Chuck Muth: It’s time Republicans demand real compromise from left during Legislature
Here’s why Republicans in Carson City absolutely, positively shouldn’t “compromise” with Democrats this legislative session, at least not as they have in the past.“By definition, compromise is a settlement of differences with mutual concessions being made by both parties,” writes former California Republican state Sen. Bill Richardson in his book titled “Confrontational Politics.” “This is how the dictionary defines the word. Both sides give up something.“But this is not how the leftists compromise. They will ask for 100 percent then give in a little on their outlandish demands when opposition becomes formidable. They may call it compromise, but what are they giving up? Absolutely nothing!”Richardson continues: “Are they relinquishing control or perhaps abandoning some other established bureaucracy in order to negotiate in good faith? Never. They relinquish nothing while insisting we compromise away a piece of our freedom.“When we object, they have the unmitigated gall to say we’re not reasonable. When we strenuously resist, they call us names — extreme, right-wing, ultra-conservative and worse. Unfortunately, we react angrily, instead of calmly insisting they put something of equal or greater value on the table.“We must stop using the term ‘compromise’ when confronting the left,” Richardson concludes. “It should not be part of our vocabulary when dealing with the left unless we ask the question, ‘What are you putting on the table in exchange?’ The time has come for us to start asking for the abolition of certain government agencies. Then, if we must, we can ‘compromise’ and see only half of them disappear — this year.”This pattern of something-for-nothing capitulation is painfully true about Republicans everywhere, but especially in Carson City.Indeed, Gov. Brian Sandoval famously betrayed his promise to voters not to extend the “temporary” tax hikes in 2011 and got table scraps back in return. Worse, he did it again a year ago, announcing his intent to extend the tax hikes again this year … and got absolutely nothing in return. Unconditional surrender.For breaking his word and selling out on the tax hike issue, did Nevadans get real reform to government employee health and retirement benefits? No. Construction defect reform? No. Collective bargaining reform? No. Prevailing wage reform? No. School vouchers? No.Nothing. Nada. Bupkis.No wonder the left loves “compromise” so much!As governor of California, Ronald Reagan once said, “If I can get 70 percent of what I want from a legislature controlled by the opposition, I’ll take my chances on getting the other 30 when they see how well it works.”Republicans in Carson City rarely even get 7 percent, let alone 70! They don’t get half a loaf; they get bread crumbs and gruel. “Please sir, I want some more.” Will 2013 be different? Don’t bet on it.• Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com and blogs at MuthsTruths.com.