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Why should these Democrats show some legislative humility? Because the Democratic majority has been rejected by voters, and Democrats ought to behave that way.
All you needed to do to see the self-delusion was to watch Democrats appearing on TV over the weekend. On CNN, Reps. Jim McDermott (Wash.) and Elijah Cummings (Md.) sounded no different than they did before November. The same held for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
For House Democrats to act as if nothing changed on Nov. 2 is nuts. Totally nuts.
Of course, some on the right — Republicans such as Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and groups such as the Club for Growth — are also complaining about the deal and urging its defeat. At least they can claim that the election results demonstrated that voters agreed with their approach.
For too many ideologues, both on and off Capitol Hill, compromise is a dirty word, a sign that fundamental principles have been kicked to the curb. Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) recently refused to use the word during a “60 Minutes” interview.
But compromise is what government is and should be about. It was necessary to start this nation, and it is necessary to respond to the public’s day-to-day demands.
Not every Democrat will like the deal that the White House and Republicans have negotiated. But before House Democrats express their anger and outrage again, they might want to take another look at November’s election results and at their own responsibility for the compromise.
Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.