Room for compromise

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  • pmacdee newbury Oark, CA
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    I still remember this exchange on 60 Minutes with leading republican Eric Cantor regarding compromising :

    Stahl: What's the difference between compromise and cooperate?

    Cantor: Well, I would say cooperate is let's look to where we can move things forward where we agree. Comprising principles, you don't want to ask anybody to do that. That's who they are as their core being.

    Yet Republicans are asking Democrats to compromise on the ACA. Hah!

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    @2 bit – I believe your understanding of government shutdowns is flawed; you are confusing tactics and outcomes. In most previous incidents, shutdown was an outcome of budget negotiations lasting too long or falling through, not a deliberate tactic to force concessions.

    In 2010 Republicans campaigned on plans to shut down the government – it didn’t matter why. It was a major applause line with conservative audiences. When they voted to shut down the government, Republicans were jubilant. Michelle Bachmann described the caucus as the happiest it has been in years once they shut down the government. They ran on shutting it down and they got to shut it down. Now what?

    It’s not about the ACA or any specific policy. It is about the basic structures by which policy is made in the US. The Republicans couldn’t win at the ballot box and couldn’t win through valid legislative means. So they’re turning to blackmail. Such behavior is unacceptable in a Democracy. The end do not justify the means.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Oct. 4, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    @mg scott

    "We in the rest of the country are tired of funding your 5 star lifestyles....the counties surrounding D.C. are amoung[sic] the richest in the country. And it's mostly done with tax dollars."

    Wrong. That's like saying that Hollywood is responsible for the expense of living in LA. DC is wealthy for the same reasons that other first-world capitals are. It's the center of power, which will always attract money. It is one of the highest-educated areas with lawyers, lobbyists, and major corporations. It is becoming the east coast equivalent of Silicon Valley for IT. In my county, millionaires with horse-breeding estates drastically skew income figures.

    Federal employees aren't the major driver behind the income stats. My salary -- right at the mode for government workers -- is a hair more than my BIL's in SLC. He lives on the Bench in a house more than twice the size of my modest townhome. His income puts him at more than twice the median income of Clearfield. Here it is 20% below median income.

    No, you aren't bestowing me with a 5 star lifestyle. I've a very solidly middle-class life here.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    What is the "common ground"? Is it "political pressure" from the White House? Is it Harry Reid lying about his authority? Is it "community organizers" who infiltrate every newspaper and every media outlet to insure that the "party line" will be published?

    There can be no compromise on principle. ObamaCare was passed by the Democrats. They lied about the contents of that bill. They bribed Congressmen and Congresswomen to vote for that bill. They violated the rules to pass that bill. They ignored the 59% of Americans who told them that they didn't want ObamaCare.

    Now, finally, we have a House that represents the will of the People. The Senate represents the will of Obama and Harry Reid; it does not represent the will of the States. Obama represents himself and himself only. He could care less about the people. He's shown that by shutting of all government services to those who depend on Washington.

    If there is anything to be learned about this "shutdown", it is that "community organizers" will destroy America before they ever consider the cost of their programs to you or to me. They will tax us into bankruptcy.

  • lolrotfl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:30 p.m.

    2 bits,

    There’s no precedent for the current shutdown in the previous shutdowns. The earlier government shutdowns occurred over government revenue issues, independent executive branch decisions, and 11th-hour legislative disagreements.

    This crisis is not about the tyranny of the majority; it's about the tyranny of a minority who 'believe' they are under the tyranny of a majority. These Republicans see Obama as a tyrant because he won't compromise. However, Obama has compromised repeatedly. The more he tries to meet them half way, the more they deny each concession and then demand more. When he finally stops, the cry goes up that he "refuses to compromise." This minority is a problem because they are no longer amenable to facts.

  • Mkithpen Sandy, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    How can the Non-affordable Care Act be called "snit". People are loosing their jobs, full time status to part time and employers are backing off growth plans due to unknown increased costs of this nonsensical ACA. The US debt today is nearing $17 Trillion, not including the incalculable costs of this foolish plan to insure 9 million Americans. I'll bet before it's over there will be upwards of 30 million uninsured. This train wreck is nothing close to what they have in England or Canada. In a free society how can anyone be forced to buy something? The Supremes missed it on the commerce clause due to lack of courage on the part of Roberts.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    In Washington, compromise means the other side should give in.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    @lost in DC
    "Not if we did away with obamacare completely"

    The CBO scored the repeal of Obamacare bill as adding 109 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years so a total repeal would be even worse for the deficit than just getting rid of the medical devices tax.

