GOP considers compromise?

According to The Hill, Republican strategists are thinking about whether to take President Obama up on his offer of bi-partisanship. Some say, yes, let’s try. Others say, no, don’t.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has told colleagues and reporters that the GOP cannot simply be the “party of no,” but must work with Democrats to offer solutions to the nation’s problems.

Graham said that most of his colleagues agree, but he acknowledged “there are a few people who just want to say, ‘We’re not going to do anything this year.’ ”

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said Republican lawmakers could boost the GOP’s low ratings in generic ballot polls, which are below 50 percent, by working on legislative solutions. But he warned against supporting proposals that would expand government’s role significantly.

“They need to provide alternative solutions that are consistent with their principles, but that doesn’t mean crawling into bed with the liberals,” he said.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), among the most conservative members of the party, has urged colleagues not to abandon their principles for the sake of reform.

DeMint worries the White House will cherry-pick a few GOP centrists, rather than work with a broader group of Republicans.

“Right now their whole strategy just seems like they want to divide us,” DeMint said.

Senate Republicans are coalescing around what they believe should make up the basic parameters for healthcare reform: that it cannot add to the federal deficit, raise taxes or cut Medicare substantially.

House Republicans have also warmed to negotiating with Democrats, and like their Senate counterparts, have laid down strict ground rules.

66 comments Add your comment

joan

January 28th, 2010
12:19 pm

Republicans have proposed fixes to the health care bill, but Obama won’t even speak to them about them. There is no discussion about tort reform or interstate competition, both proposed by Republicans. Obama’s rhetoric about being bi-partisan, having open meetings, shutting down lobbyists, posting legislation for public scrutiny in advance of voting all ring hollow when reality kicks in. Did you hear Obama say our exports would double next year? It makes you wonder what he is smoking? How can our corporations compete in the world market when their tax rate is second highest in the world, and they are weighted down with union labor? Obama is through the Looking Glass.

El Jefe

January 28th, 2010
12:29 pm

The party of “no” here with regard to health care is the uber left – They have told the conservative voices to shut up and sit down.

While the conservatives have offered amendments, they have been repeatedly turned down.

joan

January 28th, 2010
12:31 pm

You can’t blame the Republicans for the lack of passage of the healthcare bill. The democrats control it all, and have all year. If Democrats weren’t so invested in bribery–a few million to Mississippi, a few billion saved to Nebraska and Union workers, maybe they could have herded these cats and gotten it done. Count on the Democrats to circle jerk every time, and then blame their lack of forward motion on Republicans.

Ivan

January 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

Hipocracy is getting old. He shuts out any one with a different approach and then says we need bi-partisanship.

“I don’t want the other side to do a lot of talkin….” – Obama

ctucker

January 28th, 2010
12:35 pm

Joan, I wonder what you were smoking when the president gave his speech. He said no such thing about doubling exports next year. He said, “So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years. . .”

sam

January 28th, 2010
12:42 pm

2=5 in Joan’s world…

The last Boy Scout

January 28th, 2010
12:44 pm

The President needs to sell his ideas to the people and THEY will get Repugs to buy in. If his Presidency is to show any progress and not be a happy thought in the minds of Millions he must sell HIS agenda to the American people. Stop begging the right for anything. They are bought and sold by the rich and powerful.

LJ

January 28th, 2010
12:49 pm

I love compromise- we need more of it.

The sad truth is that the Democrats couldn’t pass their health-care monstrosity despite having one of the most powerful majorities EVER. They had the ability to pass it without a single republican vote and it still did not get done.

All of the controversial things that Bush did in office were done with a much weaker majority than the Democrats enjoyed all year and will enjoy for 2010(until the November elections when they will pay dearly for turning their backs on America)

jconservative

January 28th, 2010
12:51 pm

The Senate Republicans now have 41 votes. If they insist on the 60 vote rule, then they control the Senate. Therefore, the Senate Republicans control the legislative agenda in Congress. Now everything that is done by Congress is on the backs of the Republicans. But only if they insist on the 60 vote rule.

Do they want the responsibility? Do they want to be the “default” group to blame? This will be interesting.

Mr. Nobody

January 28th, 2010
12:51 pm

Solve the nations problems…our problems are apparently only what our elected officials say they are…I never had a problem with my healthcare. You see, the reason that conservatives and dems don’t see eye to eye is because they have different definitions of “the problems”…For instance

Democrats: There’s over 40 million uninsured Americans…they all need coverage and the taxpayers should pay for it!

Conservative: Why is that my problem? Healthcare is not an entitlement for everyone…just like food is not an entitlement. Nobody in this country is ever denied emergency medical care.

Swami Dave

January 28th, 2010
12:52 pm

Where the President and Democrats propose legislation that does not promise benefits funded by increased taxes on America’s producers, add to our deficits as spending money that we do not have, and require fraudlent accounting gimmicks, he can expect a cooperative spirit.

Where he continues to propose collectivist and redistributionist schemes (like declaring “budget neutrality” for TEN YEARS by collecting taxes for 10 years and providing benefit for 6 – after which there would be a deficit explosion or touting “tax cuts” for those who do not pay income taxes funded on the backs of those who do), he can expect Conservatives to continue opposing his wrong-headed, historically-failed policies.

Just for the record, changes in HIS would be the most effective to improve the “tone” in Washington or building more trust or restraining the current culture of “perpetual campaigning”. Hypocrites and liars do not engender much trust from anyone except those shills who hold bias favoring the philosophies of lying and theft.

-SD

Robert

January 28th, 2010
1:02 pm

Cynthia, the title of this should have been “Obama considers compromise?” since he made the statement that the Republicans should get out of the way and not do a lot of talking. How does that sound for compromise, or even bipartisinship that Obama spoke of in his campaign and again last night in his State of the Union Address?

“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking…”

http :// www. youtube. com /watch ?v= jifjRVLVjzA (remove the spaces in the link)

emo

January 28th, 2010
1:16 pm

Republicans are considering compromise? I don’t think so. And next election Lindsey Graham will be just so much roadkill under the GOP bus if he keeps talking this way.

Blue

January 28th, 2010
1:29 pm

Robert; please don’t confuse her with any facts that don’t support her liberal matra. Thank you.

El Jefe

January 28th, 2010
1:32 pm

Oh, btw, a jobs bill = Stimulus II

The last one is a dismal failure, and so will the next – if we can afford it.

StevenCee

January 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

I think even the discussion amongst the GOP lawmakers points out the biggest obstacle to our nation moving forward. They are obviously more concerned with the political success of their PARTY, than the success of OUR COUNTRY!

So, they are going to lay down rules as to what each of their colleagues can discuss or debate with the Dems? It’s an “all or nothing” kind of approach, solely for the purpose of “not appearing” to agree with any “liberal values”, what unpatriotic hogwash! This is not a game we are playing, the nation is in a most precarious place, & real solutions need to be found.

Most of the memorable actions & legislation has come about when members of Congress or presidents did something counter to their &/or their party’s typical m.o. Whether it was Nixon opening relations with China, or LBJ pushing for the Civil Rights Bill, the quality they exhibited, political courage, unfortunately is quite lacking in today’s politicians…

emo

January 28th, 2010
1:33 pm

““But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking.”

So you admit the Republicans made the mess? That’s refreshing.

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
1:37 pm

The only time that the Republicans will make any effort at cooperating with the majority party, is if the clueless, fence jumping, disinterested, easily distracted by shiny objects, and generally uninformed so called, “Independent Voter”, starts to see through the solid wall of “NO” that they have erected to make the Obama Administration appear unable to rule. They are counting on the short attention span and non-committal nature of these people, to con them back over to the corporatist side of absurdity, voting once again against their own best interests, and only their defection back over to Obama, would have an effect of making the Right try to seem to be bi-partisan.

