Return to story
The election results are in, and congratulations to all the winners. Now it's time for them to get to work.
The American people returned President Obama to office; in Virginia, we elected Tim Kaine to the Senate and returned a majority Republican delegation to the House.
This reflects the national trend: a Democratic Senate and a Republican House. The American people seem to be saying that each party should have a national platform, but they'll have to work together, to actually compromise.
So it was disconcerting to see House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, say: "I hope President Obama responds to this election by making an effort to work with Republicans. There is no mandate for raising tax rates."
It was this intransigence that led to governmental gridlock in the first place.
President Obama campaigned in large part on a balanced approach to deficit reduction, an approach that includes measured budget cuts coupled with the elimination of tax cuts on the wealthy. Kaine espoused a variation of the same concept. Both were elected.
The voters said: "We hear you, Mr. President, we hear you, Mr. Kaine, and we agree with the ideas you have laid out."
So I would say to Cantor that the American people are obviously open to the idea of new taxes where necessary as part of a balanced approach. We cannot continue to ignore a potential revenue stream.
I am equally troubled by the majority leader's assumption that it is up to President Obama alone to make an effort to work with the other party. Governance and compromise require effort from each party.
We are already doomed to more gridlock if the Republicans continue to be the party of "no." That is not what the American people voted for.