Most of the patriots I know who serve as the life-blood of the Republican Grassroots movement in Virginia, will never compromise with the Republican Establishment in this State. I can’t think of a single argument I could use to coax them toward compromise. Every compromise they’ve ever made has backfired and blown up in their face. They’ve been lied to, often. They’ve been smeared, often. They’ve seen none of the promises made to them fulfilled in Washington DC or Richmond.
That said (and I hope that was clear enough), I am open to real compromise and cross-faction diplomacy. Now, I know that Eric Canter and Linwood Cobb, Goodlatte, Rigell, and Wittman will never sit at this mythological table that I’m about to imagine. They are a part of the McConnell-Boehner mindset, which believes conservatives, libertarians, and constitutionalists ought to be “crushed”, using McConnell’s language. But, I have witnessed acts of compromise achieve success.
Now, it is important to understand something fundamentally true about compromise. Compromise can achieve a success, but never victory. The grassroots conservatives should never compromise and go home happy. Compromise exists to stave off utter disaster and defeat. You don’t become friends with the people who’s stubborn inefficiency forced your hand in the first place. That notwithstanding, compromise has its’ place.
Newt Gingrich compromised with everyone. Democrats and Republicans, grassroots and establishment. He had a very specific set of goals he wanted to achieve and was willing to compromise on battles in order to win the war. Big picture? Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House was successful in waging his war against Bill Clinton and against an out of control spending addiction. In fact, Newt Gingrich is responsible for making President Clinton’s tenure as President look comparatively successful, when nestled beside the numbers of President George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama. Newt Gingrich was a vicious Parliamentarian, unlike those soft, empty-suits currently running this supposedly Republican Congress.
I’ve never seen so many do so little, as I’ve seen from this “Republican” Congress.
Now, in Virginia, as I reach out and get to know the movers and shakers, I’ve discovered that, maybe, the only establishment boss willing to compromise with the Grassroots is Ed Gillespie. Now, I don’t trust him, but I can respect the fact that he isn’t motived by the same crush-the-TEA-Party sentiment that has infected Boehner and McConnell. So, let’s imagine what battles we could win and what battles we’d be willing to lose in a compromised Virginian Republican Party.
I’m not going to lay down a platform or a list, but I want to focus on what we ought to demand – what could we win that we would be willing to lose elsewhere on?
I ask you, the grassroots, what three things do you want, more than anything else, that you’d be willing to compromise on?
The real war between conservatives and establishment revolves around spending, taxes, and debt. They are all co-mingled. What if, a magnificently unlikely if, there was room to negotiate on spending, taxes, and debt. What if the elected officials in Virginia were willing to go after spending and tax cuts, what would the conservative grassroots be willing to give up in return? And what if some establishment Republican like Ed Gillespie, did stand up, dismiss the big money interests, and offer a compromise?
I’m not buying into the idea that we ever see Gruber and Cobb, Brat and Cantor, on stage together somewhere. But I am wondering if somehow the Republican Party could find some way to cut spending, taxes, and debt, and still satisfy the “we’ve got to demonstrate that we can govern” establishment types out there.
I don’t know.
Maybe this really is all out war and progress will be impossible until one side decisively defeats the other. I have simply heard some things about Gillespie that reminds me of Gingrich, and winning some battles and controlling the war is better than losing all the battles and losing the war – so I’m kind of thinking out loud here.
If it is all out war we’re dealing with, then we need to get qualified candidates to defeat everyone that stands in our way. We’ve got to raise money and defeat the wealthy elite with both dollars and votes. I’m comfortable with that if that is where we are at; but if it isn’t and if there is a way to better Virginia by working together, then maybe that is something worth considering as well. I understand that the word “compromise” is a bad word and that our guttural reaction is to stomp our feet and protest; but how can it be something we refuse to consider, if and when, such opportunities might arise? I’m not talking about letting anyone off the hook – but rather, actually experiencing what we all desire – less spending, fewer taxes, a reduction of debt, and a streamlining of our regulatory services. Wistful thinking, this is; not wishful thinking. There is a difference.
I recognize that in writing this, I may be taking the temperature of the grassroots in the thick-glass old fashioned way, and I apologize for the discomfort; but I am honestly looking for data and honesty.
Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker