Monday, January 02, 2006

Washington Monthly: Military Soft on Bush ?

We have heard these voices in increasing numbers since the troop presence began in Iraq. Can anybody explain the rationale behind the decision to dismiss criticism, even when it comes increasingly from the soldiers in the field.

LA Times: What's Wrong with Partisan Politics?

To a certain extent, the argument in this piece is correct. Partisanship serve a specific purpose in a liberal democratic state. However, Goldberg treats the issue of partisan fatigue as some vague notion with little consequence beyond entertainment value.

Politics is about choosing between competing public goods or competing public harms, and expecting politicians to hold hands like the Whos of Whoville and sing in a circle is to ask them to stop being politicians.

Here, the author does not use a proper analog in the Grinch comparison. By seeking to diminish the scope of partisanship in politics, moderates do not seek to make government more pleasant just "for goodness sake." Government needs to focus less on divisive issues that dominate elections because government needs to be more effective. We have mounting problems with national security, the sustainability of public spending, and dangerous gaps in education. Wherever a person falls on the political spectrum, all reasonable people agree that these problems needs answers and issues like Gay Marriage, which are given attention simply to turn voters out, are just not imporant by comparison.

Voters should elect leaders from either party who understand the difference between political manuever and responsible governing. Those who study politics know the line can be blurry, but those who want to lead America ought to have the will and the ablity to look closely to find it.