Ridgerunner

January 28th, 2010
1:41 pm

Compromising with a cancer is very dangerous. Best to cut it out and get rid of it if at all possible. My vote is chemo. until November 2012 – then surgery !!!

Turd Ferguson

January 28th, 2010
1:46 pm

The Reps should maintain the hard-line. This Hcare debacle is just that.

Robert

January 28th, 2010
1:46 pm

Emo @ 1:33,

I take it you were attempting to be funny. It didn’t work. That was Obama’s words, not mine.

But, just in case you didn’t know, the “mess” he was talking about can also be blamed on the Democrats, who have been controlling Congress and crafting budgets since 2006. He was technically part of that “mess”.

El Jefe

January 28th, 2010
1:55 pm

If Congress and this administration approached health care as the DOD did, you might get a better buy in from the American people.

The DOD did trials, prototype coverage, CHAMPUS, different forms of CHAMPUS and contracted with private insurers to handle the medical needs of the military and other eligible folks.

Each State should look into this program and see if it can be adapted for their needs.

Robert

January 28th, 2010
1:59 pm

Robert Littel,

Can you back up your words with facts? What exactly did the Republicans say “no” to that is a shocker to anyone? Asking a party to vote “yes” to something that is against the party’s core beliefs is making them out to be the bad guys? That would be like asking the democrats to vote on “yes” to ban all abortions. If they voted “no”, would we go on every news outlet declaring them to be the party of “NO”? It’s just a way to divert attention from the fact that their proposals were flawed to begin with and did not have the support of the majority of people. This has proven to be true. Polls show most think the stimulus bill was a waste and most believe the health care bills are terrible as well.

This talking point is getting old, just like blaming Bush.

Steve

January 28th, 2010
2:10 pm

CT- in all due respect, it took the US 12 years to double exports. Like it or not, and it appears you don’t, Joan is attempting to say that a lot of rhetoric with no substance. The President has laid out his axis of evil and it includes wall street and international companies. A little silly to read an esteemed journalist question a blogger by writing “what are you smoking”. Maybe a little rise above would be in order.

sam

January 28th, 2010
2:14 pm

steve, thanks for clarifying what joan was lying about…

Steve

January 28th, 2010
2:44 pm

Sam, I don’t consider Joan lying- a little emotional about a topic. Much less important than the President saying fuzzy feel good “stuff” with no substance. What is truly pathetic is high paid gov’t employees running around with no accountability as unemployment continues to grind higher.

Steve

January 28th, 2010
2:55 pm

I would tend to have confidence in Clinton (over either Bush or Obama) in an aggressive growth target for exports. Obama has tilted rather heavily to protectionism and just can’t seem to figure out out or understand the global tax structure.

ctucker

January 28th, 2010
2:59 pm

You make a great point, Steve. i should not have echoed her, “What has he been smoking line.” I apologize to Joan for that.

cmac

January 28th, 2010
3:07 pm

you gotta smoke something to watch obozo lie, lie, lie! Kinda like Chris Matthews & his vision problem!

emo

January 28th, 2010
3:36 pm

“But I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking.”

Sorry, Robert, I wasn’t kidding. After the Republicans have been whining about “He won’t listen to us” endlessly, when you quote President Obama (not ‘obozo’ – and do you think that mindlessness is amusing?) as saying the above quote, I can only assume you think he’s talking about you.

This is what I think

January 28th, 2010
3:39 pm

Chosing the healthcare I have vs. the proposed government healthcare is a no brainer! I want to keep my healthcare and I don’t want to pay for some lazy cheap person’s healthcare . . . if they wanted healthcare they, too could have it. I’ve a friend who has just been diagnosed with diabetes and her husband had a heart attack several years ago and neither had a problem getting healthcare . . . for less than what her employer healthcare is.

Robert

January 28th, 2010
3:47 pm

emo, I don’t think you are making your point. If in January 2009, straight out of the gate, Obama tells a group of Republicans that “I won” after they have some concerns about his stimulus bill (before it was signed and still open for change)…basically saying to them that they have no voice and will have to go along with whatever he wants, and then makes that statement about how they should get out of the way and stop talking, as it relates to the health care debate, then how does that make Republicans wrong in complaining about ow the Democrats won’t listen to them? Did the Democrats let the Republican’s health care bills even get debated on the floor?

