Divided we fall

Polls show most voters want Congress to seek out compromise, but Republican congressman's vocal supporters want him to stand firm
Associated Press
Aug 14, 2013


Republican Patrick McHenry's loudest constituents have no desire to see conciliation on gridlocked Capitol Hill, unless it comes from President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats.

As the congressman holds public question-and-answer sessions with constituents during Congress' summer break, conservatives and GOP loyalists who enjoy significant influence in his western North Carolina district are demanding that he and his House colleagues defund "Obamacare," refuse to raise the nation's debt limit and generally intensify opposition to the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Congress has abysmal approval ratings, and polls suggest that most voters want the divided government to seek out compromise. Yet the no-holds-barred attitude on display here — and elsewhere as other House Republicans hold town-hall style gatherings — offers an ominous forecast of the legislative battles ahead this fall and underscores how little political incentive many Republicans have to reach common ground on issues ranging from immigration to the budget.

The atmosphere has put Republicans like McHenry in a challenging spot. He and others are all but forced to square their criticism of the president with their unwillingness to go as far as the far right wants. In doing so, they risk irking the party's most conservative voters and drawing a primary challenge; many face re-election in districts Obama lost in 2012.

So at nearly every event over the past week, the 37-year-old, fifth-term congressman pre-emptively opened several recent appearances by suggesting that there are limits to the GOP's power, reminding his constituents that "elections have consequences ... (and) this president is in office through 2016." He found himself seeking to delicately explain why he doesn't support a government shut-down or a national credit default, and why there's only so much House Republicans can do to stop funding the health care law given that some of the federal spending is automatic.

Still, at the Lincolnton Chamber of Commerce, about 40 miles outside Charlotte, Keith Gaskill told McHenry he wants to see "more backbone from the Republican Party" against Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the executive branch.

McHenry reminded Gaskill that he voted to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress.

And, when Lincoln County resident Robert Varney insisted that Congress should remove Holder from office, McHenry noted that the Democratic Senate would have to hold a trial.

"Do you really think that would happen?" he asked Varney, who was unbowed.

Varney was among voters who praised Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, tea party favorites who want to deny money for implementing Obama's health care law even if that means not financing core government functions at all after Sept. 30. Others pressed McHenry on whether he would vote to extend the nation's debt limit later this fall.

And a crowd at Lincolnton City Hall erupted in applause when a retired FBI agent from McHenry's hometown declared that "money is oxygen is Washington" and told McHenry that Republicans should "use the power of the purse" to extract what they want from the executive branch.

When constituents pressed him on health care, McHenry noted he voted against the law. But he also tried to convince the most vocal critics of it that shutting down government won't satisfy their concerns.

"No matter how much you dislike government, government does things we need," he said, citing military operations at one stop and noting Social Security at another.

On one hand, he called the nation's borrowing limit a legitimate tool for "leverage" against Obama and Democrats in an overhaul of the nation's taxing and spending blueprint — though he was short on details about his desired changes. Yet when pushed, McHenry carefully added a caveat. "We have to make good on our obligations," he said, tacitly explaining that raising nation's credit cap is about paying bills already due, not future spending priorities.

One pending issue where McHenry made little attempt at nuance was immigration. He assured multiple questioners that the House would act first on a single bill dealing only with border control. But he said, "Under no circumstance will I ever vote for the Senate bill" that includes an eventual path to citizenship for people in the country illegally.

McHenry, like others in GOP-leaning districts, still fielded withering critiques from outnumbered Democrats and the occasional independent. But the exchanges usually revealed sentiments in the congressman's favor.

Questioners in rural Polk County lambasted McHenry's vote for a less generous nutrition assistance program that Republicans want to separate from farm subsidies — ending a four-decade precedent for a unified farm-and-food-stamp bill. McHenry insisted that GOP plans won't harm "any individual child" but are aimed at "able-bodied adults who refuse to work," as many nodded their heads in approval.

