"Deciding when to compromise should be easier than it is for a leader. Should you give something you are against to get something you want? Or should you stand on principle and refuse to compromise? These classic questions for democratic leaders used to be rare, but they are becoming more common.
That is because the current Democratic president is confronted by a minority opposition party (soon to be majority in the House) that has adopted as its policy unified opposition to virtually all Democratic initiatives. Against the standard press assumption regarding "polarization" in Washington, that has not been the policy of an opposition Democratic party many of whose leaders voted for the Iraq war and Bush tax cuts most of their party constituents were against. Neither Presidents Carter, Clinton, nor Obama are or were far left or liberal (contrary to the ridiculous Fox rhetoric about socialists)."
more on BO's Tax-scam :RobertReich
The politics of Compromise itself merits a few nanoseconds of reflection (at least by those capable of ...reflecting): what exactly do Obama and the Demos who agree to compromise on tax cuts expect to win? It's a type of broker-ship, a cheap version of a "Win-Win" . Given that the Bush tax slashes for the wealthy were wrong-- dead wrong---then presumably those who oppose them (and campaigned on that opposition) should do the right thing, and oppose extending them. Within the state structure (ie, not a pirate ship, or ..Katrina-esque anarchy) shouldn't we expect politicians to hold to their principles, which they more or less touted that they would uphold? People did not vote for a person who believes "at times I will sacrifice my political principles and side with conservatives, in hopes of gaining some benefits" (which may or may not materialize) --they voted for the principles themselves, which X promised to uphold. As long as the political structure holds, a Kantian sort of ethics--e.g., it is always wrong to slash taxes only for the wealthy, or something of the sort-- replaces the Jeffersonian opportunism (Jefferson may have insisted on principles, but ...had no problem negating them when necessary. Few things are as boring as pointing out hypocrisy, but at times thats all the ....subversive or malcontent can do [and special guest Immanuel Kant, today on Hollywood Squares] ).