Walking the fine line

I just read an article that had the following sub-headline: “Why the president’s walking a fine line on the Republicans’ slash-and-burn budget proposals.”

Walking the thin line - in high heels, no less, pic: fluid-studio.net

Now what exactly means “walking the fine line’?  The idiom is a way of saying that one is caught between two individuals or groups who have radically different views about something and one must must balance those two competing ideas or ideas.  Walking the fine line is difficult and balance is easily lost in which case one ends up on either one of the two sides of the issue.

Examples for this idiom are plentiful, one of the more well-known ones is “walking the fine line between genius and insanity”.

Another idiom which basically means the same is “walking a thin line.”

Both idioms come from tight-roping where on literally walks on a thin/fine line and any imbalance can have serious consequences – at least with out a safety  rope.

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