Asked his thoughts on the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction blueprint— bipartisan recommendations for curtailing expensive entitlement outlays and raising taxes — McHenry called the plan "credible," but quickly added that it has "a number of flaws ... particularly when you talk about raising taxes even higher" than the January deal on earnings higher than $400,000.

At several stops, McHenry asked how many people believe "things in Washington are as bad as they've ever been?"

They're wrong, he said. The worst, he explained over murmurs of curiosity, was "about 150 years ago ... when a congressman walked over and caned a senator." Though he avoided the details, he was referring to an 1856 incident when a pro-slavery House member from South Carolina beat an anti-slavery senator from Massachusetts at his desk. "That," he said, "was the last time our country was this divided."




Polls should show that the majority of Americans want Congress & their kind to get PAY CUTS. The people do not need to overcompensate them anymore.


Nah, why would they need to take a pay cut? They are doing a great job of bringing down the deficit by taking away from the military and benefits of retired military. The only military personnel that are getting an increase in benefits are gays. They need nothing more than a signed statement attesting that they are in a committed relationship to get the same benefits as married couples. I wonder how long before opposite sex couples will be able to obtain the same benefits without being married. As far as I know, military law still says cohabitation is illegal.


To paraphrase William F. Buckley, Jr.:

I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first five hundred and thirty five names in the Sandusky telephone directory than in a society governed by the five hundred and thirty five members of Congress.

Compromise? How do you compromise with greedy, thieving collectivists?


"...little political incentive many Republicans have to reach common ground on issues ranging from immigration to the budget."

So it is the Republicans that have to compromise? Why not the Democrats?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Yeah I thought this article was very disingenuous. Apparently ONLY Republicans have to explain things to their voters in town hall, ONLY Republicans have to defend and explain their decisions. ONLY Republicans must be the ones giving Congress a low approval rating. I'm not a banner-carrier for the Republicans any more than Democrats but this kind of obvious slant is exactly why the stereotype of the media exists.

The Big Dog's back

Oh please hero. You're about this much from being a right wingnut.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I appreciate the compliment of not being a nut. My point still stands. Per this article, where is it mentioned that Democrats have to answer to their constituents? Their exclusion is either neglectful reporting or purposeful to some unspoken, presumed end. Which is it? Incompetent, one-sided reporting or an article written with a destructive agenda for one party and not the others?

I am by no means BFFs with the Republican party and I actually don't mind them being vetted. I'll repeat: HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE! But to presume that Democrats are perfect Master Race children who are perfect in every way with policies that are airtight and a lockstep constituency is absurd. They should be vetted just as much and not given passes, ignored, or otherwise thrown softballs.

In the context of this one article, without a complimentary one, it is clear there is something going on here. Since the answer to that is not in the article itself it can only lead us to wonder.

Do you feel all Democrats are above reproach? I should hope not, but I would value your opinion.

Pterocarya frax...

Why would this article talk about democrats? It is written entirely about one Republican, and what he is experiencing. What the story clearly points out is that Republicans would rather work on getting reelected than working on the problems of the country.

If you want the counterpoint, go out and interview Marcy Kaptur and write about it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Already met with a rep of hers and had a conversation months ago. After what I was told by him to be an insightful and productive meeting which would result in notes from it being presented to her, I sent a followup email to make another time to meet with him or even the Representative herself. I am waiting weeks and weeks now for a reply. So, I am ahead of you on this one. I appreciate the suggestion, though! Everyone should participate as much as they can in local, state, and federal matters and contact your elected officials.

Really are you ...

Who the ? is members of congress representing? I thought that they were filling elected positions. Positions that they are filling, were voted on by the people of the State that they are representing. All members of congress that do not support the ideas from the people of the State from which they came from need to step down and let some one in that will support the State from which they came. Send those congressmen and /or congresswomen who forgot where they came from to China, Mexico, or some third world country. That seems to be who they are supporting. With no retirement or severance pay from the United States. They have held their congressional seats long enough to have made enough money to live like kings and queens in those countries they are supporting.

If they work, I hope they love their working wages and healthcare.