    "There is only ONE side compromising and ONE side talking and that is the GOP."

    The GOP has offered nothing. Compromises involves both sides offering something. Let's say Democrats wanted the only change to the budget to be a massive tax on ammunition. Republicans would say that's not a compromise since the Democrats are offering nothing in exchange for that. Then Democrats say that they just want a small tax on some ammunition types and say that since they pulled back their demands they are compromising. That still wouldn't be a compromise, it's just a less extreme one-sided arrangement.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Both sides looking for common ground?? Are you kidding? There is only ONE side compromising and ONE side talking and that is the GOP. The other side - predictably - led by Dirty Harry and his boss are loving the shut down...

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Reference the history of shutdowns. They are different now. From VOA:

    This is the 12th shutdown since 1981. The last and longest shutdown occurred from December 1995 into January 1996 under the Bill Clinton administration and spanned 21 days. It came just a month after a six-day shutdown in November 1995.

    Before the 1980s, if Congress could not pass a budget, federal employees continued operating as usual, even while waiting for a spending bill to pass. Once it did, that bill would retroactively fund the spending gap.

    But in 1980, Jimmy Carter's last year as president, then-attorney general Benjamin Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying government work cannot continue until Congress agrees to fund it. Civiletti later clarified the law to mean only "essential" government services could continue without a spending bill.

    During Ronald Reagan's presidency from 1981 to 1989, shutdowns were relatively common, but none of them lasted more than three days, and many occurred over a weekend.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Res Novae

    A few hostages leading to the whole gang eventually being released is better than none, and THAT is where the Democrats are now. And they will stay there as long as the media, and yes they are always culpable when in defense of Democrats, is able to play the blame card on the Republicans. If the Republican poll numbers continue to sink, whats to say that Obama and the Democrats won't milk this for weeks? I believe they would, just for their own political gain. I don't think Democrats care about the people any more than you think the Republicans do. For that gang in your neighborhood, it is all about money and power. We in the rest of the country are tired of funding your 5 star lifestyles. Thank you. And if you doubt my accusations, the counties surrounding D.C. are amoung the richest in the country. And it's mostly done with tax dollars.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    What "democracy" means to me is the rule of the people:

    Greek "demos" = the people

    Greek "kratia" = power, rule

    Now I'm all for people power/rule in the legislating process, but the "demos" do not have much "kratia" in the matter, do they? Not usually anyway, or there would be little talk of amnesty, no bank or motor company bailouts, going to war in foreign lands, raising debt ceilings etc etc etc, and we would, in my view, be far better served.

    OK it's an INDIRECT democracy, and the people just elect representatives, but the majority in the House of Representatives today are actually against so-called "Obamacare" too. I wish them success.

  • annes albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    Lost in DC,

    I checked politifact, you have twisted the "facts" to suit your case. POTUS and Congress together modified ACA something like 17 times in response to issues that have arisen during implementation, and the Obama administration made one change unilaterally. Had Obama refused to modify ACA conservatives would have criticized that, since they like to be in the position of "heads we win, tails Obama loses". By the way, what's with all the claims by conservatives that "Obamacare has failed" when it hasn't even really got started up yet?

    2bit (on your response to glendenbg) Tyrant? Obama has not done a single thing to be accused of acting like a tyrant. Yet 'conservatives' constantly accuse him of that and worse ... marxist socialist stalinist naxi hitler muslim kenyan ... It's hard to take conservative points seriously when interlarded with silly name-calling.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I just read an article that said the House had just passed a bill to fund the Guard and the Reserves. It will now go to the Senate. Let's see what they do with it. If it stops in the Senate, then the Democrats have taken the baton. Or hot potato if you will. Hope the media reports this. However, with shots fired near the capital, I doubt it.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    glendenbg 10:36 a.m.

    You complain about the shutdown because process matters. Wondering... Did you complain the 16 times Democrats caused a government shutdown? 4 times in a hissy-fit insisting the government fund abortions. (see wikipedia for the reasons for the previous 18 shutdowns).

    5 of the 18 occurred when there was a Democrat President, House AND Senate... how are going to blame THAT on Republicans??

    Fact is... IF you know history... you know Democrats do it as much (or more) than Republicans. So this pretend high-horse you guys are on doesn't work for people who don't think history started the day Obama took office. There is some history on this topic.

