My message to Congress about compromise is just to try it, you might like it.
I also have what I think could be a real “fix” to the inability of the Congress to come together in the spirit of compromise.
Congress should be forced to live together for the length of their terms.
That’s right. You heard me.
Crazy you say? Ridiculous? Surely you can’t be serious Blithering?
I’m here to tell you I’m dead serious.
Take it from a married woman of close to 20 years. Take it from someone who watches
too many of the mind-numbing “reality shows” that require people from all walks of life, and various states of obnoxiousness, to live together or play together. For better or worse.
The cold, hard, reality of living together in close quarters, enduring “hand-to-hand combat” if you will, is that people learn to adapt and acquiesce and “compromise” in order to survive the long days and nights.
If you know anything about “The Jersey Shore”
train-wreck, you will recall that Snookie originally felt alienated from the rest of the inebriated, slobbering fools in the house. She was ready to leave the show that ultimately brought her fame ( cough) and fortune (choke). That all changed the night she was sucker punched by some neanderthal in a Seaside bar. The rest of the crew rallied around her from that point on. It brought them closer. It kept the gang together for the run of the show.
I submit that If they had all been living elsewhere, driving home every night (well, stumbling home or calling a cab God-willing), and going their separate ways, they most likely would have never been as close as they eventually became. It was often the
incoherent chats at 3 o’clock in the morning in their abode that always seemed to bring them closer together. Okay, I know they were all blitzed 99% of the time, almost set the house of fire numerous times, and very often had their worst and most ridiculous fights at those times (see Sammie and Ronnie), but the point remains, they eventually stayed together and worked through all of their “issues” together. They had no choice if they wanted any chance of peace in the shore house. No one could storm off and retreat from their problems with each other for very long. One person’s problem was everybody’s problem. As screwed up as they all were, they did manage to work through things as well as can be expected from a bunch of knuckleheads.
Speaking of knuckleheads, just imagine a scenario where John Boehnor and Harry Reid had to come home to each other each night after a hard day of “legislating.” I know, maybe Boehnor has more in common with the Jersey Shore crew than Reid, and would probably be stumbling home pretty late as well (wink, wink), but the point remains, maybe they would have bonded a little more over a late-night snack of
bourbon cookies and milk. Perhaps they could have hung out in the hot-tub and just chilled together, laughing about Eric Cantor’s “bitch face” or perhaps discussing the Kanye West-Kim Kardashian mash-up. Boehnor looks like a real “GTL” guy–well, minus the “G” and “L” part. Maybe they could have hashed out a budget in the tanning booth.That seemed to work well for the Jersey Shore kids.
What if the entire Congress had some kind of Congress condo and slept in dorm rooms which at least 4 people had to share? Don’t you think they would be forced to learn how to get along? Don’t you think they would have to learn how to compromise? Hey,worst case scenario, maybe they begin to actually get to know each other and by extension at least want to try to come together on legislation.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to “give-in” more times than I care to count to my husband’s desires, although he would probably have a hearty laugh at that observation.
We have been married almost two decades, and “compromise” is a daily part of both of our lives. As a matter of fact, the times I’ve conceded and done things “his way” have often been some of the best moves we’ve made. I’d like to think he’s felt the same way about those occasions when he’s succumbed to my wishes. I’m not entirely sure though. He’s still sleeping, so when he gets up I’ll ask him.
As a matter of fact, we have had to compromise just recently. He really, really, wants a Ford F 250. I want a “greener” vehicle that gets great gas mileage, possibly a hybrid. We’ve been discussing the pro’s and con’s of the issue:
He: “I can haul lots of stuff around in it!” (cue the Home Improvement–Tim Allen– manly grunt).
Me: “I feel we need to try to get the best gas mileage for the money since I have a long drive to work everyday and be kind to the environment” (cue the sensible, tree-hugging music–whatever that is).
