Commentary: The politics of no-win

President Barack Obama was right when he said Washington has been driven too much by a mentality of "if you lose, I win."

For the past year, both sides have pounded each other to make sure they lose, and lose a lot — instead of hammering out solutions to problems that are real, are serious and aren't going away soon on their own.

The rough and tumble of politics can turn ambitious legislation into workable laws.

But the goal of the tussling, even when it's vociferous and bruising, has to be to achieve something for the public good — not just notching a win or dealing a loss.

Obama's State of the Union address contained plenty of pie in the sky and some nods to the interests of the Republicans who've bedeviled his administration.

It also contained some good ideas that he should pursue, even in an election year.

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