    If you think this is the only time... or Republicans are the only ones who have used this tactic... you gotta get literate of your history.

    Process matters. But this is a legal part of a government designed so ONE person or ONE party can't rule without addressing the concerns of the minority (a concept the founding fathers called "tyranny of the majority"). Something the really REALLY wanted to prevent when writing our Constitution. They wanted statesmen... not tyrants. Obama's being a tyrant.

  • annes albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    @ 2 bits, see glendenbg reply, well said

    2 bits I appreciate your response, looked up the wikipedia entry. You have not addressed my points: 1) DOMA was found unconstitutional by SCOTUS. 2) ACA (Obamacare) was found constitutional by SCOTUS. Both rulings followed the constitutional process. 3) 40-year-old shutdowns have nothing to do with this week's shutdown. Unrelated examples, fuzzy thinking.

    One house of congress, extorting the American people by refusing to fund the government, is not a process defined in the constitution. House can't defund ACA, has no plan for reopening, but plans to continue with government closure under the expectation that the democrats will fold and gop will get some goodie and/or save face. The ACA funding is in the mandatory funding budget, it was never in play. If democrats were to fold, would gop try to defund the social security program next?

    The temp CR would pass if brought to a vote today, though I hope the funding will be increased if/when it goes to conference. It's a shame for the USA that gop gerrymandering stacked the House with people who do not believe in government.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Dems are seeking to keep the government shut down to inflict as much political damage as possible on the repubs regardless of what it does to the nation. Party over nation is the unwritten, but clearly evident, dem mantra.

    Why can BO unilaterally change Obamacare? I’m tired of the misinformation and fuzzy thinking of BO supporters.

    Res Novae,
    Thanks for admitting the dems in the senate would rather shut down the government than have parts of it operate, that they want to inflict as much damage as possible.

    Not if we did away with obamacare completely

    Why has BO not signed it, then?

    Shame on democrats!

    One vote,
    The tea party abhors compromise? Who was it that said “NO COMPROMISE”? oh yeah, that was BO.

    Cannot use a shutdown, but BO can do it on a whim. Please defend THAT position.

    Yes, you did

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    Republicans can come along for the ride if they want, but they’ll have to ride in the back

    We won, you lost, get over it

    We will not negotiate

    We will not compromise

    What do these phrases all have in common?

    All were spoken by dems following BO’s election

    We see who is the real party of NO!

    Why is BO ignoring part of his own signature law – the employer portion? Where in the legislation is he given that authority? Why does he ignore legally enacted immigration laws? Why does his cabal ignore voter anti-intimidation laws? Why could slick willy lie to a federal court?

    Don’t go spouting off about negotiating with terrorists when you consider the dems quotes listed above and BO ignoring multiple laws.

    Irresponsible brinkmanship is the whole domain of BO. Nothing else brings him to the table (irony guy) – he acts like a law unto himself.

    The right will be blamed because of the constant campaigning by the left – who WANT the shutdown for political gain – and their lapdog media’s biased commentary.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Oct. 3, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    "We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is."
    -Rep. Martin Stutzman (R-Indiana)

    Sums up the GOP's "compromise" ability right there.

  • Okio Dawsonville, GA
    Oct. 3, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Even though I voted for Mr. Obama I can understand the anger felt by the Republicans.

    As I opened the letter last night from my Insurance provider informing me that I could no longer keep my existing Insurance plan I had to think back to the number of times I heard him exclaim on TV that "If you like your existing insurance plan, you can keep it!" or the numerous times he told me that It was not a tax. But now i am simply left wondering if I helped elect a pathological liar?

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Well done, Makid. As for repealing the medical devices tax, fine, if Republicans will agree to a different tax to replace the lost revenue. Otherwise, stand firm, Mr. President.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    @Makid (Kearns, UT) His comment is the first plausible analysis of this "crisis" that I've read or heard. Every other view from both sides has been gibberish to me.

    If the Republicans want to compromise in order to delay the ACA, they need to offer in return something that the Democrats want. I think Makid's two suggestions were wonderful ideas.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    We're not there yet, judging by the posts.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @2 bits - What's wrong with Congress using a shut down to change a law? It's wrong because in a democracy process matters. The ACA was publicy debated for 14 months. It was subject to endless public discussion and debate and who knows how many changes. Many parts of it were added because Republicans said they supported them. In its most essential design, it is a plan created by a conservative think tank in the 1990s, and then successfully implemented in MA.

