The federal budget deal struck last week amounted to baby steps in the long-term effort to get government working again, but you have to crawl before you can walk, and in the case of this do-nothing Congress, even finding a pulse has been almost impossible in recent years.
Tea-party Republicans continue to decry the budget deal. In their view, played out time and again in recent years, it is better to shut down the government, roil the financial markets with debt ceiling debacles and cost taxpayers billions in wasted dollars than to compromise on anything.
Mainstream Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner, however, have apparently reached the end of their rope with the childishness displayed by extremists in their party. The House voted 332-94 to pass the budget deal last week, and Boehner unleashed a scalding indictment on the conservative special interest groups who, as he noted, opposed the deal before they even knew what was in it.
Despite that, tea-party darlings like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., decried the bi-partisan deal. "I mean, compromise just for the sake of compromise, so we can feel good about each other, I don't think is progress for the country," he said.
Apparently gridlock, government shutdowns, wasted taxpayer dollars and governing from crisis to crisis is Rubio's idea of progress. They ignore the diverse opinions and viewpoints of the population, demanding that everyone acquiesce to them and their narrow views.
The result, as we have seen time and again, has been devastating for the country.
Throughout history our country has prospered, not because we have followed the ideology of a single path, but because we have embraced many paths. We can't do that unless everyone agrees to give a little bit, and everyone realizes that, while they might not be getting everything they want, nobody else is either.
Compromise may be a dirty word to tea-party lawmakers and the conservative special interests that control their every move, but as most Americans know, it is how you get things done when you have many diverse views in which everyone wants something different.
The House last week took baby steps toward returning to a functioning body. The deal was small. But nobody got everything they wanted, and everyone agreed that moving a small step forward was better than taking yet another step backward.