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What happens to a political centrist when there is no center?

President Donald Trump greeting Sen. Susan Collins
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump greeting Sen. Susan Collins during a signing ceremony for the "Know the Lowest Price Act" at the White House in Washington on October 10.

I don’t know if there’s much of a “center” remaining in U.S. politics. But if there is, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine personifies it.

For most of the last two years, with a 51-49 partisan divide in the Senate, Collins and a couple of others (Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia come to mind) held the balance on many of the issues that divide our deeply divided country.

But there is not always a middle position. So I found it interesting to see what happened to Collins’ approval ratings after a recent instance of a vote on which there was no middle, specifically the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.

Collins voted aye. It was, in some ways, the key swing vote. Her 43-minute Senate floor statement explaining how she planned to vote was rambling and not particularly coherent. (Feel free to watch it here, but it will drive you a little crazy.) She insisted that she wasn’t voting the Republican party line and has supported many nominees chosen by presidents of both parties. But it amounted to an effort to search for middle ground when there was no middle ground.

According to Morning Consult, which polled on Collins’ approval rating before and after the vote, Collins support among Republicans rocketed up 21 points, from 47 to 68 percent; her approval among Democrats plummeted 25 points, from 56 to 31; and her approval among independents dropped 15 points, from 56 to 41. Overall, her net approval rating dropped by 9 percentage points.

Remember, this was not a poll asking Mainers whether they agreed with Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh, but asking for their overall feelings about Collins, who has represented them since 1996 and has been re-elected three times including, most recently, in 2014, by 68 to 32 percent.

This enormous shift may blow over. The partisan divide over Kavanaugh was deeper than any previous Supreme Court nomination ever. Collins has two years left in her current term. She’ll be 68 when her term ends. I suppose she could retire. It will be interesting to see if her approval rating recovers.

But Collins remains among the most centrist of senators. The question is whether there exists much of a center.

Comments (46)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/09/2018 - 09:04 am.

    “The center does not hold”

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/09/2018 - 09:21 am.

    The GOP, just like Trump, McConnell, and Ryan, no longer has a moral core. The GOP even reelected two, Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, who are under federal indictment. The GOP has been reduced to hate speech, immorality, and condemnation without any proof. As far as the GOP goes freedom of speech and freedom of the press don’t exist anymore. The GOP congress has turned their equal power over to Trump because they fear him. You have to love the wisdom of the GOP who at a recent Trump rally was chanting 4 more years, 4 more years. I guess they don’t want him to complete a second term either. Mr. Mueller is about to have a lot to say, with proof, about Trump’s future.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 10:51 pm.

      Tom, apparently you missed the Texas Democrat that won while sitting in prison/jail. People in glass houses… you shouldn’t rant about GOP morals when so many Democrats have been indicted etc as well. Remember, the only 2 Presidents ever impeached were both Democrats.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/10/2018 - 10:04 am.

        Neither of whom was convicted.
        More Republican political games.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 11/10/2018 - 10:05 am.

        Knowing the current Republican Party you have not changed my mind. Maybe Mr. Mueller and the Southern District of New York Court will?

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/12/2018 - 08:59 am.

        And to clarify:

        The imprisoned Texas DEM ran unopposed: A strong indicator of possible reelection success: It’s the GOP’s fault to not offer an alternative.

        And there are around 7400 state legislators in the US and 435 members of congress: to equate the two is misleading.

  3. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 11/09/2018 - 10:52 am.

    I rejoice that the Senator from Maine is a believer in “evidence.”

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/09/2018 - 10:59 am.

    The “center” was always an incoherent illusion. “Centrism” has always represented a drift towards right wing extremism and Collin’s is simply displaying that.

    The “center” of American Politics dissolved decades ago when the Democrats decided to no longer be a liberal Party. I think it’s way past high time that erstwhile “centrists” give up their fantasy’s and illusions. Centrism was a toxic fantasy that eventually put Donald Trump in the White House. I’m not sure why anyone would even lament the “loss” of centrism in the first place? By driving us into an unsustainable and toxic right wing political landscape “centrism” itself became it’s own form of extremism. Moderation didn’t lead to polarization… this moderation was never really “moderation” to begin with.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 10:57 pm.

