Republicans need to learn to compromise

How’s that for a headline. I’m sick and tired of Democrats deciding what the definition of compromise is. I hear lots of talk about compromise, and what I hear is NOT compromise.

Democrats’ definition of compromise is for Republicans to agree to Democrats’ plans and they’ll give in on a few amendments to call it “bipartisan”.

That’s not compromise.

For example, Democrats (and some Senate Republicans) in Richmond think that just by throwing some private insurers into the mix, Medicaid expansion suddenly becomes a “free-market welfare program”. That the press applauds it should tell every free-thinking Virginian what an oxymoron that term is. It’s right up there with the “revenue neutral tax increase.”

That’s not compromise.

THIS is a compromise.

Pass medicaid expansion and eliminate the corporate income tax.

Pass medicaid expansion and outlaw all abortions after 20 weeks.

Pass medicaid expansion and pass universal school choice.


If the Democrats want us to pass one of their major priorities, then the compromise should be that they have to pass one of ours.

As long as compromise only means adding some right-wing wrinkles to left wing laws, we should walk away until the Democrats put up something meaningful to trade.

  • There’s no compromise on this one though… no give by the Democrats could make up for the take that Obamacare expansion (and that’s what this is) would consume.

    • Wally Erb

      Political pundit issue filtering often result in partisan platform presentations. In the macro sense, those platforms are validated by the electorate which goes beyond the exclusiveness of partisans. In the case of the Commonwealth’s participation Medicare expansion, the majority will that was mandated by Commonwealth’s citizens this
      past November. Irrespective of our individual opinions and reasons,
      responsible citizenship is acceptance of the popular will exercised in
      leadership selection. To that end, Medicaid expansion was at the
      forefront in the past election cycle and in the end, those platforms
      supportive of such expansion prevailed. Moreover, the unwillingness of
      the legislature to budget for this mandated willingness is adverse to
      the majority and constitutes non-acceptance of our government for and by
      the people but hijacking by political party leadership. I had my
      vote(s). I now accept the results in which I participated; so should we

    • cargosquid

      Exactly. Math does not compromise. We CANNOT afford it.

  • This is a great point, BK.

  • Nick Bukowski

    While I’ve always hated the word “comprimse” when it comes to politics because it usually meant Republicans voting like Democrats and comprising their supposed principles to spend more of our money, I do actually like this article. I’m not sure I always agree with BK but I wholeheartedly agree with this characterization of what compromise Republicans settle for and what real compromise looks like. If the Republicans are going to cave on an issue, can they at least for the love of God get something we want in return? Thanks Brian.

  • Turtles Run

    Normally I do not like about VA in-state politics but in this case I will.

    I say go with this one: “Pass medicaid expansion and outlaw all abortions after 20 weeks.”

    Then let the courts rip it a new one.

    • David Obermark

      You were not allowed to choose just that one, Brian wants all of them before he was willing to compromise. He’d only compromise after he got 90% of what he wanted. Grin.

  • Brad Froman

    Brian, I think that is a very reasonable presentation. One can never please everybody, so if you find both sides have a pet issue, that most can agree would be a good thing for America, then vote them into law and start fixing the problems.

    We have wasted about ten years waiting for a reality check in government, but so far it hasn’t come. It hasn’t come because “compromise” is like kryptonite to the two parties. We now have irresistible force vs. immovable object.

    But here’s what’s going to happen. The rhetoric within 10 miles of the Capitol will get more and more heated as we get closer to election. However, those who live outside that radius in the rest of America, and who actually vote are going to re-elect 95% of Congress, just like they always do. And they will be the candidates who are like them, very partisan.

    Like you said, Brian, the plan for solving problems must involve compromise. Life can’t always be about winning every time. As long as you’re making good decisions for the people of America, you can’t lose.

    • Eugene Fisher

      As a Black Republican I do not vote to send republicans to compromise!

  • The premise of this article flies right out the window once you realize that even if Democrats caved on those big three issues, the Republicans still wouldn’t give in to Medicare expansion.

    • The premise of your comment flies out the window when you consider the fact that Republican Governors elsewhere have already expanded Medicaid.
      I’m sure Howell can scrounge enough votes to pass Medicaid Expansion, and he’d probably be happy to do it if he got something in return.

  • James Young

    Sadly, there are a lot of words that people don’t understand these days. Like the difference between compromise and surrender. Or the difference between tolerance and acceptance. Or marriage. Or equality.

    • Eugene Fisher

      Amen! And there is a lot of NVa delegates and establishment Republicans thinks surrender is compromising! Ie. immigration reform!

  • Delaney Blom

    There is a difference between wheeling and dealing in a quid pro quo manner, like the examples provided in the post, and compromise on a single issue (in this case, Medicaid expansion). Compromise on an issue happens when both sides of the aisle make concessions that shift them from their original positions.

    In this case, the original positions were that Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion and Democrats support it. The Watkins plan is a compromise position.

  • cargosquid

    Compromise means agreeing to do what Democrats want. It’s the same thing as “reasonable.”
    You see this also in gun control arguments. The very same usage and definitions of “compromise” and “reasonable.” THEY give up nothing…..just the fact that they aren’t asking for MORE is their idea of “reasonable compromise.”

  • Eugene Fisher

    I did not vote for my state delegate to go to Richmond and compromise!

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