American Morning

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August 2nd, 2011
05:47 AM ET

Question of the Day: Is compromise a sign of weakness?

After months of grueling negotiations that pitted the small-government, anti-tax ideology of conservative Republicans against President Obama's call for balancing spending cuts and entitlement reforms with increased tax revenue, lawmakers came to a deal on Sunday to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

As politicians debated unrelentingly over the bill, polls have shown a growing sense of exasperation among the public, revealing that the majority of Americans have been pushing for a bipartisan compromise. However, leaders on both sides of the aisle were reluctant to concede to the opposition's demands, signaling that in many lawmakers' minds, compromise has become a dirty word.

American Morning wants to know: Is compromise a sign of weakness?

Let us know what you think. Your answer could be included in this morning's broadcast.

Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Bert form Texas

    Compromise could be seen as being weak and it could be seen as just being fair to all americans. My self the only fair way of settling the issue is to do the best thing for the country. This debt compromise is just wrong. Not only did it do nothing to pay off the 14 trillion dollar debt, it did nothing to the keep the market from falling and we are still under the threat of loosing our triple A credit rating. So you tell me does compromise show weakness or foolishness?

    August 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Name*Diane Jarmon

    Washington will never get it. The Democrates held back to vote, what was that about? The two tea party canidates on TV the night before the vote were smiling and acting "cute", I see nothing about this to be anything more than devastating to our lives. Hope they enjoy their vacation while most of us will be figuring out how to pay mortages, pay for gas and health insurance.

    August 2, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  3. patricia mchugh

    Compromise is not a sign of weakness it's a sign of maturity. There is no common goal ie the american people, only the selfishness of party politics. If they really did care about this country and her people they would have colaborated on a resolution to this issue long before now. Shame on all of them.

    August 2, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  4. Razz Van

    Dear Moderator – I would like to get in touch with Ali – through email is fine. I know he has an interest in technology, and I would like to bring to his attention the innovation/breakthrough of the next "mega" idea. Why is this important? a Mega idea/development, is on a scale comparable to the "Internet"-breakthrough. Such an accomplishment can do wanders for the US economy, and global economics. My innovation provides the breakthrough for Semantic Web #1 blocking problem, and enables Semantic Web Services Standardization, Web 3.0 accessible through Internet and any wireless device, platform/device independent, no client side. Utility patent granted/to be issued August 16 (divisional is in the works).

    Could you please make sure he gets this message, and follows up on it? One cannot imagine what I have, and what it can do for US, before the year is over. This breakthrough has been "blocked" since 2006.

    Thank you/Regards,
    Razz Serbanescu

    August 2, 2011 at 8:05 am |
  5. Paul from Kansas

    Please be careful when you say "You People voted for them." (Carol Costello)
    Unethical Gerrymandering have caused extremists to be able to sneak into positions of power.
    Compromise will come when unbiased individuals split up congressional districts along natural lines.

    August 2, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  6. NPT Red

    Compromise is necessary to grease the wheels of politics. But Congress hardly deserves a slap on the back for its debt plan. Our congressional leaders talk about creating jobs and increasing revenue, but look at the FAA's budget mess - nearly 4,000 FAA employees furloughed and a loss of $1.2 billion in tax revenue:

    August 2, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  7. Ernesto

    Compromise is a sign of intelligence when it comes to pressing matters. Uncompromising attitudes may seem admirable to some, because they relate them to tenacity, strengh of character and will. But a good compromise lets you sleep at night.

    August 2, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  8. Dorothy Kincaid

    Isn't it a sad thing that in this so called christian nation; many think compromise is a bad word. I want to say, I would rather be around people who takes my opinion or makes me feel as if my opinion counts. I don't want to be in the presense of dominating the conversation. I would not want to be a tpartier. It seems to be wanting it their way all of the time. I would like to see them in power; not for long, but long enough for their followers (who are on more assistance than the most of us) to see just how much they are hated.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  9. Dave

    Since when a compromise has become sign of weakness? by definition, compromise means a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted. Democrates here have shown sign of maturity, leadership and intelligence. Tea party has been impossible to come to any kind of idea, compromise or concession when such a catastrophic financial problem is looming over US middle class. They have been nearly impossible to deal with and understand.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  10. Marianne

    Any great statesman or woman knows when to compromise. It is a valuable tool in progressing forward. It is very much "do you want to win the battle or win the war?" I would like to "win the war" even if that means that I need to compomise now. I have done it every day as a parent to raise a child, run a business, and to be a good citizen. It does not mean that I am a Loser; it means that I am smart to pick my battles wisely and fight them wisely.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  11. Monty Gaither

    The conservatives stated that if they did not get what they wanted they would vote to crash the economy. Their real demand was that the ultra rich not pay taxes and that is what they got. They did not compromise in this demand. The ultra conservatives voted against this bill because they want to crash the economy, in hopes to get scared people to move further to the right.

    With massive budget cuts there will be large federal employee layoffs and less money going to the state and local government. Which means layoffs at the state and local government levels. The people who feed and serve these people will see layoffs. The rippling affect will see our unemployment levels rise.

    The cuts should be shutting down US Military bases outside the country. The cuts should be the removal of all tax loopholes. The cuts should be no funding of faith based organizations. The cuts should be in removing the tax exemptions of religious institutions.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  12. GLE

    Boehner’s attitude explains why Congress is struggling to get things done. If he feels that the American people feel that compromise is a bad thing, then he can blame us for his decisions and lack of true leadership. One has to ask what other misconceptions he has of his constituents.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:37 am |
  13. ronald Harmon

    I In this case compromise is a sign of weakness, I expected much more of President Obama and the Democrats,they gave everything away just to extend the debt limit, I hope the Senate votes this down , Its time for the American people to get rid of these ingrates and start over, and det people who care about this country.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:36 am |
  14. Cooper N.

    Compromise is maturity. Weakness is starting from your own goalposts instead of the 50 yard line, and then negotiating your way into the bleachers, as the president seems to do over and over. On healthcare, the Bush tax extensions, the government shutdown, and now the debt ceiling. If this is compromise, I'd hate to see Obama surrender.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  15. Jeff MCO

    In a two-party system, it's actually the opposite. It's a sign of strength. We will always have two significantly different & opposing view points of how we should run our country and write policies and programs. Beyond creative and intelligent to come up with policies that satisfy both parties is a good thing. The challenge in our country is that politicians are often more concerned about elections than policy.

    August 2, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  16. Razz Van

    Before asking the question “is compromise a sign of weakness”, one should ask the question “is compromise your job requirement”?

    In other words, was the system designed and intended to function best with compromise or without?

    If the nature of your job requires you to compromise in order to get best results – this being a fundamental building block of how you are expected to conduct yourself while on the job – as decided by those who created your job/place of employment – then, “compromising” is not an option, it is an obligation, and expected of you, from the moment when accept the job. More specifically, you are expected to compromise – and to do so as constructively and intelligently as possible, so that your place of employment, i.e., your country can benefit – as after all, you are working for your country….

    August 2, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  17. Chris

    If you're talking about a fistfight, compromise is a sign of weakness. If you're talking about politics, compromise is a sign of intelligence and maturity. If you treat politics like a fistfight, you're probably not that intelligent or mature.

    August 2, 2011 at 6:18 am |
  18. Fran VT

    No. It's a sign of maturity and common sense; two qualities sadly lacking in Washington. We must begin voting for moderates regardless of their political parties. This constant idealogical tug of war accomplishes nothing. Grow up or go home.

    August 2, 2011 at 6:16 am |