      Paul, you seem to have some bias there. By today’s standards, JFK would be at least a Centrist. Centrism doesn’t always mean moving to the extreme right… it also means moving to the extreme left. Democrats have moved far to the left .. so far that an avowed Socialist had a very good run at winning the Democrat Party nomination in 2016.

      I’m still waiting for anyone here to actually define what they mean by “extreme right:”. By almost any measure, Trump is pretty much the same as Obama when it comes to major policies. He hasn’t cut any spending. He’s increased defense spending just like Obama did. He’s kept all the same wars. He didn’t repeal ACA nor has he done anything to actually fix healthcare (more govt isn’t the fix). He’s running a huge deficit, like Obama did. I’m not really sure why you people dislike him so much. He did give you a tax cut and he may have even gotten some better deals in trades for us which is a good thing.

      • Submitted by George Kimball on 11/10/2018 - 08:50 am.

        So many ridiculous claims, but now I see the commenter is nothing more than a conservative contrarian so probably not worth responding. Yet I will. Obama didn’t run a huge debt. He did what he could do reduce the ANNUAL deficit, and succeeded dramatically. Trump is doing the opposite in increasing the annual deficit, even with both houses of Congress in his pocket.

        I must have missed the 2016 presidential election as apparently I missed that “an avowed Socialist” almost got the nomination. I DID think that one candidate did compare himself to FDR and espoused a economic and governing philosophy that he termed “democratic socialism” – but missed the part where he labeled himself an actual Socialist. Maybe the commentator I’m replying to isn’t able to grasp the huge difference. That’s fine.

        That candidate said, “So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.

        Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.

        Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.
        “In my view, it’s time we had democratic socialism for working families, not just Wall Street, billionaires and large corporations. It means that we should not be providing welfare for corporations, huge tax breaks for the very rich, or trade policies which boost corporate profits as workers lose their jobs. It means that we create a government that works for all of us, not just powerful special interests. It means that economic rights must be an essential part of what America stands for.

        It means that health care should be a right of all people, not a privilege. This is not a radical idea. It exists in every other major country on earth. Not just Denmark, Sweden or Finland. It exists in Canada, France, Germany and Taiwan.”

        And to even start comparing Obama to Trump in ANY way is so laughable that any intelligent reader would disregard such commentary.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/12/2018 - 09:01 am.

        “By today’s standards, JFK would be at least a Centrist.”

        We’l never know, will we? By the standards of the times he lived in, JFK was no centrist. Is there any reason to think that, were he alive today, his policy decisions would be the same as they were in the early 60s?

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/09/2018 - 11:19 am.

    Why is Sen. Collins name even mentioned in this article? The headline indicates this is supposed to be about centrists.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 11:02 pm.

      She’s about as far to the left as you’re going to find in a Republican in Congress today. She’s pretty much a centrist if there ever was one.

  6. Submitted by David Moseman on 11/09/2018 - 11:44 am.

    Do we need a center or a way thru the mess? Could the polarization of our politics be the result that we have lost our way? One explanation of Trump’s election is that he gave voice to long held and rarely expressed views. His core supporters had long been the 50% that don’t vote. They were angry at being the putdown and the brunt of jokes. They let their anger out.

    I see similar anger on the Left and Right. Anger is often an expression of frustration. There are many things in 21st Century life that can leave one frustrated. IF Tom Freedman is to be believed the pace of technology has outstripped the ability of most to keep up. Global Corporations demand trade deals that leave local workers unemployed and unemployable. Those whose schooling left them unable to adapt and retrain are treated as trash.

    My contacts on the Right hold a belief that America Should be a version of the past. Yet, the left seems intent on denying that Dream. The Left has only Dreams of Doom. Environmentalist get depressed and keep releasing further reports that if we don’t make major changes we will all FRY! These proposed changes would displace more of the American Dream.

