With all the hoo-ha over the agreement between Pres. Obama and the Republican leadership over the tax bill, it seems like a good time to review a couple of things.
First, here is Swift’s Seventh Law of Politics:
Nothing is easier than to criticize someone else’s compromise.
Secondly, it is worth reviewing the comments on the topic of one George Bernard Shaw who, as well as being a writer, social commentator, playwright, etc., was very active politically. He said this upon the occasion of Joseph Burgess resigning from Parliament rather than support a measure he thought imperfect.
When I think of my own character, smirched with compromise, rotted with opportunism, mildewed by expediency, dragged through the mud of borough council and battersea election, stretched out of shape with wire-pulling, putrefied by permeation, worn out by 25 years pushing to gain an inch here or straining to stem a backrush, I do think Joe might have put up with just a speck or two on those white robes of his for the sake of the millions of poor devils who cannot afford any character at all because they have no friend in Parliament. Oh, these moral dandies, these spiritual toffs, these superior persons. Who is Joe anyhow that he should not risk his soul occasionally like the rest of us?
It is well worth remembering that this nation was founded on Compromise. Without compromise the 13 colonies would never have formed a union. Later, because we could not compromise, we fought a bitter, bloody civil war. In fact, if we ever get to a stage where we abolish compromise we will also abolish Democracy. We cannot have a nation that permits wide and open debate and broad differences of opinion and not have a means of coming to solutions that let us solve our problems and move ahead as a nation. It is worth a “speck or two on those white robes.” It is far better than blood.