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Digby links to The Hill's 2010 Midterm Election Poll today.
I found this interesting...
Fifty-eight percent of Democrats said they would urge the lawmaker they supported to “look for compromises across the aisle”; only 35 percent would rather urge their representatives to “stay firm on their principles.”
Sixty-two percent of Republican voters said they would urge their lawmakers to stand firm on their principles, while only 32 percent wanted them to look across the aisle for compromise.
I have a few thoughts on those results.
Governing nationally, unless one side holds a 2/3rds majority in Congress and the presidency, is, by definition, a process which requires compromise. In spite of that fact, Republican voters, by a 2-1 margin, do not want the candidates they vote for to compromise with Democrats. Which means that Republican voters, by a 2-1 margin, do not want Congress to govern. And that's what we've witnessed the past 2 years. Republicans, since inauguration day 2009, have simply said "no" to all governance which involves the slightest compromise.
Of course, the refusal of Republicans to compromise with Democrats over the last 2 years has been a purely political strategy. Congressional Republicans, directed by their party leaders,...Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity....stonewalled every majority-party attempt to legislate, in a coordinated and stiff-necked effort to "make Obama fail."
Naturally, the goal of these non-compromising Republicans was not driven by some lofty, sacrosanct "principles" which couldn't be defiled by compromising with those evil Democrats.......the goal of these non-compromising, stiff-neckers was to create the perception that Obama and the Democrats had failed at governing....with the hope that Republicans would regain Congressional power.
The, "if elected, we'll repeal everything Obama", Republican messaging is also part and parcel of the Republican pipedream that envisions congressional governance without any compromise. Literally, a Republican pipedream.
In this refusal to compromise, Republican voters are acting like fundamentalist Christians....and that's not surprising, because fundamentalist Christians make up a large portion of the uncompromising, just-say-no, GOP. Fundamentalist Christians can't compromise, even in the slightest, with, you know,...their definition of what's true.
Of course, the fundamentalist Christian take on what is true is riddled with silly, outdated and ridiculous notions, most of which have no resonance, whatsoever, in a modern world. But, by god, they ain't compromising.
Fundamentalist Christians embrace only the "truth" and that "truth" can't be compromised for fear of hellsfire. That "truth" may seem cartoonish to a modern, scientific world, a reality-based world.....but that "truth" is a badge of honor to the fundamentalists who uncompromisingly cling to it.
So too, Republicans. Republican voters can't compromise, even in the slightest, with evil Democrats....for fear of being tainted by the sacrilege of America's enemy......variously characterized by GOP leaders, Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity as Magic Negroes, anti-colonialist Kenyans, pinko-commie-socialist-Nazis, not "real Americans", "death panel" creators, gun ownership despisers, destroyers of the country.....and on and on.
In all of this is seen the conceit, the arrogance,......and the ignorance.....that describes an authoritarian group. A "my way or the highway" approach to American governance is antithetical to democracy.....antithetical to the Constitution. An unwillingness by Republican voters to seek compromise for the advancement of the nation because they think they hold the ultimate "principled" and uncompromisable truth......will only ultimately leave the Republican Party much like the uncompromising, stiffnecked, fundamentalist Christians in America today......irrelevent and marginalized....an uncompromising circus sideshow traveling nomadically through a world which has forever left them behind.