Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The Legislature, Then and Now

I worked at the legislature for almost 11 years. The first six of those years were when the Republicans had the majority in the house. Then came four years of a DFL majority, and then a return to the Republican majority that we have today. Even though only four years separated the two Republican majorities, having lived through them, they were quite different beasts. Today’s majority is both more indifferent and more harmful than the previous version, making this year’s elections all the more important.

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Politics, without the nasty politics

There’s a lot of trends in the U.S. that annoy me, mainly having to do with politics, pundits, and the media. The “he said, she said” method of reporting in which ridiculous arguments are put on an equal footing with sane ones, and hence legitimized. The inability or unwillingness to point out when leaders are lying. The overall shallowness of a lot of reporting. The general anti-intellectualism of a growing segment of this country. But few things annoy me more than those pundits who think that politics just has too much of that messy politics in it.

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Confusing the means with the ends

I was reading the David Brooks column today (don’t judge me too harshly), and it got me thinking. Don’t get me wrong: David Brooks is usually off in never-never land as far as I am concerned, and he had a couple of roll-your-eyes doozies today, such as starting right off the bat with “Republicans generally like Westerns. They generally admire John Wayne-style heroes who are rugged, individualistic and brave.” and then segueing to “Republicans are so much the party of individualism and freedom these days that they are no longer the party of community and order.” Right. Individualism and freedom indeed; tell the former to all of those anti-war protesters circa 2002 and the latter to all those people, Jane Harman included, who have had their phone calls or other private correspondence surveilled in the name of national security.

But even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then, and the gem to be taken from this column is this: “They celebrate capitalism, which is a means, and are inarticulate about the good life, which is the end. They take things like tax cuts, which are tactics that are good in some circumstances, and elevate them to holy principle, to be pursued in all circumstances.”

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