Compromise in Washington shouldn't be a dirty word
The Kansas City Star
Congressional gridlock is dead. Long live constructive bipartisanship in our nation’s capital.
Well, that’s not reality — yet. But it’s encouraging that President Barack Obama and other leaders in Washington are talking more about shared sacrifices needed to deal with the country’s real priorities.
They include working together to reduce the deficit and reform entitlements by making sound compromises that cut spending and raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
During his press conference Wednesday, Obama discussed a letter he’d received from a Tennessee man who hadn’t voted for him but nevertheless wanted the president to put aside party and personal differences, and stop doing business as usual. “I couldn’t say it better myself,” Obama told reporters. “That’s precisely what I intend to do.”
Just hours earlier Democrat Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues she would run to remain the House minority leader. One goal, she said, is to promote “a healthy political climate.” Part of that goal should be involving new voices in Congress in key roles on crucial issues.
As Pelosi also noted, Congress will have more women members than ever. That could be a positive development if they’re able to reset some longheld priorities in Washington to help balance the budget.
The upcoming battles, especially to resolve “fiscal cliff” issues, will test the mettle of Obama and Congress. The debates will be pitched and emotional. But they can be achieved with respect across the aisles.
Just this week, U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, and Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, received the Consensus Civility Award from the local nonprofit. It’s a deserved honor.
Yet just appearing together isn’t enough. Cleaver, Yoder and others with different political viewpoints also need to make compromises and start voting with each other to effectively deal with this nation’s many challenges.