... I don't think YOU know the Scope of things, let me explain, if you are at the ripe old age of 54 or less, your Republican buddies in congress voted for you to work until your 70 before you can get medicare. Oh you can collet social security at the age of 67, but no medical untill your 70. Have fun waking up.


Not sure how you came up with 70. Eligibility starts at 65 as explained at the Medicare web site www.medicare.gov


Oh YESSSS, if You read futher what your looking at is retiement 2014. It does not show, lets do some easy math, age 54 or younger, 70 minus 54 = 16 er' 16 years or ADD 16 to 2013 = 2029. So if you are at the prime age 54 or younger Sorry bout your luck.
If which my brother age 66 could not collect medicare untill age 66, not 65.


Re: "Oh YESSSS,"

Which is why it is a proven Ponzi scheme - ya gotta change the rules for the later beneficiaries in order to keep it goin'.

If a private co. operated Medicare (SS also), the govt. would shutter the co. and bring the officers up on criminal charges.


Thanks for the info.... completely missed that little event. Oh well, back to work work work

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If you are 30 or less you see these programs as insolvent jokes that probably won't be around for us when we survive to that age.

The Big Dog's back

Only in your right leaning mind.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

So all of the diverse 20-30-somethings I speak to are imaginary friends? The current leadership are too busy p*ssing in the wind to actually do something to fix this. Have you looked at your SS statement lately? What's the date that it goes bankrupt again? Yup, right about the time we are set to retire.

If you got yours, that's great. Take it. Spend it. Save it. You win! But for us? When NOBODY is doing anything to address the situation? Yeah, it becomes a topic of ridicule, mistrust, and a joke. It's pretty sad when one generation has to wait for another to die out in order to fix the problems that are presented to us because that older generation is politically impotent.

The Big Dog's back

It's not set to go bankrupt. Where do you get your info on SS?

AJ Oliver

The GOP is out to destroy the middle and working classes, and many democrats are going along. The Tea Party crazy-a__ ideas are supported by 25% of the people. That 25% are stooges for the One Percent. Simpson-Bowles would AGAIN redistribute income upward. Wake up indeed!!

Asked his thoughts on the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction blueprint— bipartisan recommendations for curtailing expensive entitlement outlays and raising taxes — McHenry called the plan "credible,"


Re: "Simpson-Bowles"

The Pres. commissioned the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and then TOTALLY ignored it.

Typical of his modus operandi - Talk much, act little.

It could have been a starting point – but NO.

His act of b*tchin’ about Repubs works better with his dumbed-down constituency.


The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please define the middle class and working class.

The Big Dog's back

In your mind what do you consider working and middle classes.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I don't feel compelled to classify human beings. I don't know their circumstances. I don't know nor do I care how much money they make, how many kids (if any) they have, or how much they spend on groceries. They all deserve the same amount of dignity.

"Middle class" is a worthless phrase. Funny how NO politicians on either side define it yet they can't help but use it in their verbal diarrhea just presuming, "well people don't want to feel poor but they don't want to be seen as rich so they'll just consider themselves middle class if I don't define it, nobody will ever question it!"

Classification is segregation, it is also a meaningless medium to state your points because your audience isn't defined and are probably tired of being called names or treated like a science experiment.

"I'm for middle class tax reform." SOUNDS AWESOME! Yeah?! So what does that mean? What is this "middle class"? What is the tax reform you want this broad, undefined, nebulous group to have? Isn't it amazing? Like a magic trick. My middle class tax reform just supposedly affects you, me, that other guy, that girl over there, and everyone else who just make presumptions they fit those gossamer words.

Oh...but when the law is passed? Sorry. You weren't "middle class enough" to qualify because you have too little/much money. Sorry, you thought you were middle class? Well, that's your fault. Oh? Did we forget to specify that out of the infinite expanse of middle class we only meant THIS type of middle class or THAT type of middle class?

Don't you see how degrading, deceptive, and ambiguous this is all at the same time? Why do you allow this kind of segregation to continue in the United States? Why don't you ask questions of lawmakers of any political orientation to actually be specific and instead of saying throwaway terms like "middle class tax reform" and actually ask for details.

