Congressional Compromise or Obstruction?

obstruction congressThe word obstruction has replaced the word compromise within Congress, and to some this is infuriating. Why can’t these obstructionist republicans simply pass all the legislation the democrats want? After all, the democrats are the majority so they should get what they want! Why do the republicans have to stop every bill in the House? Why must they filibuster everything in the Senate?

For some this is frustrating, but this is the way it’s supposed to work. That’s why we have three branches of government. One branch can shut the other two down if the minority’s ideas are not represented. Otherwise, the majority would always rule over the minority, and this is a bad thing. That’s oppressive rule and leads to tyranny. All three branches must therefore compromise to pass legislation such that both the majority and the minority are represented in the laws that pass.

A failed congress is one that labels the minority obstructionists simply because they will not concede to the ideas and ideologies of the majority, and that’s exactly what’s happening. There doesn’t seem to be any negotiating these days. It’s an all or nothing mentality in which compromise means defeat. The Health Care Bill was drafted by democrats while republicans were completely shut out. Various other bills have tried to make their way through congress, only to be shutdown by the republicans, and so now it appears the republicans are the bad guys. But this isn’t the case. Both sides are wrong and two wrongs don’t make a right.

President Obama and Harry Reid must learn to include some of the republican ideas into the mix. The republican’s must realize that they are not the majority and won’t get all they want, nor will they get the best deal. Failure of the two sides to realize this means the “obstructionists” who represent the minority, will continue the gridlock and no progress will be made. Things will get worse and the rhetoric will ratchet up. More energy will be expended vilifying the other side rather than compromising.

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