Only the Vanquished Pursue Compromise

The Washington Post offers advice to Republicans on how they can emerge as winners in the looming budget shutdown fracas. True to form, the Post asserts that the GOP must conform to certain realities that (gasp!) spring from an ever evolving ancient document.

The U.S. Constitution is designed to promote compromise. If both parties are in control of branches of government, neither side can forever insist on nonnegotiable demands.

These two sentences betray the Post's false premises.

First of all, the Constitution is not designed to generate "compromise." It is designed to promote either confident action, or (more commonly) resolute stalemate.

Second of all, the Constitution does not presume the existence of political parties. So it is astonishing that the Post makes an assumption that our governance must be guided by partisan compromise, and that compromise of principle is presupposed.

Only the vanquished pursue compromise.

John Peeples