Obama & Congress
Compromise & Consensus
Through the years, I have always been a supporter of reasonable compromise in order to see tasks accomplished. However, I have also realized that it is very important to be mindful that compromising has its limits; and to go further insures a very bad taste and may even insure disaster. If people compromise their principles, you wind up with the most fragile of agreements. You do so because if a person is willing to give up their principles for the sake of agreement, how can they be trusted to carry through with the bargain. The goal of compromise should be a win, win outcome with both sides compromising, and not simply an agreement.
Consensus, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to reach when involving more than just a few, reasonably like minded individuals. As Margaret Thatcher has said, “…consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.” If the outcome of a consensus negotiation concerning a particular project is something that no one feels particularly good or strongly about, then it is most certain to die on the vine because enough people will fail to put forth the effort to see it through. (Unless, the reality is that it is a one person show to begin with.)
So what are the parameters of negotiations when it comes to members of Congress doing the Peoples work? Are bipartisan agreements really good for the country? The way I see it, the answer depends on the process that is used.
I believe that three elements are required for this type of process:
One – All of the parties must be negotiating in good faith. They should be trying to reach an agreement that is fair and just, that accomplishes the task at hand without seeking political advantage. Compromise must come from all sides, allowing the parties walk away feeling that everyone has won something.
Two – The parties must not compromise their principles. This is where many of the hard feelings and disappointments come into play. When I see politicians negotiating and seemingly reaching some agreement that appears to sacrifice principles, I almost instantly question whether the sacrificing party is negotiating in good faith or if they had any principles to begin with. I have many times seen the work of Congress accomplished by politicians who hold the long view that implies that they will eventually have the opportunity to get many more bites at the apple and wind up the ultimate winner, blocking out the other side’s interests. (This appears to be the posture of the far left under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi.) If the politician, in reality, does not have any principles, then I suspect they are playing the political game of getting something accomplished and trusting that the public will not find out the details. Negotiating in good faith is the first element in the process.
A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
Three – The People’s principals must not be compromised. The people’s principles and interests are set forth in the founding documents of this Nation. The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Amendments to The Constitution are some the most important founding documents. It is absolutely critical that flawed politicians not be allowed to compromise any of the principles set forth in these documents because they are the foundation of America – it’s founding, it’s past, and it’s future. America will not survive if these principles are continuously whittled away at by self serving politicians, like some that we have today. (Pelosi and Reid come to mind.)
I hold with the convictions of President Lincoln when he said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Most importantly, when he proclaimed, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”
Our founding documents are America. They are the roots, the bark, the trunk, the branches, the leaves of America. They are the tree itself. The tree is America. They are not the tree’s shadow. “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln
Today, the shadow of America is the image that America has in the world community and which is held by many of its own people. It is the image that has been created by 24-7 news proclaiming that everything in America is bad and that America is the cause of all the ills of the world. This is a lie, the myth of propaganda, created by the world’s media and political leaders here and abroad that want to undermine this country so they can change America’s direction to suit their infinite wisdom. This is the shadow. It is the tree that is America; and America’s character is Good and Just.
“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Lincoln
So, can bipartisan negotiations in today’s Congress meet these standards of true compromise? I don’t think so.
President Woodrow Wilson, one of the founders of the original Progressive Movement, once declared, “Justly revered as our great Constitution is, it could be stripped off and thrown aside like a garment, and the nation would still stand forth in the living vestment of flesh and sinew, warm with the heart-blood of one people, ready to recreate constitutions and laws.”
President Wilson was and is wrong. Yes, we could possibly blunder through for a time, maybe even a few decades. But be warned, your freedoms would most assuredly be lost or greatly diminished. The government would be all that remains, trying disparately to sustain itself by your sweat and toil. It would be like someone taking an axe to the tree that is America; and with each swing, striking a blow at the Majesty that is America.
Obama’s idea of “Progressive Politics” is the just as dangerous. It is a path towards socialism that Senator Obama is proposing. Taking the profits of certain businesses to sustain the government and its power is an attack on individual liberty. “There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty,” Margaret Thatcher. Over-taxing and over regulating business are failed policies that have not worked in the past. In fact, they mostly do damage. They nearly always cost jobs and economic growth. No matter how good it may feel to tax a vilified corporation, the taxes and costs of over regulation are always passed on to the consumers and effect competitiveness. You and I are the consumers. Vilification is primarily a short term means to achieve power.
Senator Obama’s energy policies will also severely impact our economy. When asked about the high cost of gas, he said that he was primarily concerned by how fast it rose. The way to bring down gas and oil prices is to announce an intention to substantially increase supply. We need to dramatically increase drilling and exploration for oil. We need to be doing the alternatives and building nuclear power plants to meet our needs. The great majority of Americans clearly understand this. However, Sen. Obama in his arrogance knows best and we will continue to pay the price at the pump.
Additionally, Senator Obama’s supporters have been the most abusive, threatening, and hostile group towards opposition that I have ever witnessed or heard about. They have caused blogs opposing the Senator to be shut down. They have made threats of physical violence and death threats against people who oppose Obama. They have made threats against Hillary Clinton’s delegates. The actions of the people who follow a person, sometimes give a clear indication about the person they are following – consider Rev. Wright.
Senator Obama has been dancing on the head of a pin to hide his past and true beliefs from the American people. The media has stood with him every step of the way. They have failed to investigate his past. They have failed to investigate his role in the Rezko mess. They have failed to investigate Larry Sinclair’s allegations that he and Sen. Obama used cocaine and engaged in consensual gay sex in 1999. They only started reporting on John Edwards because they could not hide it any longer. The media have allowed him to get away with not producing the documentation that we need for a complete examination of his past and character. The media has allowed him to not produce a legitimate birth certificate, his writings in law school, his thesis, his Illinois bar application, his Illinois Senate records, his medical records, etc. etc. etc…. The media has also helped to downplay any and all past close associations that we have managed to discover.
The growth rings of the tree that represents a person’s character can be thought of as one’s past associations, the roles they play in one’s life, and the individual’s actions.
In 2004, not much was know about Senator Obama.
“….To that blank slate that was Obama in 2004 you can now add the Pandora’s box of Tony Rezko, Allison Davis, Alexi Giannoulias, Kwame Kilpatrick and a long list of members of the Illinois Combine; Nadhmi Auchi, Aiham Alsammarae, Rashid and Mona Khalidi, and Edward Said; Revs. Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks, and Otis Moss III and Father Michael Pfleger; Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam and the 1995 Million Man March; Malik Zulu Shabazz and the New Black Panther Party; William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Marilyn Katz, Carl Davidson, Mike Klonsky and others from the SDS days who are clinging to his coat tails; Jodi Evans; Hamas and other admirers like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Kim Jong-Il, and the Communist Party USA; and the list goes on.
Let’s not forget the ever-growing list of controversies: Rezko house and lot; lobbyists, bundlers, and overseas contributions; Odinga family and violence in Kenya; Soetero family and Muslim schooling in Indonesia; Dunham family in Kansas and Hawaii; and the mysteries of his birth certificate—is he Barry Soetero? Barack Obama Jr. or someone else and was his name ever legally changed?—and rumors about his possible dual or mixed citizenship…” The Real Barack Obama
Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
I believe the same about the people when voting for the President. “The great point is to bring them the real facts.” To date the media has failed miserably in this charge. If the American people do make the poor choice of Senator Obama, it will be the media’s responsibility; however, we will pay the consequences.
See the following blogs for more information about many of the issues mentioned above: