Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What Republicans' Obstruction Costs Them - Jonathan Bernstein - Bloomberg View

Contrary to GOP conventional wisdom refusal to compromise - especially in a winner take all system like ours - hurts the obstructionists.  Their abolutism robs their party of victories.  Similarly voters on the far left shoot themselves in the foot.  Support for Ralph Nader yields George W. Bush.  Sanders diehards - who detest Hillary Clinton more viscerally than they despise Donald Trump - may accomplish the same sad result.  In a winner take all system power flows to the middle, not the edges.  That forces compromise.  Refusal to recognize that necessity yields isolation, anger, and defeat. - gwc
What Republicans' Obstruction Costs Them - Bloomberg View
by Jonathan Bernstein

...It isn't just that extreme obstruction is bad for the nation. It's bad for Republican-aligned groups, too. By shunning compromise, Republicans fail to use the leverage they have to win policy victories for those groups. They also, by demanding total victory and then having to accept total defeat, encourage unrealistic expectations among their constituents.

One result is that some Republicans even believe there has been too much cooperation with the Obama administration. If only the government had been shut down longer in 2013; if only Republicans had refused to accept the budget deals they have agreed to; if only they had blocked every single judicial and executive branch appointment. Then, these Republicans reason, they would have won more individual battles, and Obama’s popularity would have really tanked.

That Republican faction may well use this as an excuse if Hillary Clinton is elected. In that event, everyone expects more of the same: House and Senate Republicans will do whatever they can to oppose whatever she proposes, on big and small issues, even if a compromise might be available and in both parties' interests.

But what if that strategy is based on a wrong assumption about how U.S. politics works? Then Republicans are accepting all the costs of obstruction for mostly (or even entirely) fictional benefits.

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