December 28, 2012

"So why is compromise so hard in the House?"

"Some commentators, especially liberals, attribute it to what they say is the irrationality of Republican members of Congress."
But the answer could be this instead: individual members of Congress are responding fairly rationally to their incentives. Most members of the House now come from hyperpartisan districts where they face essentially no threat of losing their seat to the other party. Instead, primary challenges, especially for Republicans, may be the more serious risk.

44 comments:

rhhardin said...

The compromise is no tax hike on anybody, is why.

Stupid economics should be stamped out even if it plays with the moron vote.

rhhardin said...

The next point of resistance is the debt ceiling, followed by impeachment.

Though logically the debt ceiling must go up by simple mathematics unless the budget is actually balanced.

The democrat counter is that the republicans get blamed owing to the caliber of the MSM audience.

Shouting Thomas said...

Can't get into crisis mode over this. Haven't even watched O'Reilly. I'm tired of crisis mode.

The Republicans are doing what their constituents sent them to Congress to do.

Obama is doing what his constituency wants him to do.

All is calm. All is bright.

It will turn out the way it turns out.

John said...

It would take about 2-seconds to find a lot of examples of compromise that House leadership has offered up. Please find examples of compromise offered by Obama as counterpoints... Please. I dare you. I double dare you.
When the democrats and their puppets in the media say compromise they are really saying capitulation.

Phil 3:14 said...

Good analysis of the divide but again the assumption that the solution lays with the Republicans. Why is it more troubling when a moderate/conservative Republican moves right to defeat a primary challenge and yet not-a-problem when someone like Nancy Pelosi has little reason to change her unpopular positions.

David Carlson said...
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David Carlson said...
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David Carlson said...

Why is this considered dysfunctional?

It is a feature, not a bug

MarkD said...

Compromise is giving me half of your money instead of all of it.

How about cutting some of those Federal Departments, deeply? My generation somehow got an education without a Federal Department to interfere in it.

Nobody is close to proposing a real compromise.



Tank said...

Silver has one good approach, another is the economic reality. What is rational about tax-punishing a small number of productive people while continuing to borrow 40% of every dollar we spend?

The Repubs should just keep saying no until the Dems show them the spending cuts.

As ST says, la la la, all is well.

The Drill SGT said...

compare the House GOP leadership to the DEM leadership, and then decide who is more extreme. Boehner is mainstream compared to Pelosi.

Robert Cook said...

In Praise of Obstinacy

Robert Cook said...

While you're over at Counterpunch, (those of you who bother), here's another article of interest:

America's Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff

Paul said...

House? What about the Senate? What about the Administration?

2/3s of the setup is now Democrat? Where is their compromise? WHERE IS TEH SENATE BUDGET THAT HAS NOT BEEN PASSED IN FOUR YEARS????

Shouting Thomas said...

No fucking way I'm going to read those loons, Cookie.

Birkel said...

Shorter Robert Cook:

President Obama is too "right wing".
Now nobody has to click his stupid first link.

As for the second link:
Math doesn't matter because Argentina and Greece prove no country ever suffers real consequences for profligacy. Also, you're racists.

Shouting Thomas said...

Also, you're racists.

That's always just taken for granted.

chickelit said...

Instead, primary challenges, especially for Republicans, may be the more serious risk.

Allan P. Sindler was a political analyst in the 1960s who specialized in the Old South and had a name for this: bifactionalism. Bifactionism existed wherever healthy bipartisanship did not, for example in a one-party state or a region or district safely under control of one party like the old Democratic South. I quoted some of him here and tried to apply his ideas it to modern California: link

Bruce Hayden said...

I like how the assumption is that the Republicans are the ones who can't compromise. Never mind that the goal posts have moved from some multiple of tax increases in spending cuts to spending cuts maybe next year but tax increases right now.

Obama has never really had to compromise, and why should he start now? After all, he won. But, of course, so did all those recalcitrant Republicans in the House. And, yes, the Senate hasn't provided a budget in 4 years.

Getting to the Senate, why can't it compromise? My suggestion is that it has exactly the same problem as the House, only maybe worse. What is never really mentioned is that Harry Reid is just as much a prisoner of his caucus as is John Boehner. He's had Chucky Schuemer lusting for his position for years now. The radical left out numbers the moderates in his caucus by a bit, with such whack jobs as Boxer, Feinstein, Murray, Schuemer, etc., with Fauxhauntus Warren soon to join them.

Lived through Reid's 2010 reelection campaign in Nevada, and know some people who know him well, and while generally has come across as a slimy politician for a long time (esp. in the view of my SO who has been to several of his fund raisers over the years), he isn't naturally nearly as liberal as his caucus. Couldn't be, and still grow up and get repeatedly reelected in Nevada.

The interesting thing though is that the Blue Dog Democrat in the Senate is really a thing of the past. There isn't really anyone left there who will cross the isle and vote with the Republicans on pretty much anything.

In any case, what is going to be more interesting to me that involves Senate dynamics is to see how Feinstein's proposed gun ban does there. Far more draconian than the Clinton era AWB, at a time when American sentiment has shifted away from gun control. Likely make any Senator voting for it from a mid-west, southern, or mountain west state unelectable. My guess is that Reid spends his political capital keeping it off the floor, unless he knows it will fail miserably, with a lot of those Dems voting against - since his own voters are some of the more zealous gun owners in the country (where else can you rent and shoot almost any machine gun made?) Reid has always been tight with the NRA, which is one reason why he keeps his seat.

bagoh20 said...

"Compromise" is what got us here in the first place. A "functioning" congress is the root of our problems. The fiscal cliff, as bad as it is, is better than what they do when they actually work on problems. They do their best work when they think they won;t be held to it. That's how the fiscal cliff reform was set up.