    There are defined ways in which laws can be changed or repealed and Republicans tried those ways and failed. Turning to blackmail to achieve desired ends is an assault on democratic processes.

    Honest negotiation means seeking an outcome acceptable to both sides. House Republicans know they aren't offering any acceptable outcomes. They aren't willing to consider anything other than their desired outcome. Those outcomes may be noble, but the ends do not justify the means.

    The debate is not about the ACA. It's about the ways in which a democracy functions and the ways in which our democracy makes decisons.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    In order to compromise you have to leave tea party fantasy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    So... what's wrong with Congress being allowed to "change a standing law using a government shutdown" or any other power given them in the Constitution? Do you want the Defense of Marriage Act back? (A standing law that was recently removed).

    2. RE: "the US will have no constitution and no government"! I think you are being over-dramatic.

    3. RE: "That's just one important reason why democrats will stand against this unconstitutional tactic forever, if necessary".

    You are aware that 16 out of the 18 times the Government has shutdown Democrats controlled the Senate and refused to compromise? Most of the times they controlled the House as well. Google "Government shutdown history" and see the table of each instance in Wikipedia". So... with that in mind. Explain how "democrats will stand against this unconstitutional tactic forever"... when they are the ones who do it.

    4. You're "tired of the misinformation and fuzzy thinking coming from gop supporters"... but misinformed Democrat supporters are OK?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    The tea party abhors compromise. When Chafetz wants the present to compromise he means capitulate now or in one year.

  • trilsys Reading, MA
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    There is nothing to compromise. The budget is a Republican budget that the President has said he would sign. The only reason for this disaster is because Republicans are in a snit about the ACA, nothing else.

    ACA is the law of the land. It was passed by the House, passed by the Senate, signed by the President of the United States, and vetted by the Supreme Court. Like it or not, it is the law. If you don't like it, introduce a bill to repeal it, but defunding it is wrong. More wrong is to hold the entire country, our economy, jobs, health, safety, security, and education hostage to the Republicans fit of pique.

    Shame on Republicans.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Repealing the medical device tax would add 30 billion to the deficit. Ah nevermind... Republicans don't care about the deficit anyway.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    This will end once enough moderate Republicans split off from the Tea Party types because they see that this does not benefit them long-term. Pres. Obama has no incentive to move as he looks good by contrast.

    Former Senator Bennett called this one a few days ago in the Deseret News. His analysis is proving out.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    "If one watches the non liberal media, you will find that the Republicans have offered changes, and sent them to the Senate in the last few days. These are not reported on mainstream media."

    First, yes it's being reported in the mainstream media, so leave the media bias martrydom out of it.

    Second, the House is putting out piecemeal funding bills that cherrypick politically palatable areas to fund. They're doing this onowing that the Senate will ignore anything less than a full funding CR so that the GOP can run back to its base and complain about how the Dems won't compromise.

    Of course the Dems won't compromise on that. The reactionaries on the far right have taken the entire government hostage in an effort to circumvent the legislative process. Authorizing a handful of funding bills is the equivalent of releasing a few hostages. The Snate rightly insists that everyone be released.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Editorial board:

    I think you are right that a compromise might have served to avert the shutdown. That is not exactly a brilliant statement. The problem is that there was no desire to compromise in the administration and too much hubris to even consider it. I'm no Republican but it seems to me they did try to find some common ground, but were rebuffed. Now what?

    I think that the fact that the Republicans are now standing up for the will of the people, which you do not seem to consider, is heartening and exhilarating. I am heartily sick of the disdain that the high and mighty have for the people of the United States.

  • annes albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    @ 2 bits
    You are missing the most important point: if any congress (gop or dem) is allowed to change a standing law using a government shutdown tantrum, the US will have no constitution and no government. That's anarchy, by definition.

    If the gop house gets their way, there will be nothing to stop them from altering any standing law they don't like. Want slavery back? Close the govt. Want to repeal womens' right to vote? Close down the govt.

    That's just one important reason why democrats will stand against this unconstitutional tactic forever, if necessary.

    I am tired of the misinformation and fuzzy thinking coming from gop supporters.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Compromise is about not getting everything either group wants. The Republicans are seeking to delay the ACA, Democrats are seeking to fund the government and put people and the economy back to work.

