If there's one thing Republicans have learned the last several years it's that Democrats don't know how to negotiate, so why bother compromising?
The problem with this analysis is that its based solely on a progressive viewpoint. In other words, its analyzing the Republican's actions from the perspective of liberals. That very seldom works.
If, instead, you look at things from the Republican's perspective, you see exactly the opposite in terms of their motivation.
To do that, go back just a few months to the negotiations over the 2011 budget. Remember that the poutragers were convinced that President Obama gave away the store. And then, when the details emerged...not so much. As a matter of fact, Republicans were pissed and the bill wound up needing heavy Democratic support to pass because the tea partiers bailed. Here's the conclusion reached by Erik Erickson (founder of Red State and conservative CNN commentator) from all of that:
Frankly, at this point, any House Republican who votes for the compromise should be flogged by the tea party movement — metaphorically speaking of course.
And we might really need to reconsider whether or not our existing leadership has the moral authority to continue leading....
This is embarrassing...
The one silver lining in all of this is that the House GOP Freshmen should now be radicalized against any deal cut by the House leadership.
The reality for Republicans is that President Obama and the Democratic leadership basically took Boehner to the cleaners during the last hostage crisis and they're going to do anything they can to avoid that outcome again. That's what is getting in their way of saying "yes" to anything.
This is a perfect example to me of how important it is to cultivate the skill of empathy. It does not require that you agree with your opponent. But without it, you will consistently misinterpret and misunderstand. That inevitably leads to strategies that are destined to fail.
The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.
- Sun Tzu