"Who gets it? What must be done to qualify? Where is this reform occurring, specifically?"

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it is so darn frustrating!!!


@ The Hero Zone:


The avg. income in the U.S. is $47K.

In a world where most of the population earns $1-$2.00 per diem, that puts most Americans in the TOP ONE PERCENT in the world.

Yet still they b*tch.

We are a nation of "Haves" & "Have Mores."


The Big Dog's back

Another koch brothers talking point.

The Big Dog's back

To answer your question the working class are the people whose backs this country was built on and continues to run on. Your laborers, your teachers, your police and firemen.

The Big Dog's back

People long before you and me set up the class system. More specific, rich people set up the class system. It was just the rich and the poor. That's where the middle came in with the labor union movement.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I appreciate your response and opinion. Based on your definition it does seem that this so-called middle class is actually still vague and broad. It is meaningless to call people middle class or working class. I sell comics and games and I very much believe I could fit the "working" definition. You may disagree, and that's fine. That actually just proves my point. This class structure was also set up in a bygone age from perhaps what we can both agree to be (in today's context) corrupt people or at least those whose morality would be called into question today.

Stand with me, Big Dog. Reject these terms. Call out "bullspit" every time you hear any political use that phrase. I do. Unless we expect a higher standard of service (and elect them, regardless of party) we will always be thrown back into darker, worse times.

Aren't you sick and tired of being called segregational names by people or being duped into thinking something is for you when it will never be? You are obviously a passionate guy and I would love nothing more than to see you use your bark and your bite to end this old, tired phraseology. You'll find that young pups like myself and others will join you and actually rally under one banner despite other kinds of lifestyles or disagreements.


Re: "It is meaningless to call people middle class or working class."

They are Marxist-Leninist terms used to divide and manipulate the masses toward socialism.

H*ll, the term "capitalist" is a Marxian term.

The Big Dog's back

In a perfect world what you say would be right. But since we don't have a perfect world we have to be innovative to achieve fairness.


Re: "innovative"

Is that Marxist word magic for genocide?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Yes, innovation does drive us into the future and that is why we have to cast off these yokes of the past. Equality of outcome (in society) will never ever ever be achieved. Not because of some glass ceiling but because every single person is different. No one law, agency, or term can hope to tend to that in the immediacy let alone as generations change and their ideals and expectations with them. That change is occurring quicker than ever thanks to technology, which also facilities individualism. This is why we must reject these disingenuous labels. Will you join me in expecting a higher standard?

The Big Dog's back

I agree. In our society there will never be equality. Henry Ford had it right when he paid his people a decent wage so they could afford to buy the product they were making. We're not a country of individualism. If we were a country of total individualism we would have ceased to exist a long time ago. We realize not everyone is created equal, and that's why we have the social services. Remember, United we stand, Divided we fall.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I wouldn't want a completely individualistic society. That is anarchy, which is the perfect form of government...if you are the only one subject to it. There should be services offered and taxes paid, but the equal opportunity (not outcome) should be present. There is no way to actually dictate over every little circumstance, which is why education is so important. It teaches and trains the individuals to be the best of themselves they can be. To pursue opportunity, learn from tragedy, and find common bonds with each other where they overlap. That cannot nor should not ever be imposed.

It also requires trust in the populace that they are generally good and civil people. There will always be abusers of that trust. Despite a law against it, people will steal guns. They will overtly discriminate while hiring. Each are a sleight against the civil society, but those of us who live civil lives enjoy not being roped in with those offenders.

In North Korea the government has what is called "songbun" or a way to classify its citizens. It is based on all kinds of factors even to the point of the behavior of your relatives affecting your class. There are three classes: "core class", "wavering class", and "hostile class" (with something like 50 subdivisions). The government doesn't tell you which class you are in but treats you accordingly by withholding certain services or even food.

While I cannot directly compare the U.S. government to N.K.'s you can see the similarities. You can see the differences between a directed hard tyranny and well-intentioned soft tyranny. This is why the individual needs to be empowered with education and real life experiences. This is why the states need (and were intended to have) more power over their citizens than the Federal government. There is no way one entity can account for 320+ millions lives, geographic regions, cultural swathes, etc.

