Republicans are widely expected to capture at least the House, and on the trail GOP candidates are vowing to shut down Washington if President Obama doesn't fall in line with their agenda. But "behind the scenes, key party members are talking a different game," says Naftali Bendavid in The Wall Street Journal. They want to show they can translate principles into action with spending cuts and other concrete legislation — and they privately recognize that they will have to cooperate with Democrats to make it happen. Which path should Republicans follow?
Compromising would be a huge mistake: "There are times when compromise is a good thing," says David Asman at Fox Business, but there is too much at stake right now. We are in the throes of an epic battle between the philosophy of big government and the philosophy of limited government, and it's pure "appeasement" to give in to the free-spending Obama crowd. "Those with weak knees won't be able to reverse the tide of big government" — Republicans need to stand firm.
"Don't lose your backbone"
The GOP has no choice but to work with Obama: It will doubtless be painful for conservatives to make concessions to people they've been insisting are "Marxist socialist Muslim communist fascist non-citizen Kenyans who hate America and want to see the terrorists win," says Bruce Maiman at Examiner.com. But that's what you have to do when, instead of devoting your time to filibustering and "throwing tantrums," you actually have to govern. It's bound to make the Tea Partiers mad, but that's politics.
"Tea Partiers betrayed? House Repubs weigh compromise with Dems after election"
The GOP will make people mad no matter what: Republicans have little room to maneuver, says Jane Sasseen in Yahoo! News. "If they don't use their new authority to work more constructively with the Democrats, they risk ire from the moderates and independents they'll need in 2012." But if they play ball, "they risk a sharp backlash" from a Tea Party crowd that had "only limited loyalty to the party in the first place." Taking the House is one thing; running it is another.
"Compromise on Capitol Hill: Is it really what Americans want?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- Does solar energy have a battery problem?
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be a moral internet citizen on the often-immoral internet
- 10 things you need to know today: September 22, 2014
Subscribe to the Week