Washington Matters


Compromise vs. Bipartisanship, Obama and Business, GOP Overconfidence

Mark Willen

Some political food for thought on a winter weekend.



As you get ready for the Super Bowl, wait for Sarah Palin’s Tea Party keynote address Saturday night or get snowed in by the major storm moving up the East Coast, you can while away any empty hours by pondering some smart commentary in the blogosphere on politics, economics and more.

Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post gets at the heart of the bipartisanship problem. He points out the real problem is that Washington has lost the art of compromise. In a column that many will find depressing, he explains why progress on important issues may be impossible without an election tsunami that sweeps out members of both political parties.

Almost unnoticed in the hubbub over bipartisanship are signs that the White House and the business community are trying to mend their frayed ties. The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib highlights an exchange of letters between Obama and Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There are still many issues on which they lack any common ground (taxes, climate change), but both sides seem to want to work together when they can.

As pundits warn Democrats of a shellacking come November, longtime nonpartisan analyst Stu Rothenberg says Republicans need to be careful about getting overconfident. Along the same lines, Woodrow Wilson International Center scholar Aaron David Miller warns against counting President Obama out just yet.

And on the other side of the equation, Politico has several articles suggesting Democratic divisions are a growing problem. Eamon Jeavers and Victoria McGrane point out that moderates are starting to rebel against Obama’s moves to the center.




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