Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Common Ground, Not Good Ground

I first got wind of Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), a Conservative leader in Congress, when I happened to see him on CSPan while channel surfing. He was with Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland, standing alone on the floor of the US House. They were there after hours and by themselves just talking about the energy crisis and their new plans to try to get Congress to do something about all the energy bills that were stuck in committee. This was before the Republican leadership had picked up the lead on the energy questions. Before it was popular. I was impressed by his practical “get it done” attitude. I was impressed that here was a man willing to stand nearly alone for what he believed and try to create something.

I was more impressed that even then he was talking the idea of compromise and the need to get something done, and not just be another complainer. Recently he wrote an op ed piece for the Washington Times linked below.
-----Dan’s Op ed------
Throughout the piece Mr. Burton talks of compromise as being necessary. The entire slant of the article is about the need of Congress to become non partisan on our energy policy. He talks of putting together a bill that is not perfect for Republicans and not perfect for Democrats; but right for America. His plan is simple and full of common sense. Dan again stands nearly alone using the seldom heard word “compromise” on Capital Hill. Though seldom heard it is all the more appreciated by this blogger especially as I pull out of the gas station with an empty wallet. This “Energy Crisis” has hit me hard enough to question my steadfast loyalty to my own principles. Where am I willing to compromise to find common ground. Something needs to actually get done in Congress. Where does one draw the line between necessary compromise and stubborn (ego driven??) adherence to principle. I really don’t know, but that is the nature of compromise. I have to learn to work with those that differ widely with my beliefs. That is the hard part of finding common ground.

I applaud Dan for his concise and logical editorial about what needs to be done and how to do it.
I also applaud his willingness to compromise his ideas for the good of the country. I will applaud any others who do the same. I know that he is not “caving in” on his beliefs, to curry favor with the other side. He is simply trying to find middle ground so the group of our elected Representatives can try to get something constructive done. There is an old saying that “compromise is best reached at the point of the gun”. The Framers of our “Declaration of Independence and later of our Constitution fully understood that saying in real terms. They had very divergent views of the world and how it should be governed. Yet they were able to compromise enough to find some common ground in order to secure their survival.

As we have been recently reminded, this country, along with the rest of the world is dependent upon oil to the extent that our very lives and well being hinge upon an unbroken supply. Our survival, our way of life, has become overly dependent upon that supply. We the people are getting upset that nothing is being done to solve the problem. First there was Newt (a private citizen) funneling this desire into the workable and understandable “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” petition and media blitz. Then some like Mr. Burton started to spread that message. Now the leaders have started to pick up the ball. The President also. Even the candidates are paying lip service to it. All the polls continue to show that the majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents favor more exploration and finding more supply as the first step in solving our energy needs. Compromise is the key to this Congress getting something done. I feel it necessary that I support the idea of compromise. I will always believe in my core beliefs but I will also be looking for the common ground necessary to actually get something done.

It would not be unworthy of your time to check out other remarks by Dan Burton on his blog
Or John Boehner’s site.
Or Newt’s American Solutions and the Petition Drive.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative.

PS As our Party celebrates Abraham Lincoln, it may be constructive to remember the bloody results caused by the unwillingness to compromise on our individual values. Both sides during Lincoln’s time were unable to find common ground upon which to agree, and we were left to find “good ground” from which we could kill as many fellow Americans as we could in the Civil War.

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