The point is that government doesn’t work well when one party has a supermajority and can basically do whatever they want to do unchecked.

Jess

January 28th, 2010
3:48 pm

Compromise by definition requires two sides. So the question ” are democrats ready to compromise” is just as big an issue.

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
4:07 pm

Robert – If you think that a system where about 4000 people control 1/2 of all the wealth of the country, isn’t corrupted by the effort of so few to control so much, when they have the ability (wealth = power), then you are either totally gullible, totally insane, or willfully in on the con. Our entire political system has been turned into a theater of the absurd. It exists to service the few at the top and they have gone to great pains (and expense) to make sure the play proceeds as they have planned, without too much ad-libbing. To offer you the proof you demand, I would need to take you by the hand and lead you through the entire rise of corporatism, that began during the frenzy of wealth accumulation that occurred during the effort to supply the troops during the Civil War, and the rise of the deliberate effort by these people of great wealth to put in place the mechanisms to insure that their interests became synonymous with the perceived and constructed perceptions of our entire political system, our educational system, and our societal myths.

The dictatorship of wealth is already in place and was put there over time by manipulating everything from our banking system, to the very economic principles tauted as sacred and inviolate by the flawed falsehood called the free-market. Our economic principles were not laid down by wise sages who understood the good of free-enterprise, it was a cob-job, made up as we went along. Profits were the only concern, no matter how ill considered our policies were to extract resources and dispose of the waste, of a plan to extract as much wealth as possible as fast and efficiently as possible, with no concern for the devastation to the environment. To insure that the wealth of the elites could increase without interruption, the “Expanding Pie Theory” was invented. In theory,(and early practice) it works to give everyone more by giving them a lager slice of an increasing pie, so that everyone gets more and no one has to take any away from someone else to increase their relative amount, as every-one’s slice grows. This is the basis of our economic system and in an effort to feed it in a world of shrinking finite resources, it is necessary that the ruling elites (the “Uber-Class” as I call them) maintain as much control over all aspects of society so that the lower classes will, when called upon to do their “patriotic duty”, march their sons and daughters off do die in resource wars, to keep the pie growing in what can only be described as the largest and cruelest Ponzi scam on Earth.

Now that you are totally confused, it gets much worse and complicated, and unfortunately, this forum does not allow enough time to explore all the factors, nor will the attention span of the average American reader, who has already dropped off the page. The complexity is deliberate, allowing the very real conspiracy being carried out by the “Uber-Class” to consolidate their own position, to progress and go unrecognized by the masses. The entire system is doomed to failure unless radically altered and it is the radical nature of the solution that has grabbed the unimagination of the masses to feed their denial. The “Uber-Class” full well realizes what is going on and they have decided to run the system into the ground enriching themselves on the way, rather than face the hard facts the the world is no longer the candy store they have always believed it to be, even in the face of the sugar running out. They have taken the easy path, and are dragging the rest of us along, to be discarded as excess baggage when no longer needed. The sad fact is, that so little concern has been given to collateral damage being done, that the rampant greed and the allowed expansion of world population (customers) means that we, as a species, may not survive it at all as we choke the planet to death in an effort to extract the last bit of blood from it. The proof you want takes 10 years of higher education and a mind open to the fact Humanity is being used. I cannot give that to you here, sadly.

Robert

January 28th, 2010
4:18 pm

Robert Littel,

I am not going to respond to everything you said, because you said quite a lot. Overall though, I would say that I am not of the belief that the wealthy and the big corporations are as evil as some make them out to be. If it weren’t for the wealthy, we would have much less tax revenue. If it weren’t for the corporations who make a nice profit, I wouldn’t have a job. Basically, I agree with capitalism. It is what has made our country great, and is what will pull us out of our current problems…not enlarging the government pay rolls.