If companies can be too big to fail (and thusly broken up, restricted, or monitored) our government is already at that point and has been since before this president and the one before him, etc. So we must look to the empowerment of the individual citizen and the state with the burden our Federal government has saddled itself with leading to the CONSTANT bickering and nothing getting done save continuing resolutions to do things six months from now.

I want a better government, not necessarily "less" (or more to be fair), and the answer to a better government does not lie in a party, class, or other segregationist sect.


Re: "Henry Ford had it right when he paid his people a decent wage,"

Less than half of the story.

He ALSO required them to arrive at work ON TIME & SOBER!

An increase in productivity is necessary for increased compensation.


Re: "We're not a country of individualism."

You're not an individual? :)

The Big Dog's back

It's Congress's JOB to compromise with the President.


Re: "Congress's (sp)"

Correction: It's the duty of the elected branches of govt. to seek common ground.

Simpson-Bowles had enough for each party to dislike.

Pres. Obama dismissed it.



Congress' role is to legislate, and the president's role is to execute the laws they pass. Separation of powers was not intended to bring about compromise, but to do exactly what it's currently doing - making it difficult to wield government power.

The Big Dog's back

They are to legislate bills both sides can live with.


Let's see...the article headline said that most voters want Congress to seek out compromise. Most Republican members of Congress pride themselves on NOT compromising. This means that most Republican congressmen have a decided minority of voters supporting the way they do things.

This poll doesn't surprise me. They could have 90% of Americans against them, and they would still think and act as if they have a "mandate.


The last time there was anything near a 90% agreement on anything in this counrty was when WW2 was declared, or people were proud when John Glenn walked on the moon.

When folks exaggerate like this, is there any doubt that people are as divided as they are? We don't say there are disagreements, we say there are deadlocks and nothing can change that. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

If you wish to so biased in your statements I hope you don't expect anyone to take you seriously. Few people hold such strong beliefs on every issue as you seem to claim, most may have a few they hold so strongly but only a feew and the others they are willing to discuss, at least somewhat. You seem to think that people who don't share your political beliefs are all in lock step. It don't happen like that in real life.

The Big Dog's back

Even if it's just 50% why do 20% (right wingnuts) think they have a mandate?


Yes and 20% (left wingnuts) think they have a mandate. Why is that? Because the media and the wingnuts prefer to look at everything through that set of blinders. Why do you think your wingnuts are better than the other wingnuts? Neither are willing to compromise. Neither have the "mandate" that you speak of.

The Big Dog's back

What have the Dems not wanted to compromise on?


I certainly hope Americans don't agree that John Glenn walking on the moon is any matter of national pride! John Glenn never walked on the moon.


Doh!!!! Needed another cup of coffee before posting. Thanks.


Re: "they have a "mandate."

They control the HOR - i.e. mandate.

H*ll, Pres. Obama 'thinks' that he has a mandate with winning 51% of the vote in the 2012 Pres. election. :)

The Big Dog's back

Unlike you and your fellow right wingnuts the President is willing to compromise.


Yes we all saw his willingness to compromise when obamacare was written with only dems or their puppeteers allowed in the room when it was written, no amendments allowed to be made, 8 hours to read the law, before voting on 2300 pages in the bill. And then there was the time he told the republicans in congress that there were consequences to elections, when he had 60 Dem senators, and a majority in the house. We all saw how willing he is at compromise. His willingness to compromise is tempered to his need to do so, same as all the politicians. He is no different from the rest.

The Big Dog's back

You're wrong. The left wanted single payer. He compromised with Obamacare.


Yes the left wingnut 20% wanted single payer, so what? The rest of the left didn't. Why should 20% think they have a mandate? Are they compromising with the rest of the left and thinking that is compromise with the right?

The Big Dog's back

You're wrong again. The LEFT, all the left wanted single payer. The compromise was that it remained in the hands of private insurers.


Re: "all the left wanted single payer."

