Political Animal


May 09, 2012 3:05 PM Do It Our Way

By Ed Kilgore

Many years ago, I worked in a governor’s office in which the chief of staff, a notorious tough guy (who later switched parties and became a prominent Republican campaign strategist), had a sign on his desk that read: “Let’s Compromise…Do It My Way.”

I thought of that sign today when I listened to Richard Mourdock answer Chuck Todd’s question about Sen. Lugar’s pious hope that his vanquisher would learn the value of bipartisanship by saying (via Think Progress):

I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If we [win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.

By that logic, of course, Republicans should have come to the Democratic “point of view” when Democrats won the House, Senate and White House in 2008. But then Democrats basically thought they were pursuing a rational, practical agenda for addressing the country’s problems, not redeeming a divinely ordained plan to return to the constitutional structure, political economy, and culture of the early 1930s. Guys like Mourdock do not imagine that politics is a game where you choose up sides and play by a uniform set of rules. If he makes it to the Senate, and Republicans win a majority there, I’m sure he’ll be the very first to say the filibuster has to go.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • bigtuna on May 09, 2012 3:18 PM:

    If you take a look at Mourdoch's background, this "take no prisioners' aprroach should be chilling. His private sector experience is with Big Coal and Big Oil, so just think of what his views of "policy" and "government" will be if he gets to the senate - - ie, "Our way" = the run amok corporatist world view that brought us 2008 crisis, etc etc etc.

  • CharlieM on May 09, 2012 3:18 PM:

    Rest assured that if Republicans win the senate, the super majority requirement now required to pass anything out of the senate will go the way of clean air and Tuna - just a faint memory by this time next year.

  • stormskies on May 09, 2012 3:22 PM:

    Mourdoch, and all those like him called Repiglicans, are nothing more that 'brown shirts' goosestepping their way to FASCISM.

  • bdop4 on May 09, 2012 3:39 PM:

    Hopefully, his Democratic opponent has the sense to use these quotes and beat him over the head with it (rhetorically, of course).

  • idiot_devil_advocate on May 09, 2012 3:55 PM:

    Let's suppose that Republicans do take control of the Senate and get rid of the filibuster. Is this not something the Democrats should have done at the beginning of the current Congress? Just wondering.....

  • HelpThe99ers on May 09, 2012 3:58 PM:

    This has been the GOP's definition of "compromise" since Inauguration Day (if not before):


  • djs04f on May 09, 2012 4:11 PM:

    I agree with IDA. Assuming they don't get rid of elections period (perhaps a big assumption?), eventually the Democrats would regain office once enough people got tired of whatever the Republicans were doing... hey there's only two options on the ballot, who else are you going to vote for? And then the filibuster would be gone for both parties and true majorities could rule... and voters could clearly tell which party caused things to happen/not happen and assign blame accordingly. The current system allows too much mushiness to properly assign blame... it's currently how President Obama is getting blamed for being unable to stop Republicans from not allowing the economy to be fixed.

  • zandru on May 09, 2012 4:32 PM:

    I think Democrats nationwide ought to be quoting Senator Morlock's statement on "bipartisanship" and asking voters if that's how they see it.

    For years, compromise and bipartisanship have been jokingly referred to as doing whatever Republicans want, in both Republican AND Democratic circles. The only ones oblivious to this have been the "Liberal Media" (another increasingly un-funny joke.)

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let Republicans choke on the Morlock's words.

  • jim filyaw on May 09, 2012 5:25 PM:

    if, god forbid, the repubs do take over the senate, i for one sincerely hope they do get rid of the procedural roadblocks they've used to confound obama's agenda. maybe things will finally get so bad the democrats will begin to accept that you don't bring a switchblade to a gunfight.

  • dalloway on May 09, 2012 5:26 PM:

    Doesn't the ad just write itself? "Compromise? Richard Mourdock doesn't know the meaning of the word."

  • gdb on May 09, 2012 6:14 PM:

    jim. If Repubs take over the Senate you can bet your booties they'll get rid of the filibuster. If the Dems had done so in 2009, as many Progressives advocated, we'd be looking at a VERY different political picture today. In fact,until the Dems elect leaders who can stand up to intractable opposition and advocate and support effective Progressive policies, the US will move further and further to the right. BHO and Reed are not two such leaders. Not re-electing them might well do short term harm-- but longer (2 year) term good as a loss in November will almost certainly enable/force the Dems to change their policies and leaders.

  • Doug on May 09, 2012 9:01 PM:

    re gdb @ 6:14 PM:
    I've often considered your posts to be the product of an immature and unintelligent mind. Your latest post does nothing to contradict that impression. Do you even READ what you type? Apparently you want Democrats to act as arrogantly and irresponsibly as the Republicans. Why?
    To change the filibuster rules at this time would require a two-thirds majority vote and the votes aren't there. However, as you state, the filibuster rules COULD have been changed at the start of the session of Congress and a change in the rules at that time only required fifty-one votes. You put the failure to change the rules in the Democrats' favor as being "spineless". I put it down to having a "just regard for the opinions of mankind". The Senate has ALWAYS been the chamber where the rights of speech and debate AMONG EQUALS have been paramount. Now, because a minority abuses some of those rights, YOU want to "prevent" that abuse by abolishing those rights. Talk about a "no-win" situation
    And anyway, what ever gave you the idea there were fifty-one votes for changing the rules in the first place? Or do you believe that the Senate Majority Leader is All-Powerful? In the Senate, anyway. You know, just as President Obama is All-Powerful and COULD do all those things YOU want him to if only he weren't such a wuss?
    YOU may think Reed(sic) is spineless, but then, YOUR statements haven't exactly stood the test of believability. Or have YOU forgotten that more liberal legislation has been passed by the Senate under Harry Reid than at any time since the New Deal? If something isn't done about changing the filibuster rules, I tend to imagine Majority Leader Reid has a very good reason for for his in/actions. YOUR reasons for littering the internet with such a piece of dangerous drivel are beyond my imaginings.

  • mudwall jackson on May 09, 2012 10:43 PM:

    gdb on May 09, 2012 6:14 PM:

    "jim. If Repubs take over the Senate you can bet your booties they'll get rid of the filibuster. "

    who the hell knows, but my guess is that they won't for one reason: ego. eliminating the filibuster would seriously reduce the power and influence of the individual senator, whether they be republican or democrat. they may care about the party agenda, but they care about themselves even more.

  • boatboy_srq on May 10, 2012 8:38 AM:

    At last we have two pages from the GOP Newspeak dictionary.

    First we had "compromise: v. To require acceptance of one's position or demands from another (ex We will be able to resolve the budget difficulties when Democrats compromise with us on entitlement spending.); To acquiesce to the demands of another; n. the arrangement reached through either of the above actions which satisfies the requirements of the less flexible and more demanding of the two parties."

    Now we have "bipartisan: adj. A condition whereby two different parties agree on a a subject or course of action through one's insistence on having its way and the other's mistaken belief that giving up something will cause the other party to do the same (see compromise, v., above)."

    I suppose this is what Winston Smith did before he got the history-revising job at MiniTrue.

  • Dredd on May 10, 2012 12:27 PM:

    The republican point of view, on the military side, includes using nuclear weapons on "Islamic" cities, killing all people there.

  • Sean T on May 10, 2012 12:29 PM:

    but this is nothing new. it is something that Cantor has been saying for years. hell, he said it on 60 minutes.