RINOs called conservatives who rejected the tax deal obstructionists. I called us principled.
I’m all for compromise and bipartisanship if the results are in the best interest of the country. However, you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours compromise by the GOP has repeatedly, shall we say — compromised – our Founding principles, our Constitution, and our economic and national security.
Make no mistake that Tea Party-backed candidates like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Pat Toomey will be labeled obstructionists by many if they deliver as promised. RINOs will give a thumbs-up to the kind of compromise that helped propel us toward the financial mess we’re in. Pundits who want to be part of the D.C. “in crowd” will embrace compromise, regardless of consequences, in an effort to please as many of their “friends” as possible.
And some of us will stand firm.
Throughout the battles that lie ahead for the 112th Congress, it is imperative that newly elected conservatives remember that the 2010 GOP landslide election victory was a referendum on the Obama agenda. President Obama should be bending to honor the will of the American majority, not the other way around.
Recently elected conservative Senators and Representatives must remember who they are and why they were sent to Washington. They must remember that compromise isn’t a good thing if the country suffers, and obstructionism isn’t a bad thing if you’re standing in the way of outrageous spending, unsustainable entitlements, government overreach, high taxes, and job-crippling regulation.
And they must not be afraid to offer bold, fiscally responsible solutions. If they do, those of us standing on strong, principled conservative ground are prepared to have their backs.