Kinda like Medicare which loses approx. $60 billion annually because of waste, fraud and abuse?


Sorry piddle puppy but the 20% wingnuts wanted single payer and the rest didn't. The wingnut left compromised with the rest of the left to get obamacare. As I stated before ONLY the left was behind the closed doors writing obamacare. They compromised with the only people there, the left wingnuts and the rest of the left. No one from the right was there.

For there to be comprimise the two parties need to be in the same room and discussing the bill. But that just might be beyond your ability to comprehend.

The Big Dog's back

Beyond your ability obviously. It was part of the platform at the DNC. Worry about YOUR right wingnuts who openly admit they do not want to compromise.


Yes the left's 20% wingnuts control the dims. Most don't want single payer or they would have passed such a bill. The dims had zero votes from repubes for obamacare. Why would they compromise and then get no votes from those they supposedly compromised with? They would have just voted in single payer if they had the votes for it. They compromised to be able to get enough dims to vote for obamacare. Single payer had no chance. Not a single repube voted for obamacare, the dims made a compromise with themselves to get it to pass.


Was hoping piddle puppy would try again. But since he hasn't, here is a little more information to rub his snout in it about his "all dims wanted single payer" lie.

Harry Reed had to pay off several dim Senators to get them to even vote for obamacare. They weren't goning to till he made additions to bills to pay them off. Remember the cornhusker kickback and the Louisianna purchase? he also had to pay off Bernie Sanders, and a few more just to get all the dims in line to buy into obamacare, they weren't going to vote for it. So much for what "all dims were for it". This was the compromise, it was between the wacco 20% of the wingnuts having to pay off a few of the dims who weren't interested in voting for obamacare.


Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback,” as the GOP is calling it, got all the attention Saturday, but other senators lined up for deals as Majority Leader Harry Reid corralled the last few votes for a health reform package.

Nelson’s might be the most blatant – a deal carved out for a single state, a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion for Nebraska, meaning federal taxpayers have to kick in an additional $45 million in the first decade.

But another Democratic holdout, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), took credit for $10 billion in new funding for community health centers, while denying it was a “sweetheart deal.” He was clearly more enthusiastic about a bill he said he couldn’t support just three days ago.

Nelson and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) carved out an exemption for non-profit insurers in their states from a hefty excise tax. Similar insurers in the other 48 states will pay the tax.

Vermont and Massachusetts were given additional Medicaid funding, another plus for Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Three states – Pennsylvania, New York and Florida – all won protections for their Medicare Advantage beneficiaries at a time when the program is facing cuts nationwide.

All of this came on top of a $300 million increase for Medicaid in Louisiana, designed to win the vote of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Under pressure from the White House to get a deal done by Christmas, Reid was unapologetic. He argued that, by definition, legislating means deal making and defended the special treatment for Nelson’s home state of Nebraska.

“You’ll find a number of states that are treated differently than other states. That’s what legislating is all about. It's compromise," he said.

The Big Dog's back

Comprehension issues pooh? I said all the left was for single payer, not Obamacare. Maybe try one of those herbal extracts to improve your comprehension abilities.


Then answer why they didn't go for single payer instead of obamacare? They got ZERO repube votes for obamacare. If theyALL wanted single payer they should have went for it. But that would have meant all dims wanted single payer. ALL the dims DIDN'T want single payer. The 20% wing nuts had to compromise with the rest. As I said the dims comprimised with themselves to pass obamacare. The dims got ZERO votes from Repubes. Who were the dims compromising with? Why didn't ANY repubes vote for obamacare if they "compromised" with the dims?

Come back and get your snout rubbed in it some more. The dims compromised with themselves.

The Big Dog's back

As usual you're wrong. But you know that, but you're just a troll.


Again WHO, specfically did the dims compromise with? They dims didn't get a single vote from the repubes for obamacare. They DIDN'T compromise with ANY repube, the 20% left wingnuts compromised with the rest of the dims to even get obamacare passed.

