Compromise can be important, but it must never begin with unnecessarily bargaining with yourself for show or in order to make the other side feel good.
Let’s think about what Republicans and the right would do with such a victory as Obama and the Democrats had on Tuesday. Does anyone believe they wouldn’t maximize it?
So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction. How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?
My answer is, not far at all. Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage on a still-shaky economy. And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Joe Biden is always talking about Obama’s ramrod spine. This is one of those times when the voters will see if what they asked for on Tuesday will be delivered.