With the election over, Republicans are arguing about whether they should address Democrats via compromise, or confrontation. Both have their places, but I have a different suggestion.
With the deficit and the debt ballooning, with the economy remaining in the tank, and with tough choices on the horizon, what Americans need more than anything is clarity about what those choices involve, about who is making them, and about who is avoiding them.
Sometimes clarity will mean confrontation.
Republicans need to live up to their promise of an Obamacare repeal. Democrats will then be forced to join them, or vote against repeal. That will produce clarity on who stands for what, in time for the next elections.
If it passes Congress, Obama will be forced to veto or acquiesce. That will produce clarity, too.
Likewise on topics like taxes, the debt limit and other pressing issues. Often when Washington insiders talk “compromise,” they really mean engineering a situation where nobody really has to take a position, or responsibility. In those circumstances, clarity is better served by forcing positions into the open, even if doing so involves confrontation.
Sometimes, of course, compromises can bring clarity — when it’s clear what’s being given up, and what’s gained in exchange. Generally speaking, though, the Washington approach is to pretend that there’s a free lunch, rather than to acknowledge the trade-offs.
This must change. Voters deserve to know the truth, and a compromise that won’t work if voters know the truth isn’t really a compromise at all, but a con.
As Glenn would say, read it all!
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more thoughts