GOP must fall in line or move aside

Nyles Kendall

With unemployment hovering between 9 and 10 percent and the national debt mounting, the new majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives has not promised to lower the jobless rate or balance the budget.

Instead, the Republican Party has vowed not to compromise with Democrats.

Sarah Palin issued a warning to newly-elected and established Republicans last week. “”The GOP has to understand, that machine has to understand, we are not sending Republicans, common-sense conservatives, to D.C. to sing “”Kumbaya”” with Obama … we’ve got to remind these folks in the next couple of years, we put you in, we can take you out,”” the former half-term Alaskan governor said in an interview with Laura Ingraham.

“”The time to get along and go along is over,”” said Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the House Republican Conference. “”If I haven’t been clear enough yet, let me say again: no compromise.””

Even Michelle Malkin, the manic right-wing blogger and Fox News contributor, has chimed in, encouraging Democrats to “”take their olive branch and shove it.””

The Republican Party has made it clear that it has no intentions of working cooperatively, yet Democrats continue to insist they are open to negotiation.

President Barack Obama, in his post-election address to the nation, once again extended the olive branch to Republicans, only to have it doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.

In the wake of last Tuesday’s election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner both stated explicitly that their primary goal is not to reach bipartisan agreement but to limit Obama’s presidency to one term.

Republicans don’t want to hold hands and work together. They want this country’s president to fail so they can win.

Last week’s election was not a mandate for bipartisanship and should not be interpreted as such. It was a call for swift and decisive action from our elected officials.

The 111th Congress has done little to ameliorate current economic conditions. While Democrats and Republicans have quarreled, unemployment and home foreclosures have ballooned, the federal deficit has skyrocketed, and all the while corporate fat cats on Wall Street have been raking in huge profits.

The legislative gridlock and partisan bickering of the last two years must come to an end. If the Republican Party refuses to compromise, Democrats need to push their agenda through by any means necessary. They still remain in control of both the Senate and the presidency, which gives them the political leverage to ensure their policies prevail.

Concessions are now no longer an option. The GOP must either fall in line or move aside.

Republicans have made a science out of saying “”no,”” bringing new meaning to the word “”obstructionism.”” Their posture of opposition has simply been a means for gaining power; therefore, their obstinate resistance to compromise comes as no surprise.

What’s perplexing is a Democratic Party more willing to negotiate with Republicans than it is willing to stand up and fight for the fundamental change it promised to deliver.

The party’s naïve policy of bipartisanship has failed. Instead of extending the olive branch, Democrats should start swinging it when the other side refuses to cooperate.

— Nyles Kendall is a political science junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.