Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat is an old expression that means repayment in kind, retaliation, as in for an injury.  Tit for tat takes place when one side of a disagreement believes the other side has done something that is worthy of punishment. Retaliation takes place in order to balance the scales. Those of us who have been paying attention to the news see this kind of thing all the time; for example, if the Republicans get a ‘win’ which seems to happen WAY too much for my liking the Democrats will find a way to extract some repayment in the form of legislation that is important to the left. OK, who am I kidding? The Democrats don’t retaliate; generally they compromise, roll over and take whatever arse-kicking the Republicans give them.  Then they behave as though they got most of what they wanted in the deal.

It’s bad form to make an opponent look completely weak and useless devoid of gumption so, if they have any class political style, the Republicans will at least make it look as though they engaged in a real debate rather than giving the usual beat down to Democrats. So what should they do to make themselves look good? Well, the word is out: some congressional Republicans are starting to give ol’ Grover Norquist, favourite son of the National Rifle Association and President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the stink eye. It’s about bloody time! For over two decades the ATR has managed to get government officials and office-seeking conservative candidates to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge stating that they are committed to opposing tax increases. No mater what. And, for years, the result of signing that pledge has meant complete denial that the nation’s significantly increased debt levels are, in large part, due to the Reagan-era tax cuts for the wealthiest among us.

Right now I’m wondering what price the Democrats are being strong-armed asked to pay. Congress and its subset group, the Super Committee, are discussing what steps to take in order to decrease the nation’s debt levels. Those talks include what to do about “entitlement” programs such as Social Security, Medicare and, of course, any other program on which the poor and middle class rely. If Democrats agree to cuts in what used to be their signature and core programs, just what is it that the Republicans are really willing to agree to in return?  ZERO, zilch and friggin’ nada!

Why this about face?  Ah…election time is just around the corner. Politicians are reminding themselves that they shouldn’t do anything that will appear off-putting to voters. Being a bully who puts party ahead of country falls into that category. If reneging on a pledge to Grover means that they will be able to publicly show their willingness to compromise, it will appear only to those who are easily fooled that they truly do have the nation’s best interests at heart.

Hmmm..appearing to care about the country… Given what we’ve seen over the past three years from the Party of HELL NO, that certainly would make a nice change, wouldn’t it?