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''You tell me it's the institution/Well, you know/You'd better free your mind instead.'' Last week's failure of the budget supercommittee, despite its super powers, is only the latest breakdown in an attempt at compromise in Washington. Politicians keep trying to fashion failsafe solutions to the capital's uncompromising mind-set, without understanding that there is no external escape from an environment that rewards those who stand tenaciously on their principles and demonize their opponents. Members of Congress need to change their minds about compromise, or voters will need to change the members of Congress.


Amy Gutmann, and Dennis F. Thompson. "How to Free Congress’s Mind." New York Times, November 29, 2011.