House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news...

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 1. Credit: AP

The federal government will shut down on Friday unless Congress comes up with a deal to keep the money flowing. After six months without a budget, the temporary measure keeping the lights on expires April 8.

Spending should be cut, and it will be cut. Republicans and Democrats agree on that. The rub is how much. Driven by a block of tea party-inspired House freshmen, Republicans have so far shunned compromise as capitulation.

It isn't. Compromise is the essence of democratic government. It's the only way to balance competing interests and ideologies in a nation as big and fractious as ours. Without it, nothing gets done -- which is the sad state in Washington right now. Republicans, who control the House but neither the Senate nor the White House, should get real and cut a deal. hN