The month of August made it clear that the GOP doesn’t intend to compromise on health care reform. Not at all. No way. In fact, the new Democratic strategy is to label Republicans as the “Party of ‘No.'” The results of a recent poll in the Des Moines Register suggest that Chuck Grassley had better think twice about that. In the poll, 52% of respondents indicated that they believe it is better for Grassley to strive for compromise, while 39% felt he should leave the table and the other 9% weren’t sure of the best approach.
I think this is quite promising news. If ever there were a traditionally red state, it is Iowa. If Iowans want Congress to reach a bipartisan consensus, that tells me something. Specifically, it suggests that people throughout middle America want health reform, not politics as usual. It also tells me that politicians are likely to respond to this in a positive way. It’s okay to be labeled as the Party of “No” as long as the people who vote for you think you should be voting no. As soon as they think you should be thinking “maybe” or voting “yes” you have a problem. So, I suspect that with enough pressure from their constituents, the GOP may actually decide to come to the table in a serious way. After all, President Obama certainly extended a warm invitation to them during his joint session speech. I just wish all of this would have happened in June, because it may be to late for party lines to be crossed successfully at this point.