Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas crafted and sponsored what became known as the Missouri compromise. It was greeted with relief, if dissatisfaction by both sides because it reduced sectional conflict for four years.
Note, it did not in the end prevent war between the states. Comprimising on principles never works. Perhaps Mitch McConnell is only looking for one more election. What Obama is doing is destroying America.
Something else came out of the Missouri Compromise. A radical new political party which in 1860 won it's first national election and placed Abraham Lincoln in the White House. The strife caused by the conflict of liberty with the economic dependence on the south of continuing slavery destroyed one party, the WHIGS, and created two polar opposite parties on the subject of liberty.
Today we are once again engaged in test of principles that have divided the opponents into three camps. Those who seek to extend the progressive model of economic dependence, those who seek to end it, and those who seek to compromise.
The Democrats are the party supporting the progressive economic model. Like slavery before it, and even closer to the Jim Crow south the Democrats created after the civil war, the progressive economic model depends on the skill of the master in the big house in Washington. He must control the economic engine so that he can reward those who assist him in suppressing the liberty of those who must sacrifice their labor to pay for the lifestyle the legions of enforces and regulators enjoy.
There are two other sides. Legacy Republicans represent those who have participated in, or benefited from the dichotomy of conservative versus liberal politics, but over the last four decades have allowed the growth of progressive power in Washington. Always with an eye to their own re-election they have failed to stop the creation of powerful bureaucracies that could be abused by the President to impose the progressive model on Americans. They still seek to compromise.
The third group, lead by New Republicans with members who were supported by various tea party groups against legacy Republicans and Democrats represent a return to principles of liberty.
Like Clay and Douglas, McConnell's comprimise may ease tensions but risk ending any hope of restoring liberty through the ballot box. It will destroy the legacy Republicans and could lead to an entrenched Progressive Bureaucracy that cannot peacefully be eliminated and 160's style riots for liberty, albiet with different players. With Washington imposing virtual slavery on anyone not receiving a federal grant or paycheck there is little hope that America as a land of liberty and opportunity can continue on this course.
Like President Lincoln said, today we are engaged in a great struggle to test whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated to liberty can endure. The struggle we face is that each dollar borrowed is a devaluation of our liberty, without our consent and at some point, perhaps in as little as ten years the economic engine that fueled America will grind to a halt. People simply will not support it. The power of America's government has always been that granted to it by the people, the power being exercised in Washington today is more accurately described as imposed on the people. And the people recognize this now.
Clay and Douglas thought they were doing the right thing, as does McConnell. The best that can come out of this is a hardening of positions three parties, lost opportunities and the elimination of either the Republicans or Democrats from the two party system by 2016. With 1960's style riots pitting liberty seeking Americans facing off against democrat supported enforcers, ala Bull Conner, not being too far from likely.
Or the Republicans could stand up and fight the battle on the floor of the Congress, where the fight belongs.