Reading David Brooks this morning in the New York Times once again reinforced the need for moderates to join the partisan “networks” and coalitions. This column could have been written about Republicans or Democrats, but it worked out better this week to design it around Obama and the House Democrats. The bottom line is that there are extremists (partisans) and pragmatists (everyone else). Obviously, I didn’t start this blog to try to convince 75-80% of voters who are loyal to a party to vacate their beliefs for compromise with the Center. I am trying to find a place and voice for moderates/centrists in the day-to-day operations of Congress and our government. We’re really important every 4 years when we have to split the tie in the Presidential election. But then we disappear until the next national election.
Where I think (and hope) that Brooks is right is that there are “network” types in both parties that will support coalitions and workable solutions to our country’s problems. Coalitions can include moderates because the focus is on passing legislation, attempting public policy or offering ideas instead of “sending a message” to the other side.
Here’s a great quote from the article to support this: “You don’t have to abandon your principles to cut a deal. You just have to acknowledge that there are other people in the world and even a president doesn’t get to stamp his foot and have his way.”
Slowly I think the American people are getting fed up (those that are still paying attention) and politicians are responding- we need to start working together. Not because of some abstract concept of political utopia, but because it will be the only way to actually get something done. And attempting a partial, practical solution is better than winning the public relations battle over no action at all.