StJ

January 28th, 2010
4:31 pm

Let’s see…this bill was created behind closed doors (no R’s allowed, no transparency at all), never read by most of the people who voted for it, rushed through the Congress like the Polar Express, and any items offered by Republicans were dismissed without consideration. And let’s not forget the “bribes” used to get the holdouts to vote for it, after threats didn’t work. And the Republicans need to compromise?!?!

You can rest assured that this independent will never vote for another Democrat again. These people should be “staffing” a different government building….jail.

Lori in Decatur

January 28th, 2010
5:02 pm

For all those who keep repeating “behind closed doors” you expose yourself as Hannity and Limbaugh listeners who don’t actually read any facts….both Time and Newsweek had articles recently about how Obama has approached the Republican congressmen only to find they had already written their response to disagree with him, no matter what.

Let me say emphatically, you conservatives and short-memoried moderates do not represent me in your bitter statements. I consider myself independent with a Democratic leaning, voting for blue and red as I see relavent to the issues. I believe that Obama is trying to deliver on his campaign promises, which I voted for, and has compromised when he has had to because that is what gets things done, much like in business or a marriage.

Those provisions benefiting specific states, like Nebraska, which we know about because of Obama’s promise of transparency? They are a natural part of the legislative process.

“Every senator uses whatever leverage they have to help their states,” Mr. Axelrod said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “That’s the way it has been. That’s the way it will always be.”

Your loyalty to the Republican party is causing this country to stall! Stop listening to just Fox or talk show entertainers, and read some non-partisian reports. You will find YOU are part of the problem.
I am telling you this, for my family’s sake and so many others.

Michael

January 28th, 2010
5:10 pm

I thought I heard that interstate competition was in the House health care bill that passed. Maybe Cynthia knows about this, but I thought I heard a House member say it was last night. I also believe that considering there’s no public option in the Senate bill, it’s not like every GOP idea was thrown out.

Robert

January 28th, 2010
5:15 pm

Robert Littel,

You said this earlier about the Republicans: “They are counting on the short attention span and non-committal nature of these people, to con them back over to the corporatist side of absurdity, voting once again against their own best interests, and only their defection back over to Obama, would have an effect of making the Right try to seem to be bi-partisan.”

I wonder how you can say this, while ignoring the fact that the Democrats have been very good to those on the “corporatist side of absurdity” that you accuse only the republicans of doing. Your argument doesn’t hold water these days. Democrats have been very good to Wall Street, Banks, Auto companies, Big Pharma, Insurance companies, Unions…shall I go on? You should do a search on Goldman Sachs and Chris Dodd, or Geitner. Pick or choose either one and see what comes up.

When typing that, did you honestly not think about the back room deals recently made by Obama and the Democrats with these companies (overwhelmingly to the company’s advantage)? Who got shafted as a result? The average American is who. Hopefully we will not have to worry about this bill ever passing.

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
5:19 pm

Robert – You are content to only look at a small portion of a contrived reality, and have fit those parts of it you are comfortable with to your perceptions of reality. There is much more to the canvas and much of it is hidden in the shadows, deliberately.

joan

January 28th, 2010
5:19 pm

I see I erred, and said two years instead of five. I doubt if it makes any difference. I cannot imagine what on earth this country will be producing to sell twice as much of. Our corporations are highly taxed, products are expensive to produce, particularly when union labor is involved. How on earth will our exports double in 5 years–or even 10. Can Steve Jobs produce enough I-Products to fill the gap? And does he produce them in the US anyway?

Robert

January 28th, 2010
5:31 pm

Robert Littel,

It an unmitigating fact that the Democrats struck deals with large companies over the past year. You make a statement about things ( i assume you meant Republican deals?) are hidden in the shadows. That is a scape goat excuse when you have nothing to prove. Go ahead and keep believing it. When you come up with something concrete that is not a mysterious dealing hidden in the shadows, then we can talk. Besides, we are talking about current behavior of the party in power and while they did do some dirty dealings with the evil corporations behind closed doors, it is now known. They don’t even deny it.

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 28th, 2010
6:03 pm

Media alert: Cynthia to appear on the PBS NewsHour shortly.

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
6:58 pm

Robert – The whole system IS CORRUPT, with the Republicans wholly owned and the Democrats mostly owned by corporate interests. The Republicans don’t even try to hide it anymore, and why should they. The corporate owned Supreme Court just handed the government over to total corporate control. It doesn’t matter which party is in power because our entire government is nothing but a Potemkin fraud being played out in a theatrical performance to give the masses the illusion that we control things. IT, and by that, I mean the entire political system is in the pocket of about 4000 individuals, (”The Uber-Class”) that fully controls 1/2 of ALL the wealth in the country. What is it about the manipulation and control of power that you cannot, or will not, try to comprehend? “Absolute power (wealth), corrupts absolutely” and the current manifestation of this corruption is just more of the same type of control that occurred in France until 1789, but our “Uber-Class” has just learned how to not lose their heads.

Byron Mathison Kerr

January 28th, 2010
7:07 pm

To Robert Littel, January 28th, 2010, 4:07 pm:

It is unusual to see a blogger describe such a panoramic view of the forest in a venue that usually only scrutinizes the trees. But it is such a well-known fact that the bulk of all the wealth, power, and influence is in the hands of a very, very small minority. And it bewilders me that so few people seem to think in terms of that being a really huge problem. I suppose that which is too overwhelming tends to result in a kind of subconscious denial. Thanks for posting.

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
7:10 pm

Byron – It is just easier to deny the truth. When did a politician ever win office by promising that things will be getting worse and the fix will require sacrifice from everyone?

Michael H. Smith

January 28th, 2010
8:14 pm

“So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years. . .”

It would be nice if comrade Obumer actually could do that comrade Cynthia. Of course it is not totally beyond reason accomplishing such goal. Altho, his other statements surrounding Trade may be very difficult to achieve.

On subject just a bit more: DeMint may be out-foxing Demint. Me thinks he step into comrade Obumer ploy. Others fortunately are not so willing to be framed in a picture which comrade Obumer wishes the nation to see them: As the Party unwilling to come to the table, with the obstinate Sen. DeMint served political a la mode!

Not to help the not-so-good comrades out here, though among conservatives some might asks the good misguided Sen. DeMint which principles he is speaking of: Those exhibited by Republicans under Bush or those the Republicans exhibited under Reagan?

Reagan never walked away from talking to the enemy in the midst of a heated cold war and he never became a communist by do so from his conversations but he did help tear down that wall which divided a nation.

In fact, he had a “simple strategy” – not a “silent strategery” – want to hear Sen. DeMint?

We win.

Touche comrade Cynthia, til we joust again…

So What, Who Cares?

January 28th, 2010
8:34 pm

You are getting close to the truth Robert Littel, now ask yourself what is the predominant religion of the 4,000 rulers of AmeriKa.

Axo

January 28th, 2010
8:45 pm

How did all the Republican health care initiatives and proposals go unnoticed during the 12 years they controlled both houses of Congress and for 8 years the Presidency?

The only thing worse than the Dems complex convoluted Health Care Bills is the Repub’s devotion to the status quo and desire to kill any reform whatsoever.

Both parties eat from the same trough of corporate interests, but I give most Dems some credit for at least trying.

100% public financing of political campaigns is our only real shot at buying our politicians back!

Robert Littel

January 28th, 2010
8:59 pm

So What, Who Cares – Religion is just one of the tools used by the “Uber-Class” to control the masses, if not by identifying with the intransigent nature of fundamentalism and applying it to the simple slogans fed to cultivated political absolutists, gives teabagger types a simple unassailable (but stupid) rationale to support those who are working against their own interests, which they are too stupid to understand anyway. I don’t know if the Uber-Class subscribes to religion at all, in as much as you would be hard pressed to come up with anything that could be classified as a soul, even if you scraped them all to the bone.