To the Founding Fathers – who had an actual claim to the concept of a Tea Party – compromise was not a dirty word; it was the essence of governance. Without principled compromise as a result of robust debate, Delaware and New Jersey might still be at each others’ throats. Thank you to the boys from Connecticut, Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth.
Which brings us to the sorry situation we face today, in California and Washington in particular, in which leaders of the Republican Party are so terrified and intimidated by the noisy anti-tax absolutists in their know-nothing right wing that they are incapable of principled compromise. Even when flexibility would yield them pension reforms, spending controls, entitlement reductions, long-term fiscal stability and more, the Republicans would rather cut off their noses to spite their faces.
Compromise[obj.] weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable: commercial pressures could compromise safety.
[ no obj. ] accept standards that are lower than is desirable: we were not prepared to compromise on safety.
bring into disrepute or danger by indiscreet, foolish, or reckless behavior: situations in which his troops could be compromised.