In my article on Arnold Schwarzenegger I argued that his success with the legislature and the polls was due to his willingness to forge cross-party compromises. While many of you agreed with me, you were concerned about the toll on the “true” conservative base.

Pete Klovanish writes:

Great story, and this is the way Arnold would have everyone think. However, what you don’t mention in your story is how disenfranchised the true conservative Republican base is with Arnold right now... I know the point of your article was that Arnold changed and the Republicans should as well if they want to keep control of the government, but sometimes change is not good if you compromise your beliefs, values and soul doing it.”

SRE: Thanks Pete. I think we have seen the effects of a lot of ideological battles lately and often the result of not compromising is no result at all.

Pat Lundberg of Scottsville, Missouri writes:

So basically what you are saying is that if the Republicans want to succeed they have to be the ones to compromise because the Democrats can’t.

SRE: Thanks for the chuckle. Of course there is a lesson to be learned for both parties, it’s just particularly compelling in this case when a Republican governor governs a very Democratic state.

M. D’Arlon of Coronado, Calif., writes:

Your comments regarding how the GOP might learn lessons about how to work with the opposition are also appropriate for the other side of the aisle. Nancy Pelosi states that "all GOP legislation is to be opposed."

How then can a congress that is supposed to work for the people be free towork together when those party marching orders create a great "do nothing’ period?"

SRE: Excellent point, thanks.

As far as my article on what the Dems shouldn’t do if they want to keep their lead in the mid-terms, many of you had a few other points to add to my list.

Jason Tindell writes:

Republicans don’t have to wait for a Democrat to say something stupid on the national security issue. They’ve already got enough quotes from John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi. Also, with gas prices starting to go down, Democrats are on the verge of losing a major issue that really could have driven home a victory for them.

I personally wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats not only don’t pick up a majority in either house of Congress, but even lose a few seats. Of course this is politics and anything can happen, but I’ve been listening to the same tactics by Democrats since Bush was elected, and so far it hasn’t worked.

SRE: We’ll see, staying away from mud-slinging and co-opting on certain issues is what I think will help both sides.

George Ely writes:

Regarding your article about how they could blow the election, you forgot one: so far they have offered nothing but negative partisan nonsense. The Republicans have done no better. How about someone coming up with detailed honest plan(s) to solve these issues and stop the childish behavior on both sides.

SRE: That’s for sure. Some plans are in the works but focusing on action rather than mudslinging gets my vote too.

Randy Anderson of Olathe, Kansas writes:

Here in metro Kansas City I have the misfortune of having a front row seat to the Missouri U.S. Senate campaign. The mudslinging’s been minimal so far, but it’s actually the Democrats who seem to be moving closer to getting muddy. Once it’s October and voters focus more on the election, you’ll probably be right, but for now it’s civil.

SRE: Thanks for the local report, let’s hope I’m wrong.

Susan Estrich is currently the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. She writes the "Portia" column for American Lawyer Media and is a contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times. She was appointed by the president to serve on the National Holocaust Council and by the mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on that city's Ethics Commission.

A woman of firsts, she was the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and the first woman to head a national presidential campaign (Dukakis). Estrich is committed to paving the way for women to assume positions of leadership.

Books by Estrich include "Real Rape," "Getting Away with Murder: How Politics is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" and "Dealing with Dangerous Offenders." Her book "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women," is a departure from her other works, encouraging women to take care of themselves by engaging the mind to fight for a healthy body. Her latest book, The Los Angeles Times bestseller, "Sex & Power," takes an impassioned look at the division of power between men and women in the American workforce, proving that the idea of gender equality is still just an idea.