In December 2010, Rep. John Boehner sat down with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes to discuss his new speakership and the future of the GOP. Then Stahl asked about compromise. The following exchange occurred:
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: We have to govern, that’s what we were elected to do.
LESLEY STAHL: But governing means compromising.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: It means working together.
LESLEY STAHL: It also means compromising.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.
LESLEY STAHL: Ok, is that compromising?
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Let me be clear I am not going to compromise on my principles, nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people.
LESLEY STAHL: You’re saying “I want common ground but I’m not going to compromise.” I don’t understand that, I really don’t.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: When you say the word compromise, a lot of Americans look up and go, “oh, oh, they’re going to sell me out.” And so finding common ground, I think, makes more sense.
LESLEY STAHL: [Your] goal had been to get all the Bush tax cuts made permanent. So you did compromise.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: We found common ground.
LESLEY STAHL: Why won’t you say— you’re afraid of the word!
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: I reject the word.
John Boehner won’t say the word and you can’t make him. To today’s GOP, everything is a last stand and to give an inch is to give in completely.
This is the oddest election season, and I believe it will go further down the rabbit hole before it ends.