They had to payoff several dims just to pass obamacare, they had no chace with single payer. If ALL dims wanted single payer they would have passed that since the dims got NO repube votes. If ALL dims wanted single payer, WHY DIDN'T THE DIMS VOTE ON THAT? They didn't have the votes, only the 20% left wingnuts wanted single payer.

If it is so obvious I am wrong, link to your evidence. Simple it doesn't exist, you lied again.


If most Americans want Congress to compromise, they're certainly getting what they want, and in spades!

Congress compromises all the time! Members compromise their principles. They compromise the Constitution. They compromise national security, the economy, and just about everything else. And the White House? It compromises in the same manner and just as often itself.

What Americans NEED (regardless of what they want or THINK they want) are politicians that DON'T compromise such things. You can appreciate a candidate's position on a given issue or not, but if it's a basic principle of his/hers, you should (at a minimum) be able to count on him/her to uphold it. Instead, whatever benefits the powers that be is more often than not the end result of just about anything and everything.

The sad thing is that you and I have the power to ensure that certain compromises AREN'T made. Some years ago, I met then-Senator Mike DeWine and asked him a question. He gave me the usual political babble, smiling all the while. When he finished, I looked him right in the eye and said, "Yeah, that's great. Now could you answer the question?" He was taken aback – I don't imagine he was much used to that kind of thing — but you know what? HE ANSWERED THE QUESTION.

Forget the nonsense of who cares about re-election and who doesn't (silly premise since almost ALL of them seem to care EXCLUSIVELY about re-election once they're in office, but bear with me, here). If somebody makes promises, HOLD THEM TO THEM. If they fail to at least put out a credible effort to KEEP those promises, then find another representative who WILL.

Stop complaining about politics and politicians. It's patently obvious it doesn't work. Instead, start being responsible your OWN self and behave accordingly. Pretend you're the parent of a wayward three year-old: Demanding, throwing tantrums, certain he's the center of the universe. And then spank, put into the "thinking corner," or withhold privileges until he learns the lesson. There's only one way to raise a responsible and honorable adult, and it's demanding responsibility and honor from the first.

The Big Dog's back

And this my friends is why we have gridlock. Your principles may not be the same as mine. So now what?


Gridlock isn't necessarily a bad thing. If two principles (NOT "wants," NOT "necessities," but PRINCIPLES) are so diametrically opposed, They're either both wrong, or one is COMPLETELY wrong. In that case, it's much better to do nothing than to do the wrong thing!


Gridlock leads to "Kick the can down the road" and the results often lead to a bigger problem at a later date than what you started with.
Might as well put up a sign "Country For Sale, needs some repair, good fixer-upper project"

Maybe we need a new rule for congress... kick the can down the road 3 times and your out! Send 'em to the dugout and bring in a new squad. Maybe then they would rediscover teamwork and realize we are all on the same team


Re: "'Kick the can down the road'"

Not-to-worry, democracies tend to inflate their way out of debt leaving their citizens to pay the price.

See: "This Time is Different"


The Big Dog's back



Pres. Obama's "mandate":

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.

We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

- H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun (26 July 1920)


" the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

We've had that come true for the last few decades... some worse than others.


Caption on the above photo:

Hey, Mitch! See this $50K watch? I used money from my campaign slush fund to buy it. Nice huh?


Re: "some worse than others."

Two bad ones back-to-back, LBJ and Nixon pretty much did me in on the major parties.


Gridlock? GREAT!!! When the legislature is passing bills, no one's life, liberty, or property is safe.

The freest states in the union have legislatures that only meet for a month or less each year.

The Big Dog's back

We're talking about the national level.


Re: "We're talking about the national level."

GAWD are you stoopid.

He's writing that the U.S. Congress should do likewise putz.

The Big Dog's back

Unfortunately nincompoop, the world doesn't stop because the Repubs want to sip martinis and sit around the pool.


Re: "the world doesn't stop"

So without govt. the world would stop?

GAWD are you stooped!

The Big Dog's back

Your comebacks are getting more off the wall everyday. Did you change meds?


Remember Dog who "ain't" a Christian. Karl Marx was an atheist too.


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