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Moving to center

Posted: December 17, 2013 9:03 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2013 5:00 a.m.

One of the things that Democrats in Washington have done successfully over the past couple years is planting the obstructionist label all on the Republican Party. In reality, Democrats on the far left are just as unyielding as Republicans on the far right, and there’s plenty of room for blame when it comes to Congress’ failure to compromise. Still, we’re glad to see House Speaker John Boehner finally stand up to Tea Party-motivated members of Congress and call them out for being obstinate.

Boehner has cowered in the face of the Tea Party for the last couple years, but in praising a recent budget deal crafted partly by Rep. Paul Ryan, he became more and more aggressive in criticizing far-right Republicans for pushing some GOP members into ill-advised positions. The Tea Party has wielded a heavy hammer when it comes to threatening primary opponents for those Republicans not viewed as conservative enough. The Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are also saying they’ve had enough and are calling for more moderation in Washington. All that is good.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington worked with Ryan in crafting the bill, which is certainly not a perfect one but is a step towards getting this do-nothing Congress off square one. We hope she can persuade Harry Reid and others that they, too, must soften their often-ridiculous positions. If those on the center-left and center-right can finally start ignoring the braying of ideologues on both sides, the country will be better off.


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