You Want Compromise, Sure You Do.NYT.8-13-11

You Want Compromise, Sure You Do.NYT.8-13-11 - You Want...

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You Want Compromise? Sure You Do By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG NYT 8-13-11 THROUGHOUT the debt-ceiling debacle, poll after poll has shown that Americans want politicians in Washington to compromise. Americans Want New Debt Supercommittee to Compromise ,” declared Gallup, the polling organization, which found that 6 in 10 Americans wanted members of a new bipartisan panel to find ways to cut the deficit, even if the resulting deal is one they personally disagree with. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents (though not Tea Party supporters) shared that view. If so many people want compromise in Washington, why is compromise so hard to achieve? The temptation is to blame life inside the Beltway. Politics is, after all, increasingly a blood sport, driven by extremes and special-interest money. Redistricting has left fewer moderates in the Capitol. And the genteel Washington of yore — where lawmakers and spouses socialized across party lines, sharing cocktails and swapping ideas — has disappeared, replaced by a culture in which families stay in the district and members jet home each weekend. Yet a number of political analysts and social scientists say the intransigence has as much to do with Americans outside the capital as lawmakers within it. If Americans want to know why their elected officials can’t compromise, these scholars and pundits say, perhaps they ought to look in the mirror. “Americans are self-segregating,” said Bill Bishop, author of “ The Big Sort ,” a 2008 book that examined, in the words of its subtitle, “why the clustering of like-minded America is tearing us apart.” Mr. Bishop said Americans now choose “in their neighborhoods and their churches, to be around others
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You Want Compromise, Sure You Do.NYT.8-13-11 - You Want...

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