Thursday, November 21, 2013

A history of compromise

In my political science class we had a discussion about compromise and most of the classmates who spoke said compromise is a good thing and said they desired for the parties to "work together" and "find the middle". Some compromises are better than others, and some are just plain rotten. I can pinpoint no compromise that was completely good, though there are some (like Kansas-Nebraska Act) are just plain rotten. Here is a list of the seekers of this very romantic concept:
  • The Great Compromise which created our bicameral congress made it so we have a congress that is hard to get things done, but is the best compromise on the list because it made it so the large and small states would stay together.
  • What was maybe the only good compromise in history was the Missouri Compromise under Madison, which stated that slave states had to enter along with free states which allowed the nation to grow and postponed the ending of slavery.
  • Millard Fillmore (our 13th President) compromised with the Kansas Nebraska group which historians agree (which is rare for historians to agree on an issue) helped make the civil war happen sooner.
  • The Compromise of 1877 aka "The Great Betrayal" removed troops from the south which allowed them to implement the first Jim Crow laws.
  • Franklin Roosevelt compromised in 1937 with Republicans to lower the deficit, but the private sector wasn't strong enough yet to support the jobs the government was supporting, so he quickly reversed course in the Second New Deal.
  • President Clinton compromised on DOMA trying to get other bills done, which never happened.
  • President Obama compromised on ACA which left it without a lot of teeth to fully reduce the cost of health care and delayed its implementation by 4 years after it passed. Some say this might be necessary, but the PATRIOT ACT (a much larger bill that expanded bureaucracy far more than ACA's original form was going to) was in full force just months after its implementation with an entire new department! The only remaining reason to delay it by 4 years is because it gave people time to doubt its implementation, put it after the Congressional and Presidential elections so that it gave the Republicans a chance to win (which failed for the Presidential election but did give Republicans the House, despite losing the popular vote last year for the house thanks to gerrymandering).
I oppose compromise as a policy intiative because if you are running for office and say you want to do something, you had better do it, or expect that people will not like you. Our greatest presidents in my opinion were Washington, Lincoln, both of the Roosevelts, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson (Andrew Johnson was a toad). The difference between these presidents and the presidents I listed above is they ran on a particular platform, and then worked towards their platform because all of them had the support of the American people. If you are an honest person and mean what you say you will do it. You won't walk into the German Bundestag and then reach over to the Neo-Nazi National Democratic Party and ask them what they want. They lost the election! The people chose your vision, you had better give it to them! If someone is an honest person they will do this, like the 8 presidents I list above. If Americans wanted the Republican vision of health care in 2008 we would have voted for Sarah Palin and John McCain, but we didn't. It was irresponsible and just plain rude for Obama and the other Democrats to then reach over to the Republicans and destroy their own bill that a majority of Americans had voted for in the previous election. They might have been able to retain the house in 2010 if they had actually stood by their platform, but instead of then stepping aside and giving into the insurance companies who have no interest in a stable reliable health care system they lost the election. Obama should have vetoed the NDAA in 2011 but he didn't. If something is right it should be done.

I respect the Republicans for one thing, and that is they stand by their word. If the Republicans state they want to privatize our schools, end Social Security, ship weapons to Israel, Iran, the Mujahideen, invade Grenada, veto the Americans with Disabilities Act, make it illegal for workers to organize, or put Habeas Corpus on hold you can believe they are going to do it, and for that I respect them. I don't trust their judgement as can be seen with the 2008 financial collapse, opposing bills meant to expand freedom etc, but I trust the Republicans will do what they say they are going to do given their history, I just think their platform is irresponsible and the wrong direction for a variety of reasons. But I do trust they will do what they say.

I have no respect for Mainstream Democrats, even though at times they make some good decisions like Obama talking to the President of Iran to reduce the tensions and bring Iran (which is one of only two ways to go over land from India to Europe, a geographic/economic position of unmatched importance) back to talk with Western nations so they can have freedom and the world can be better, the majority of the Democrats' decisions have been poor. Here is a list:
  1. President Obama has postponed a number of parts of the ACA over the past year, meaning it will be over 5 years since passage when it will come into effect. The insurance exchanges are only now coming into effect now, if the PATRIOT ACT came into effect it would have come into effect in 2004. The Supreme Court has granted access to people who challenge the ACA (apparently the GOP has standing) but has refused to grant access to challenges by civil rights groups on the PATRIOT ACT (who apparently have no standing even though the government is snooping in their records without independent warrants, and prisoners who have been given no habeas corpus even though last time I checked no enemy troops have been on American soil attacking us in a war for the past 12 years, meaning we haven't been invaded).
  2. President Obama has not made an honest attempt to repeal the PATRIOT ACT and has signed its re-authorization every single time. Obama is a conservative. The Terrorists won, the PATRIOT ACT is still in force. America will only defeat the Terrorists' motives when we reinstate our freedom.
  3. President Clinton caved to the Financial industry on deregulating Over-The-Counter Derivatives which allowed people to make dangerous trades that were a major part of the financial collapse in 2008.
This is why I have no respect for the Democratic Party as an institution and limited respect for President Obama. When a party wins an election, it has the ability to make its platform that the people chose become policy of the land but the Democrats haven't done this since the 1960s. President Carter attempted, but with the Republicans taking over Congress halfway through his term and being unable to convince the American people that it was foreign states increasing the price, not the American government, he couldn't do a lot else.

The one time the democrats really led was when they didn't compromise on the debt ceiling last month. Hopefully they will continue and get real progress done. I don't know what they will do next.

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