I would say that, yes, compromise in politics is a good thing. The whole point behind government is to get things done, right? One would think. Contrary to the workings of politicians today, government is not… or, rather, should not be… primarily for the benefit of those involved.
There will be times that a person’s convictions have to remain steadfast. I get that. But does that mean everything at all times, as seems to be the current trend? No, it does not. Digging in of one’s heels should be the exception, not the rule.
Unfortunately, extreme give-no-quarter partisanship seems to be the rule of the day anymore, even by average citizens. It is amazing that average people are buying into such extreme inaction. Ask these people, and most will tell you that they’re just as unsatisfied with gridlock as anyone else, yet they fail to see their own part in the dysfunction of the process.
Another aspect that plays a part, and that is often forgotten in this equation, is gerrymandering (in the House). Where is the incentive for a politician to compromise… get something done… when their district has essentially been chosen for them and they know that their re-election is pretty much a foregone conclusion? By ensuring re-election, gerrymandering creates and perpetuates the extreme division.
Now, having said all that, there is an example of when compromise is a bad idea. Pork. When Congresspeople agree to vote for each other’s pork to help get their own pork passed, we all lose.