Open compromise

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We are hearing a lot about how the GOP will have to rethink its appeals on social issues because of the changing demographics of the country.

That may be true. However, I think the Republicans will have to change another aspect of their stance as well in order to have a chance in coming elections.

I think the majority of Americans see them, particularly the Republicans in the lower house, as the prime obstructionists to any actions to even attempt to resolve national problems. That is particularly true of the Tea Party hard-line stance of "no increase in taxes, even (or especially) for the very top income brackets." They may have managed to make "taxes" a dirty word -- as they have with "liberals" and some other terms -- but few voters will care that much about taxes applied to "the other guy," particularly when the other guy can easily afford it and still live as well as or better than "the middle class."

It will behoove the president to broadly and clearly publicize the exact terms of his compromise proposals -- and his reasons for rejection or acceptance of any counterproposals. The GOP should be equally open about its negotiations. That doesn't mean the media should be in on -- or part of -- the discussions, but the "minutes" of who offered what and responses should be announced and should be front-page news.

PHILIP SIDEL
Squirrel Hill


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