I say we need to return spending to Bill Clinton levels now that taxes will be there. Call it the "Clinton Bill".

Levi Starks said...

Why is compromise so hard in the WHITE house.

SteveR said...

No shit Sherlock, you have to read a genius like Silver in the NYT's to figure that out?

bagoh20 said...

Look people, we have a lot of dumb uninformed fellow citizens, some are very intelligent, but simply retarded by ideology or emotion. Now everyone is gonna pay for that. The dumb ones who created this are too dumb to notice or ever admit their mistake, so go for a hike, a road trip, watch some old movies from when dreams were real, and get used to a lower standard of living. But most of all be thankful for being born in the greediest generation because the ones following it are gonna be far worse off. You will be getting out just in time. You lived right at the peak. Woohooooo!

Long live Idiocracy!

Michael Haz said...
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Rusty said...

But there are still checks in the checkbook!

edutcher said...

Dictator Zero and Dingy Harry want to go over so the Republicans could just bend over and it wouldn't make a difference.

Who do these people think they're fooling?

The Drill SGT said...

compare the House GOP leadership to the DEM leadership, and then decide who is more extreme. Boehner is mainstream compared to Pelosi.

Or Harry, for that matter.

Robert Cook said...

"Obama has never really had to compromise...."

No, he hasn't...he just does it reflexively, unnecessarily, pre-emptively.

He's the best patsy the Republicans could possibly want.

Or, more accurately, he's working for the same paymasters as the Republicans.

Robert Cook said...

"Also, you're racists."

Birkel, where in either article I linked to do you find a passage which conveys the above accusation?

rehajm said...

Despite the moaning and whining, compromise isn't difficult in the House. The president's commission on compromise drafted a framework for compromise, but the president has chosen to ignore it. Instead, he demands a tax policy of raising marginal rates, unlimited spending authority, and more transfer payments to The State of Soon-to-be-Insolvent-California.

xnar said...

Checks & balances in action; system working as designed; liberals miffed at how representatives could be beholden to the people that voted for them.

Calls for compromise, say for example the way Obamacare was passed, are in ordder.

EMD said...

For once, I'd like a Republican (unlike Boehner) to come to a press conference and give a big f-u to the "journalists" on hand.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Constant crisis mode and compromise are the reasons we are in this mess now.

The GOP Reps were sent to Washington by their constituants. The GOP politicos made promises and they'd damned well better keep them. The usual mode of operation is:

1. Make promises, maybe even ones that they actually believe that they believe in.

2. Get to Washington with the best of intentions.

3. Find out that they are up against the corrupt good ole boy network. Be coerced to play the game as usual and to shit can their principles.

4. Shit can their principles and dig right into the trough up to their little piggy eyeballs. Screw the people back home. They are a bunch of idiots and what the heck to they know.

5. Go back for re-election and repeat the false promises. And they are right....the people ARE a bunch of idiots.

Unfortunately for "Boner" and the rest of the good ole boys, the new guys (some of them) seem to have been able to hold onto their principles.

damikesc said...

Why is the media acting like the Republicans haven't compromised quite a lot so far while the Dems have not done the same?

Henry said...

Good work by Silver, though it doesn't answer the question why the Senate is so useless.

Why is compromise so hard in the House?

I dunno. Why is governance so hard in the Senate?

Sam L. said...

Because it is impossible in the Senate, and Obama just refuses.

Sam L. said...

Say, not that I want to, but how would I delete my comment, should I want to?

machine said...

"The upshot of the ‘Plan B’ debacle is that Boehner can’t even deliver Republican votes for his bill, let alone Republican votes for a compromise between Boehner and President Obama. So Boehner simply can’t get anything done...but the House is refusing to function at all. Boehner has no control over the House GOP caucus. He’s reduced himself to a vote counter, a whip — and a pretty poor one at that."

Crunchy Frog said...

He’s reduced himself to a vote counter, a whip — and a pretty poor one at that.

The lasting effect of the Tea Party is now the GOP Representatives have something to deal with that they rarely did before: constituents that pay attention. Now, all those promises they make in order to get elected have to actually be followed, or they get primaried the next time around.

When Congresscritters fear their own voters more than party leadership, that's a feature, not a bug. Perhaps the folks on your side of the aisle might want to try it as well.

machine said...

and of course, to the GOP it is about fear...

Unknown said...

=====and of course, to the GOP it is about fear...

Good Boy! There's a self-identified low information voter!

We used to learn this in civics...

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Jefferson

http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/when-governments-fear-people-there-libertyquotation

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

Washington

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/government_is_not_reason-it_is_not_eloquence-it/10898.html

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.

Lincoln

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/abraham_lincoln.html#LBoHilPxrDe4K1y4.99

We should be asking ourselves why the Democrats are not afraid?

chickelit said...

We should be asking ourselves why the Democrats are not afraid?

Our elected Democrats are not even reading this; a better question is why the supporters of "he-can-do-wrong-Obama" are so smug.

chickelit said...

The supporters who are reading here that is.

Anthony said...

Compromise is hard because enough Republican voters have learned over the decades that "compromise" means the Democrats get 80% of the spending hikes they want while the Republicans get nothing.

hombre said...

The Republicans can either hold out for a tax increase on all taxpayers due to lack of compromise, or they can accede and vote "present" on a tax increase on 1 or 2% of the taxpayers and blame the Democrats when the economy tanks even further (for whatever reason).

Seems like a pretty easy strategic call for any astute politician, but they don't call Republicans "the stupid party" for nothing.