    Now, Democrats can't compromise on their side as a functioning government is needed for the stability of the Country. Republicans keep lowering their demands regarding the ACA but won't stop offering things that aren't compromised.

    If you want to see true compromise from the Democrats, Republicans need to offer up something that Democrats want for delaying anything with regards to the ACA.

    Now, imagine if the Republicans offered to pass the Senates version of Immigration Reform in exchange for a delay of the ACA.

    How about if Republicans offered to allow a Public Option for Healthcare for removing the Individual Mandate that they claim is terrible.

    You cannot offer to restore funding to the government only if your demands are met. That is not compromise, that is extremism and it does lead to terrorism when the group making the demands don't see any action on them.

    So, for compromise, Republicans need to offer something to the Democrats other than temporarily funding the government.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 3, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    President Obama is right not to give an inch until the gov't is funded. Then it's time to talk. By giving in now, he gets nothing in return--and that is NOT a compromise, that's a "lose" for him.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    If one watches the non liberal media, you will find that the Republicans have offered changes, and sent them to the Senate in the last few days. These are not reported on mainstream media. What is clearly happening now is Reid and Obama see this shutdown as to their advantage and actually want it to go on. So, that is why there is and will be no compromise. If Obama and the Democrats were getting the majority blame, compromise would be all over the place. Therefore, even getting rid of a tax that both sides don't like will not happen per Obama and Reid. However, the mainstream media will never report that, will they.

  • annes albuquerque, NM
    Oct. 3, 2013 6:07 a.m.

    Democrats have already comprised by accepting sequester level funding for the clean CR. Where is the acknowledgement or even any awareness for this important compromise, in this story? Congressional republicans are as dishonest as this opinion article.

    Perfect example of media bias - right wing media bias. Shame on you!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 5:47 a.m.

    I would agree IF you mean literally "ALL" need to learn to compromise. But not if you don't include Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and others. President Obama would also have to learn to compromise as well, and quit saying, "there will be NO CHANGES to ObamaCare".

    Seems like Democrats could at least look for some kind of bone to throw to the Republicans to give them an honorable way out, or even agree to READ what they send to the Senate. Or even make a counter-proposal besides "absolutely NOTHING will change" and "We won't even READ whatever you send us". That's not "Compromise".

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Oct. 3, 2013 4:55 a.m.

    "The demands by some in the GOP for the complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, were unrealistic from the outset, and they are the primary reason the nation finds itself in this current legislative standoff"

    Exactly. In a nutshell. And why the GOP will be blamed.

    This has nothing to do with whether the ACA is good or bad.

    It IS about using the wrong tool to achieve a goal.

    It does not become "noble" just because the appropriate congressional tools have been unsuccessful or that they feel strongly about it.

  • MadSat Millington, TN
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:43 a.m.

    Sir, you are not only wrong about compromise in this case, you are horribly wrong. The US CANNOT run on irresponsible brinkmanship forced by the House. Perhaps you dislike the ACA. Maybe you detest it. That's not the issue here. The issue is whether or now the US will allow a small group in the House to literally hold up the nation every three months while demanding whatever they want but cannot pass through the normal legislative process. Will you be for "compromise" when breakaway Democrats decide they'll not raise the debt ceiling unless corporate taxes double? This situation could easily reverse in that manner, Democrats are hardly under less pressure from the left than Boehner is from the far right. Obama, though late to realize the actual nature of this recurring manufactured "crisis", has finally woken up and come to work. And he's doing the right job If that blocks something you'd like to see happen, well, tough. This goes beyond issues to whether or not the House will follow the legislative process in the Constitution or will just do whatever they please.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Oct. 3, 2013 1:02 a.m.

    Dream on if you think the Dear Leader will compromise unless it gives him a distinct advantage and makes his critics look bad.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 3, 2013 12:51 a.m.

    But the Democrats already have compromised. They've agreed to lock the sequester cuts in place. They're not the ones who are throwing a temper tantrum trying to get legally enacted legislation changed. You don't negotiate with terrorists, and that's Ted Cruz and the Tea Party faction of the House have become. If President Obama and the Democrats yield to them, we may as well throw the Constitution out the window.

    Are the hardcore right-wingers really thinking through the implications of this? Of course they aren't, and from the looks of things, neither is the DN.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 12:28 a.m.

    I have no problem with repealing the medical devices tax, but for one thing. The Republicans will never agree to replace the lost revenue with anything else. So a vote to repeal the tax, is a vote for higher deficits.