Focus Point - Sticking to Principles

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Well, here's a nice change: Democrats are compromising with Republicans.

For years, conservative activists were frustrated by party leaders who offered watered-down versions of Democrat proposals. Now, by sticking to their principles on Estate Tax repeal, Personal Social Security Accounts and Tax cuts, Republicans are forcing democrats to do the compromising. Instead of Republicans proposing liberalism lite, democrats are proposing Conservatism lite.

Take the repeal of the Estate Tax. Repeal supporters made a strong grass roots case for total abolition and the liberals blinked. Democrats -- not Republicans -- offered a compromise proposal clinton said he'd sign. Even so, when it came to a showdown, all Republicans and 65 democrats voted for total repeal in the house, and it passed with 59 votes in the senate.

Clinton will probably veto it. And some kind of compromise will probably pass. But it will be the good kind, not the lousy kind. And it will confirm the best way to get something good out of Washington is by sticking to stick to your principles.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.