    I also see this frustration with a lack of direction and options in the recent spate of mass shootings. These are the acts of persons steeped in violence who now have no supports. Like a toddler collapsing in a tantrum they find a group to shoot it out on. They are not afraid to die, but like the suicidal they see no other options.

    America and even the World need a Dream for the 21st Century. What would MLK dream of today?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/09/2018 - 12:15 pm.

      The frustration you’re correctly noting is a direct results of “centrism”. The primary function of centrism is to preserve a disfunctional status-quo. It’s fundamentally irrational to assume that the best course of action always lays between two other positions. This assumes that there is no correct or incorrect direction and that all solutions are in-and-of themselves equally flawed.

      Centrism essentially functions as a firewall against effective leadership by blocking effective policy. Hence the stagnation, gridlock, and other sundry characteristics of our political landscape.

      Of course it almost goes without saying that most problem with centrism has always been the illusional “center” itself, those who claim to be in the center are never really in the center, they’re just in their own comfort zone. It looks to me like Eric is trying to tell us that Republicans like Collins and McCain are centrists… simply because they voted against repealing Obamacare. THAT’S a pretty low bar for centrism.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 11:09 pm.

        The only “effective policy” is getting rid of government and letting free markets work. That is the single biggest problem on the planet today. Governments always grow in power, control, violence etc. As people are left with less and less freedom and less wealth, they have nothing left to lose so you end up with a lot of violence and a lot of poor people.

        The US is the very last bastion of freedom left on Earth. And that is eroding quite rapidly as we now have many demanding Socialism if not outright Communism here. The rampant spying on citizens, the virtual police state we live in… it’s only going to get worse as both parties continue to seize power and create more poor people with their deficit spending.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 08:52 am.

          Yeah, I mean look at how great Somalia turned out to be. And how wonderful it is to live in Bangladesh.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/12/2018 - 09:11 am.

          So you are saying you have no examples of your ideology actually working, just that you really think it would if we did. Hmm…

          And that about sums up our political dilemma: loud voices on the far ends of the political spectrum saying:

          “We’re right, you’re wrong, don’t try to confuse me with facts, my mind is made up”

          Knowing and accepting fact is the basis for debate leading to reasoned compromise. And reasoned compromise will produce the best decision if for no other reason than it has the largest proportion of initial support possible.

          Trump is the all time peak of a fact free Presidency, no possibility of reasoned compromise and only the one way direction of a guy who lost the popular vote by 3m people.

  7. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/09/2018 - 12:01 pm.

    The center is an interesting concept. It typically reminds me of the old adage: “If the only tool in your tool box is a hammer all your problems will be nails!” That in my mind is a definition of the far left and the far right. They are unable to get good solutions that benefit both sides because they lack the tools. In Collins case, she knew she was making a bad decision, and deserting her principles, that or face the wrath of Lord Voldetrump!

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/09/2018 - 12:20 pm.

      Yet another toxic effect of centrism is it can only survive on the premise of false equivalency. Centrism HAS to pretend that no one actually has a good idea or a workable solution. They have to pretend this in order to avoid the obvious conclusion that centrism is ALWAYS promoting the worse or the least effective solution or policy, if not simply denying that effective solutions and policies even exist.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/09/2018 - 06:02 pm.

      Excellent, Dennis! Lord Voldetrump conveys exactly the malicious selfishness evident in both the movie(s) from which the name sprang, and the Current Occupant who displays the same tendencies.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 11:13 pm.

      Collins made the right decision.. based on the evidence presented. Not a single piece of evidence showed Kavanaugh to have done anything that was claimed. Not a single witness backed up Ford’s claims. 2 of the women have admitted lying.. at least one of which has been referred to the DOJ for possible indictment. And now we find out another man says he was the one at the party with Ford and that they were sharing a mutual kiss when a friend jumped on the bed. I haven’t even gotten into Feinstein withholding possible evidence of a crime by not turning the letter over to the FBI for 2+ months. At the very least, that should have gotten her stripped of all committees and booted from the Senate.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/10/2018 - 10:08 am.