I eventually “won” that battle because when we discussed it, he realized that we could save money on gas and since we have an SUV, we could still trailer our small boat and still haul more stuff than what a car could. He’s also cool with the environmental aspect. Compromise on his part after thoughtful, intelligent discussion. Okay, the time I brought home two stray cats or that shelter dog, or the other time I rescued stray cats, well, he wasn’t exactly on board there. However, his ultimate reconciliation to keeping the furry creatures was hitched to his own personal happiness because we live by the creed that ‘if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’. A ‘happy me’ makes for a ‘happier him’ by default…because you know…we have to live together…everyday…everyday for almost 20 years…it boils down to self-preservation.
Of course, our decisions as a household really only affect us, although reducing pollution and reliance on foreign oil helps the country and planet. Ditto with buying organic food, recycling, getting some of my energy from wind and solar, which we also do.
That brings me to the 112th Congress, the most do-nothing, filibustering, dysfunctional group of people ever assembled. And puleeze, do not even attempt to foist any of this false equivalency baloney that it is “both parties” who “equally” are at fault. That is just a lie. The abuse of the filibuster alone by the REPUBLICANS/TEA PARTY has brought us to the end of 2012 dangling on this fiscal damn cliff.
The 64 thousand dollar question then is, why are they completely unable to compromise? Who holds the blame? Who? Here are my big four:
1. John Boehnor- the Speaker of the House will go down in history as a complete failure. He allowed Grover Nordquist, The Club for Growth, and the Tea Party to grab him by the short-hairs and pull so hard that tears came out of his eyes for two years (and you thought his almost daily display of waterworks were due to real emotions. Ha!). In the waning days of the fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehnor has chosen to abdicate his leadership in order to save his own ass and maintain his speakership. That is not a leader.
2. President Obama-as much as I find this man has been subject to some of the most vile and intransigent opposition since FDR and Harry Truman, an opposition only focused on his demise as opposed to what is good for the country, from what I have read he made no effort to reach out to the right on any level. In my own personal life, I have many friends and aquaintences who hold views opposed to mine. I have respect for their opinions because I know their heart. When you refuse to get to know someone personally, it is much harder to have a dialogue that may lead to common ground. While inviting a Republican to break bread every so often or calling them on their kid’s birthdays may not have changed the final outcomes of all the fights in Congress, we will never know for sure. It just may have helped.
3. The Tea Party- many from this collection of misfits was shown the door in the election just passed and good riddance. They are ultimately responsible for much of the gridlock that we have come to despise in D.C. They are ideolougues who have no interest in compromise, and were the main reason we had our first downgrade of credit in our history. These supposed “fiscal conservatives” have never had a problem squeezing the government for money if they can bring home the “pork” to their constituents, but refuse to raise one cent of revenue from their fat-cat donors if it means crossing old Grover…which leads me to…
4. Grover Nordquist- I’ve written before about the most powerful, un-elected person in the country. Norquist has some sort of Svengali-like hold on our Congress and managed to get them to swear to him that they would never, ever, ever, raise a cent of tax no matter what. His “pledge” is the reason that the cowardly right won’t sign on to “raising taxes” on the super-rich. If we just go off the fiscal cliff and let all the tax cuts expire, they can “claim” to the next electorate that they “never raised taxes.” After all, in the HOR, it’s really all about the next election.That is probably the single-biggest reason Boehnor cannot get enough of his caucus to sign on the dotted line for his own “Plan B.”
So there you have it. We are all tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff. Chances are great that whatever may get done before midnight, it will not be enough and it will be more of the same of kicking the proverbial can down the road, setting us up for more gridlock in 2013. But hey, I’ve made my recommendation.
Well, I’m off to the car dealership to take a test run on a sporty hybrid…no gridlock in this household.
Have a happy and healthy 2013!
- Republicans Fulfill Their Destiny of Creating the Worst Congress in Nearly 70 Years (politicususa.com)
- Obama daring Senate Republicans to filibuster fiscal cliff bill (blogs.suntimes.com)
- Is bipartisanship anything more than a buzzword? (constitutioncenter.org)