Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm SCREAMING "Danger Ahead"!

This is my third post with "Danger Ahead" in the title. Each communicating (I hope) with increasing volume that the GOP had better be very careful about pursuing compromise over healthcare reform with congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration. Yuval Levin over at "The Corner" on National Review Online makes a very important point about the nature of the differences on this issue between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.

He concludes with, "The difference between the Left and the Right is not a difference of degree, but of direction, and each side tends to think that moving even a little in the wrong direction is worse than doing nothing. That’s why a compromise won’t be so easy." I would go even further than Levin and insist that if clarity of thinking prevails, compromise will not only be difficult, it will be impossible.

Whether they meet with the other side or not, the Republican leadership must not allow the differences between the two parties to be framed as those between some who want a little and some who want a lot. If this were the case, then it would be easy to simply split the difference. But this is most definitely not that kind of dispute and, moreover, the stakes are far too high. A step in the wrong direction here would not be a compromise; it would not even be a misstep. Rather, it would signal retreat and surrender. The only sensible way of resolving a difference of this kind and of this magnitude is by winning. And for the first time in a long time, we just might be.

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