No, I don't mean bending like John Edwards. Although, come to find out, that is bad politics too. Nor do I mean break like Joe Lieberman. I mean finding a middle ground, splitting the difference, compromise.
Obama has removed the public option from the health care bill and in it's place put government subsidies. Republicans are against it because they are against everything and the Democrats are pissed because it is not the public option. Obama has reached out into the aisle and been snubbed by both parties.
This reminds me of Martha Coakley's stance (not that it matters anymore.) She is pro-choice and would not vote yes on a bill unless it allowed abortions. In a way, I think this is admirable, I am pro-choice too. But there is no way the Republicans will agree with it. Abortion is such a hot topic, can't we save that fight for later? Health care is the issue here. But if Coakley submitted, she would lose her pro-choice supporters. Can't win elections without supporters (which she ultimately didn't.)
How do you get 75 people to agree on something? Compromise. Everyone has to bend. But, if you do not stand firm, you may be called a flip-flopper (like John Kerry). And, like Kerry taught us, that is bad politics. Compromise just does not get you reelected.
I admire the president for going forth with his plans, despite them being bad politics. He is certainly not winning any popularity contests. I also admire what Nancy Pelosi said last week telling House Democrats to step up even if the bill is unpopular at the moment. "We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress," she said. "We're here to do the job for the American people."source