Results of a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, conducted with 1,001 random adults- not likely voters- found that 77% of those polled believe that Republicans are being too stubborn and uncompromising when it comes to the debt debate. The survey also found that 62% of the respondents believe that a combination of cutting spending and increasing taxes is the best way to reduce the federal budget deficit. These results follow along with common stereotypes that Republicans are rigid, rather than principled, about important issues concerning the nation, and that “all of the above” is better- or, for non-committal types, more convenient- than one option. After all, why bother to educate yourself about the options, when you can simply choose everything?
Similarly, a CBS News poll regarding the debt talks, conducted with 810 random adults- 24% who gave their political affiliation as “Republican,” 35% “Democrat,” and 41% “Independent-” found that 43% approve of the president’s handling of the debt talks, 31% approve of the Democrats, and only 21% approve of the Republicans’ management of the negotiations. This survey also found that half of Republicans, 51%, disapprove of how members of their party in Congress are handling the negotiations. It should be noted that, while the poll did not obtain responses from equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, some Americans who identify themselves as “Republicans” are indeed disapproving of their congressional representatives- but because they believe they are not being principled enough.
Keep in mind that likely voters are not representative of the general population of telephone owners. Likely voters are generally more aware and informed about the issues, enough to commit to get out and vote.
Enter Rasmussen Reports, which, this week, finds that a generic Republican presidential candidate earns support from 47% of likely voters, as President Obama earns 41% of support. Similarly, for the second week in a row, Republicans were shown to have a six-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot, 44-38%. Unaffiliated voters prefer the Republican candidate by a 40% to 25% margin.
If “most” Americans disapprove of how the Republicans are handling the debt talks, why would “most” Americans support a generic Republican candidate for president or Congress?
Perhaps the “traditional” media would like to help along the notion that “most” Americans want “compromise,” not “rigidity,” or “stubbornness,” as epitomized, in their view, by conservative Republicans. Not that we have too many of those around.
The House Republicans have followed through with their promise to “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” Some Senate Republicans are more interested in compromise, rather than promise. “Compromise” sounds like a nice word, doesn’t it? Compromise is what you do with your ex-spouse about which day is yours with the kids. It’s what you do when the family discusses where to go on vacation. It’s what you and your spouse do to decide which relatives you’re going to visit for Christmas.
But you don’t “compromise” when a loved one is really sick and you need to decide the best treatment, not just anything that’s readily available, or, for that matter, everything that’s readily available. You do your homework, educate yourself, talk to the doctors, and make the best decision for your loved one. This is where we are now, with this ailing country.
Still think “compromise” is the way to go? Well, remember, there are several definitions of the word, “compromise.” The one most Democrats, some Republicans, and some media outlets are pushing is, “a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.”
But, the other meanings of “compromise” are: to reduce the quality, value, or degree of something; to impair by disease or injury.
I suggest that those Republicans, Democrats, and presidents who are pressing for a “let’s just get along” attitude as a way to put an end to the debt and deficit debates, are, indeed, compromising the ability of our free nation to remain in existence.