        If I were a conspiratorial type, I’d say that Ford was a Republican setup.
        There was plenty of evidence — of Kavanaugh’s strongly partisan political background. Without the sexual distractions that would have doomed his nomination.
        Of course, right now he’s looking like another David Souter; he may in fact be a good replacement for Justice Kennedy.

  8. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 11/09/2018 - 01:06 pm.

    What is the centrist position between moral and immoral?

  9. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 11/09/2018 - 02:34 pm.

    The center is where we used to go to move forward. Now the center is no man’s land. Susan Collins made it no women’s land as well. Now it is a wasteland.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 11/09/2018 - 08:30 pm.

      We shouldn’t be overly nostalgic for the days – the 90’s and 00’s when centrists had more sway. Those were the days of earmarks to the tune of billions per year. Anybody want those days back?

      Prior to Obama and Boehner ‘temporarily’ banning earmarks in 2011 (the ban has never been lifted) there was a record $1.7 B in earmarks to for profit companies in 2009 alone.

      I’d much rather have honest disagreement in the sunlight than back room deals by ‘centrists’ voting for each other’s pork projects

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 09:16 am.

      No, the “center” never produced any progress or forward motion. We’ve seen every single problem from climate change, to health care, to equal rights stall and roll backwards during the reign of the “centrists”. Sure, we’ve seen technological advances, but our stalled infrastructure and energy policies have limited even THAT progress compared to other developed nations.

      Centrism was never more than a comfort zone for the affluent and privileged who saw no need for dramatic change and little or no need for immediate incremental change.

  10. Submitted by John Evans on 11/09/2018 - 02:34 pm.

    You must concede that at least to some extent, the “center” has always been a fantasy-land promoted by mass-advertisers and the journalists whose job is to provide a advertisers a mass-audience.

    Centrists shuffle their feet on the imagined middle territory between true and false on an iceberg drifting in a warming sea. They tend to be very passive-aggressive.

    People with real opposing positions can often negotiate trade-offs, where Centrists can only vacillate. Centrist journalists can only reconcile conflicting versions of reality by distorting the idea of reality itself.

  11. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/09/2018 - 06:13 pm.

    For what little it’s worth, I’m inclined to think of the “center” as “conservative,” as I learned the term originally in my youth. People who today call themselves “conservative” are generally not, since the definition of “conservative” that I learned had to do with adopting or working toward gradual change – progress in the slow lane. Most of those that I read and listen to who call themselves “conservative” are generally not that at all, but are “reactionary,” meaning they’re most interested in returning to a past era when the society seemed more understandable (or benefited them more directly, or was more subject to their control). There’s nothing “conservative” about wanting to abandon the century in which we live in order to return to the 19th century, or in the case of some on the far right, to the 16th century.

    My understanding of “centrists” is that they’re content – not exactly satisfied, but willing to live with – half-measures. When two steps are needed to address some social problem, they’ll settle for one, and accept a measure of progress that doesn’t actually **solve** the problem, but does ameliorate some of the problem’s most egregious consequences.

    What happens to a “centrist” when the “center” disappears? The “centrists” themselves, eventually, disappear as well. In a less inflammatory era, they might return, but I’m not holding my breath, waiting for that event.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/09/2018 - 06:50 pm.

      ‘Conservative’ in the traditional sense means not changing things unless there is a clearly demonstrated need.
      Rolling things back to the 1890’s (or to Genghis Khan) is not conservative; it’s reactionary.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 09:07 am.

        Exactly, and convincing centrist that there IS a need can be near impossible. Centrists have a tendency to throw the term: “pipe dream” around a lot.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 11/09/2018 - 11:19 pm.

      Exactly what policies would make you think anyone wants to return to the 19th or 16th Century? I see the problem of a lot of people making claims like this that simply aren’t true. It’s all hyperbole used to make a false narrative.

      My understanding of a Centrist would be someone who sides with the left’s ideas sometimes and sides with the right’s ideas at other times Basically a fence sitter.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 09:04 am.

