I started hearing this talking point during the election, again last night, and from my Tea Party Dad on Facebook this morning. It goes something like this:
"Democrats need to compromise and move their proposals to the right so that bills can pass the House."
Compromise is of course desirable, and we've seen how popular cooperation is in the wake of Sandy.
Let's ask some questions:
Which party has been losing winnable elections because of their refusal to compromise? For the last 2 elections, Republicans have consistently replaced their own Senatorial incumbents explicitly because they worked with the other side. How many of those elections were subsequently lost when that party was the odds-on favorite? Off the top of my head, that list includes Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donell, Joe Miller in AK and now Mourdock in Indiana. I know there are several more examples that I can't recall without minimal googling. I'm confident my point is made here. There are plenty of pols and pundits who think the Democrats would have lost control of the Senate in both of the last 2 elections save for this purging phenomenon.
Which party's entire slate of presidential primary candidates publicly, in a nationally televised debate, rejected the notion of a deficit comprise that was 10-1 in their side's favor?
Which party has engaged in levels of filibuster and obstruction that are way beyond anything in American history? That not an opinion. That's a checkable numerical fact.
Which party's unwillingness to compromise was directly and explicitly named by Moody's when they downgraded the US credit rating?
Which party, after winning an election that was way, way closer than this one in 2000 (electoral college 271-266), told the other side to "get over it"?
Which party, after winning an election that was closer than this one in 2004 (electoral college 286-251), told the nation that "elections have consequences" and claimed a mandate to privatize Social Security?
On the other hand:
Which party's leader, overruling extensive pressure from his base, told them to back off on the public option to appease the other party and court their vote?
Which party's leader, overruling extensive pressure from his base, continues to offer cuts to Social Security benefits in an attempt to strike a bargain with the other side?
Which party's leader, overruling extensive pressure from his base, refused to make taxes on the rich part of the sequester in favor or defense cuts in order to strike a deal with the other side?
I'm willing to compromise, but the first move was made by the Democrats long ago. We're still waiting for any budge from the right.