If President Barack Obama is serious about compromising for the good of the nation - and that remains to be seen - he needs to rein in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. If the president can't or won't do that, moderate Democrat senators should undertake the task.
After winning re-election by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Obama attempted to sound conciliatory in his victory speech Tuesday night. He proclaimed he is "looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties ... We've got more work to do."
Obviously. Fewer Americans have jobs than when Obama took office. The national debt has topped $16 trillion and is projected to hit $20 trillion before the end of his second term.
More important than the numbers are the people, however. Analysts say millions of Americans have become so frustrated they have given up looking for work. Millions more can find only low-wage jobs with few, if any, benefits.
Among many job creators, there is similar frustration. They worry about both tax rates and government regulations that make it increasingly difficult to do business.
Evidence of the business community's concern was in stock market prices, not just here but also in other countries, on Wednesday. They plunged, in a reflection of pessimism about the U.S. economy.
Key decisions on taxes and deficit spending will have to be made during the next few weeks, even before Obama begins his second term. If he truly plans a policy of "reaching out," he needs to instruct Reid, D-Nev., to work with conservatives of both parties.
If Reid is unwilling to do that, moderate Democrats in the Senate should begin the process of replacing him as majority leader.