From the Free Dictionary:
com•pro•mise (kom' pro -miz )
a. A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
b. The result of such a settlement.
[Middle English compromis, from Old French, from Latin compromissum, mutual promise, from neuter past participle of compromittere, to promise mutually : com-, com- + promittere, to promise; see promise.]
From this morning's Washington Post:
Democrats Back Down On Iraq Timetable
Compromise Bill in Works After Veto Override Fails
President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq.
Let's review the fundamentals: You can't compromise--you can't promise mutually--if one party to the action makes no promises, or makes promises that simply cannot be relied upon.
"Compromise' [sic] with Bush on this and nothing will change--except that Bush will get another talking point for his side, and you make it just that much harder to get as far again as you got in the last week.
Come on, Democrats, you're so close. "Compromise" [sic] with Bush and you prolong the war--and you risk owning it, too.
John Edwards has this exactly right:
We need the Congress to stand firm and strong. If they don't have enough votes for the veto, then they need to send George Bush another bill, another funding bill. If he vetoes that bill, they need to send him another bill.
They need to be strong. They need to be courageous. This is not about politics.
We have men and women dying in Iraq. We have spent five hundred billion dollars in Iraq. It is time for America to leave Iraq.
Come on, Democrats. Quit fooling yourselves and buckle down. (You certainly aren't fooling most Americans.) Imagining that you can "compromise" [sic] with Bush on this is bad policy, and it's bad politics. Don't do it.
Update: Reid and Pelosi are denying the Post's "compromise" story--although when you examine the particulars closely, it's not clear if their defense is "we haven't capitulated" or "we haven't capitulated yet." Stay tuned.