WHEN it comes to changing the toxic partisan gridlock in Washington, the Beatles got it just about right: “You tell me it’s the institution/Well, you know/You’d better free your mind instead.”

This op-ed in the New York Times from Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson is must-read material for anyone concerned with the apparent inability of Congress to overcome bipartisan splits and forge compromises on important issues about the U.S. Economy.

The authors write about the failure of the budget supercommittee and caution that this “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.”

With the public growing increasingly frustrated by the failures of Congress to effectively negotiate and compromise in recent months, Gutmann and Thompson sound a warning bell, writing, “Members of Congress need to change their minds about compromise, or voters will need to change the members of Congress.”

Read the complete article today: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/opinion/compromise-and-the-supercommittee.html

We will publish their book on political compromise in the United States from the revolutionary period to today in May of 2012. Click through to learn more about The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It. The book is now available for pre-orders through many internet retailers.