Cameron Johnson, Mandan
Rep. Kevin Cramer has recently penned a dishonest column, praying that North Dakotans are easily fooled. He bemoans the congressional impasse and government shut-down, that he and his buddies have caused, and blames it on an uncompromising Senate. Kevin then goes on to speak glowingly of his bipartisan efforts to assuage the damage he's afflicted upon millions of Americans and our economy ($1.6 billion per week) by restoring some funding here and there. He peddles an illusion of willingness to compromise, and concludes by simply defining what compromise is.
Kevin needs to look up another word in his dictionary. When you do harm to others, or threaten to do harm, in order to force other people to fulfill your demands for money, services, or compliance, it's called extortion. That's exactly what the extremists in the House of Representatives have done. They threatened to shut-down the government, and now have, because nobody will comply with their demands to add another $29 billion to the deficit and delay Obamacare.
What the extortionist is really saying in his column is that he and his ilk are trying to assuage some of the harm they're causing, but not all of it, until the rest of us meet their uncompromising demands. In other words, Kevin's Orwellian version of compromise is essentially like telling someone we can work together and agree to break fewer of your fingers while we're waiting for you to meet not some, but all of our demands.
The problem with extortionists, though, is that once you meet their demands, they just come up with more demands. The harm doesn't stop until you eliminate the extortionists.