People care more about the outcome than the process

From political scientist John Sides:

Obama allegedly wants to seek bipartisan solutions that allow him to be seen, particularly by independents, as “making Washington work.”  This just doesn’t work.  Not only because such solutions are hard to come by, but because the public cares more about fixing stuff than about how that stuff gets fixed.  For this reason, a robust economy is a thousand times more helpful to Obama than are his bipartisan credentials.  And, for that matter, it’s more beneficial for members of Congress too.  The economy structures everything.

In other words, we Americans say that we want bipartisanship and compromise, but we ultimately do not reward politicians who seek for compromise with higher approval ratings or increased likelihood to vote for them. This offers very little incentive for politicians to seek compromise or behave in a bipartisanship fashion. This is part of the reason why compromise is so hard to come by these days.

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