In particular, Dems like it when their party's leader compromises with the other party. Since their party's Congressional delegation manifestly does not like it, we understand that the Party of the People is out of touch with The People.
The GOP rank-and-file, on the other hand, is at best ambivalent about compromise. Roughly equal numbers of Rs don't care for the idea of compromising with Democrats presently.
We think this can be interpreted two ways.
- Democrats are pragmatists; Republicans are ideologues.
- Both rank-and-file Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans distrust the Democratic leadership.
So, why should ordinary Democrats favor compromise with Republicans while ordinary Republicans don't favor compromise with Democrats? Lunchbucket Dems want compromise because they think their party's leaders have extreme positions that ought to be moderated by compromise. Lunchbucket Republicans don't want compromise because it means compromising with a party whose leaders have extreme positions.
In other words, Dems wish they were Republicans, and Republicans are thankful that they're not Dems. For now.
This position is more serious that it appears, by the way. The Republican brand has been seriously damaged by a decade of war and anti-Bush, class-warfare rhetorical hysteria. But 24 months of Democratic governance has created a bipartisan consensus that the Democrats who lead in Washington simply can't be trusted.