an enlightening passage highlighted by TNR's jonathan chait:
Boehner: We have to govern. That's what we were elected to do.
Stahl: But governing means compromising.
Boehner: It means working together.
Stahl: It also means compromising.
Boehner: It means finding common ground.
Stahl: Okay, is that compromising?
Boehner: I made it clear I am not gonna compromise on my principles, nor am I gonna compromise…
Stahl: What are you saying?
Boehner: …the will of the American people.
Stahl: You're saying, "I want common ground, but I'm not gonna compromise." I don't understand that. I really don't.
Boehner: When you say the word "compromise"…a lot of Americans look up and go, "Uh-oh, they're gonna sell me out." And so finding common ground, I think, makes more sense.
one of the many symptoms of the issues with politics in this country is demonstrated in the way boehner tries futilely to split hairs with the difference between the concepts of compromising and finding common ground. both mean exactly the same thing, of course, but since compromise is a bad word, he not-so-deftly maneuvers to avoid being tarred with it.
and this is why nothing is ever going to improve. i don't personally subscribe to the "GOP and Democrats are two limbs of the same party" viewpoint, though in many ways they are incredibly similar. but absent the culture war parts of their programs, politicians in both parties have enough faculty to manipulate language in a way that tends to fool the average american quite easily.
3 months ago