The defining element of politics is compromise. Compromise means different parties give up part of their demands. Compromise is finding agreement through addressing opposing issues and finding acceptable terms. Parties allow for tolerable variations of terms and positions.
There’s been a major tectonic fault widening the gap between the two political parties when it comes to developing compromises concerning governmental spending practices and fiscal responsibility. This is because some people involved are witless ideologues spouting artfully stylistic and rhetorical drivel representing their positions and goals. They stick to the party line like industrial Velcro ® and dare anybody to separate them from their foundation. This is true of the Democratic Party.
The Republican Party has shown all of the adhesive/cohesive qualities of watery oatmeal on a slanted Teflon® surface. None of the heretofore solid principles of conservative government seem to matter to the hierarchy of the Grand Old Party (GOP). They have their heads stuck so far up into the depths of their collective colonic regions they can see daylight behind the garbage being shoved down their throats. The GOP’s forgotten conservatism isn’t Progressive.
The GOP, led by John Boehner, decided they want to play slow-pitch softball politics: diplomacy if you prefer. Meanwhile Beaurat Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are pitching hardballs with a great deal of heat. John Boehner whimpers at the speed and accuracy of each slider, curve-ball and change-up Obama and his team send across the plate. The Democrats almost never allow a base on balls. Republicans no longer appear to have a set to use when it comes to negotiating.
The Republicans have a majority in the House. But they have a player/coach in Boehner not sure of his strengths anymore. He fidgets in his stance, he readjusts his grip on the bat, he’s skylarking when he takes the field and he just doesn’t seem to concentrate on the job at hand. He’s always preparing for the next inning while his team and conservative American people in the stands get their heads and butts handed to them at every turn.
Years ago a pro-ball player was taking an off-season class to complete his post-graduate degree. The instructor alluded to the idea that when a team’s performance was found wanting, a good coach would make changes in the line-up to bolster the strengths of the team. The instructor said if the changes didn’t do what was expected and the team stayed in the cellar with their win/loss ratio for too long or for multiple seasons, the coach would start firing and trading players until he got the roster right. When the instructor asked the pro-player if this was a correct analysis of the inner workings of the game the pro answered; “No. We normally find it easier and more efficient to fire the coach.”
The lesson to be learned is: each representative was chosen from their area based on the belief they brought specific talents to the team. They know how to play the game. They’re technically and tactically capable of winning the game on any particular day. It’s the leader, the coach (or Speaker of the House) who must shape the individuals into a cohesive, unified and organized team performing in a consistent manner to attain the mutually agreed upon goals of the team. He does this by learning and appreciating each player’s strengths.
John Boehner has lost this organizational ability. He keeps exerting his power inside the party without understanding each representative’s goals. He bullies his colleagues to maintain personal ideological beliefs maintain hierarchical “decorum”. Boehner believes his softball approach to dealing with Democrats while lashing his own team like an artic musher in the Iditarod Sled-dog Race is appropriate. It isn’t. It’s counterproductive.
Boehner sees himself as balanced and tolerant. Many in the party see him surrendering the party’s basic objectives and principles when negotiating. Compromise is frequently an agreement nobody happily accepts. Normally the parties feel they either gave away too much or that they received too little. Boehner’s bargaining away his strengths in favor of his self-affective posture as an effective congressional “statesman”.
The operational word is “effective”. Boehner isn’t.
Thanks for listening.