Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ryan-Brooks debate

At about the 36:48 mark Rep. Paul Ryan has a great quote:
Compromise is a good long as you're compromising in the right direction and fulfilling one of your principles. I'll take an inch rather than a mile if I'm getting an inch in the right direction. But I don't want to take an inch backwards.
This is exactly right and explains why Republicans were well advised to resist any sort of compromise with Democrats on high profile issues such as health care reform or the stimulus package. While Republicans perhaps could have extracted a few concessions and improved the final result by some marginal amount, they would have been compromising in the wrong direction. It would have been little more than a granting of their imprimatur to fearsome expansions of government power and spending and violation of the principles they claim to stand for.

It often makes sense to take half a loaf and be satisfied, but there is no point in handing your opponents a filet mignon.

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