        Bob, your own declaration that the sensible policy is to dismantle government is a roll back of the 20th century. You would have us dismantle the New Deal and all of it’s subsequent safety nets. The EPA, the Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act etc., all to be erased. Minimum Wage, financial regulation, voting rights, and Medicare and Medicaid all to be scrapped. The essence of the Conservative project is to erase the 20th Century. Rush Limbaugh has even complained about the fact that women are “allowed” to vote. And of course there’s the constant assault on Roe v. Wade and 20th Century concepts of privacy.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/10/2018 - 10:10 am.

        Reactionary is returning to the days of the robber barons, when banks and large corporations were unchecked.
        Pure capitalism is unstable — it leads to monopolies which do not benefit most people.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 09:37 am.

      “In a less inflammatory era, they might return, but I’m not holding my breath, waiting for that event.”

      I’m actually celebrating the demise of “centrism” and hope it never comes back. The era of inequality, incompetent leadership, and perpetual manufactured crises was never sustainable. Centrism was never an antidote to polarization but rather a catalyst of polarization. Centrists lived in a bubble of comfort and complacency for decades while tens of millions of American suffered increasingly dire circumstances with no hope of relief. Desperation, fear, and suffering drive people into polarized mentalities and “centrists” were simply incapable of recognizing the desperation and suffering around them. Don’t you remember all the journalists who couldn’t figure out why people were so angry? Because EVERYTHING was going so well in the nation? As if the Great Recession had never happened?

  12. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/10/2018 - 09:16 am.

    A simple observation: Why can there be only solutions on the left, or solutions on the right, but not from the center? Talk about not being able to think creatively or out of the box! Got 200+ TV channel choices but only 2 political choices for 330 some odd million people? Seems the either or folks don’t like it when you don’t subscribe to their either or club, and suggest that you then suffer from some type of mental deficiency. .

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/10/2018 - 05:49 pm.

      “Why can there be only solutions on the left, or solutions on the right, but not from the center? ”

      The question is actually incoherent. Real solutions to problem aren’t a function of their location on a manufactured political continuum. The best solution is the best solution because its the best solution, not because it’s a liberal or centrist solution. This isn’t pin the tale on the “solution” donkey. If you tell someone you want to go to Chicago and ask for directions, and one person tells you head West, and another tells you to go East… you don’t get to Chicago by driving to Duluth. Splitting the difference between East and West may be a “centrist” solution, but only one direction will get you to Chicago… without having to cross a couple oceans at any rate.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/12/2018 - 01:49 pm.

        You know Eric, seems its OK for some guys to get lots of voice and critique others, but vice a versa, is silenced, purposely or not, an acute observation.

  13. Submitted by Dave Carlson on 11/10/2018 - 11:33 pm.

    I would personally love to see the adoption of many of the “left” policies such as environmental protection and social justice and women’s reproductive freedom and a fair tax system… and a government that balances out the excesses of uncontrolled free market capitalism. BUT, being that we seem to be so seriously and hopelessly divided in this country, I think there is some merit in a compromising position at times. For instance, instead of implementing a gas tax OR funding from bonds or the general budget for transportation projects, what about a little of each so we actually do get some needed funding? I do not necessarily see “centrist” as an absolute label for someone, just an occasional middle ground where two sides may come together.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/12/2018 - 09:49 am.

      Just a couple observations David:

      What you’re describing is: “compromise”. Compromise isn’t a legitimate position on the political spectrum, it’s one possible resolution when two or more courses of action are under consideration.

      Compromise may be the most expedient resolution in a given situation but it’s rarely the best solution or course of action, and frequently it fails to solve problems. Consider for instance the “compromise” of cutting a child in half when parentage is in dispute. Or in one of your examples, a compromise that yields a fraction of the necessary funding for infrastructure. “Some” money isn’t actually a solution, this is why we’ve seen our transportation infrastructure degrade and collapse over the decades… it’s not we’re spending NO money at ALL on infrastructure. In the long run compromise more often than not actually yields failure.

