In Case You’ve Missed Us…

Dear Friends of the Rowdy Crowd:

If you’ve been wondering where we’ve been for the past two weeks, I can assure you we’ve not been a part of the government shutdown. Nor, as some have suggested, was I sequestered as a juror in the Casey Anthony murder trial. (One of us did, indeed, serve on the O.J. criminal trial back in 1995 but his name shall remain anonymous. 😉 OK, MK?)

The truth is our trusted hosting site WordPress.com was having a bit of a hiccup when it came to allowing new posts on TSRC. We were assured it had nothing to do with the quality of material found here regularly but was – how did they put it? – Just One of Those Things.

Please also know that we did think about you, about each and every one of you. That’s because Austin presented the rest of us with a scheme to charge each of you what he called “micro-payments” to read our posts. He’s such a dreamer. Loveland then answered perhaps we should pay each of you for making this blog one of daily discussion, debate and delight.

So, thanks for waiting for us. Thanks for being there. Take care and carry one.

-The Mgmt

The Ground Zero of Gridlock

Founding Dads, gasp, "compromising."
Representative democracy is designed to produce compromise. All of those inefficient checks and balances the Founding Fathers built into their Rube Goldberg policymaking machinery means that no single political party or branch of government has autocratic power. That forces branch and party leaders to negotiate and find mutually disagreeable middle ground.

In other words, to the Founding Fathers, compromise wasn’t considered a disease. It was a cure.

Admittedly, compromise isn’t very cathartic for zealots. In sports they say “a tie is like kissing your sister,” and a compromise is a tie of sorts. House Speaker Kurt Zellers would probably rather be kissing his sister right now than compromising with Governor Dayton, and vice versa.

But as frustrating as compromise can be, we have done well with our maddening compromise model. The Constitution – the document the compromise-hating Tea Partiers love to nag us about — was a negotiated compromise that left many of its endorsers disappointed. Almost all major legislative achievements in the nation’s history – the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, the creation of Medicare, the creation of the Interstate Highway system, the “Minnesota Miracle” — were the product of bipartisan, bicameral compromise.

But compromise we did, and it helped us move the country forward and avoid the kind of violent upheaval experienced by others around the world. How remarkably grown up of us.

So what happened? If Minnesotans and Americans have successfully compromised through gritted teeth throughout our history, why does it now seem almost impossible to achieve now?

Whatever the reason, “compromise” has become a bad, bad word, especially among conservatives. According to a Pew Research Survey, 71% of Liberal Democrats agree that “lawmakers should be more willing to compromise, even if that results in a budget they disagree with.” At the same time, only 26% of Republicans who support the Tea Party agree with the need to compromise and be disappointed. The more conservative Americans are, the less willing they are to compromise.
Continue reading “The Ground Zero of Gridlock”