We are quick to blame congress for gridlock and express our disgust at the recent congressional debt debacle. Yet when we look at who is really responsible many of us need look no further than the nearest mirror. If you supported candidates who promised to “clean up the mess in Washington,” who supported negotiations with the “other side” yet who were completely intransigent and unwilling to compromise, then you bear as much blame for the current mess as the representative(s) you supported.
Negotiation implies compromise (even if we don’t like it) and the “my way or the highway” attititude expressed by so many members of congress is completely unproductive. If they sense that their constituents want no compromise and inflexibility, that is what they, in their quest for re-election (their true top priority), will support. If they sense that their constituents want a functional government that can solve problems, even if they have to make some unpleasant compromises, then they will support that.
In government as in life, none of us gets all of what we want. If you truly want a functional government that works, then vote for candidates who have the maturity to work for that. But please don’t elect inflexible and intransigent candidates unwilling to compromise and then complain about congressional gridlock. It’s completely disingenuous.