      The problem with “centrists” is they declare that “compromise” is the ONLY and BEST solution to all problems. When compromise becomes the objective and goal, rather than a temporary agreement in lieu of progress, the practical effect is to remove all of the best and most effective solutions from the table. It becomes a celebration of mediocrity and failed policy.

      The other problem with compromise is that it’s effectiveness depends on who’s doing the compromising. With centrist, the compromise or “center” always lays between where we are, and where the “right” is. Obamacare for instance isn’t a compromise between single payer and managed markets. Obamacare is a compromise between the kind of managed market neoliberals wanted and the “free” market Republicans wanted. And in many respects the compromise of Obamacare has obviously failed since health care is STILL the biggest concern voters are identifying. Of course the problem with THIS kind of compromise is that once done, all subsequent “compromises” are nothing more than re-working the original failed compromise, which usually just pushes you closer to failure and worsening conditions. You get more money for roads than transit but your bridges start collapsing anyways.

      Finally, these compromises some liberals and centrists are so fond of look a lot more attractive from within a certain bubble of comfort and affluence than they do outside that bubble. You may “like” so see a little “reform” around the edges, but millions of Americans NEED real change, and they needed it decades ago. Millions of American’s NEED affordable health care, and end to sexual violence and exploitation, racial profiling, and affordable housing. Not to be too dramatic but when you’re dying from an asthma attack in a tent affordable housing, health care, and living wages aren’t just something you’d “like” to see but can live without for now. (This actually happened by the way, I’m not making-up an example).

      No one is saying we should never compromise, but compromise itself is an incoherent political ideology that has clearly failed our nation. I’m not being dramatic when I point out that our compromises have literally been killing American’s (and others) for decades. When compromise (i.e. centrism) becomes a rationale for failed and ineffective policies it’s no longer an expedient or practical resolution.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 11/12/2018 - 11:20 am.

        Which is why I will defer to “reasoned compromise”. We can call “compromise” splitting the baby: Reasoned compromise implies that there are facts that are known and these facts can be added to by research and study. If one side can point to 70% of the facts favoring their preferred path and the other side with 30% of the facts, a “reasoned compromise” would produce a decision that reflects elements of both with a bias towards a preponderance of the facts.

        A little thought experiment:
        Take our congressional leaders and send them to a week long retreat on “issue X”. Feed them a big opening meal and then announce: Sorry to say that you all have just ingested a poison that will be fatal in 1 weeks time. Fortunately, we have an antidote and it will be distributed as soon as you reach a reasoned compromise on “issue X” that you will support and defend with all your energy. I guarantee a compromise will be achieved and we can move on to “issue Y”.

        30 Year debates on healthcare and immigration are propagated and maintained solely on their ability to keep lobbyists employed and politicians re-elected.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/12/2018 - 07:06 pm.

          I think “reasoned” compromise might be a distinction in search of a difference. Most people don’t sign off on any compromise that they think is unreasonable to begin with… and most compromises are sold as the most reasonable alternative no matter how bad they are.

          Again, I’m not saying no one should ever compromise but as a matter of basic logic- 70% of an effective solution is usually a failure. If you need $100 to buy a lifesaving medication, and all you have is $70, you don’t get the medication and you won’t likely brag about the compromise that prevented you from getting it. The problem with our political compromises over the last several decades is that essentially we’ve just been agreeing to fail. Those failures have been hurting millions of American’s in multiple ways.

          We HAVE senior citizens and others who don’t get the $100 (100%) they need for their medication. They have to choose between buying food and renewing a prescription, so they cut their pills in half or space out the dosage putting their health and lives at risk. You can call THAT a “reasonable” compromise if you want but don’t expect to brag about the accomplishment.

          And yes, politicians rarely if ever have to suffer the consequences of their compromises. They always get the $100.

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 11/16/2018 - 02:21 pm.

            As before, how does one know that they have the solution and that it is pertinent to all the populous? Divine inspiration? It seems that some folks believe no solution (unless it is my solution) is better than any solution, i.e. (I, we, have all the answers) just ask us!

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