God help me, I swore I wasn’t going to do this, but I just can’t help myself. At least this time I’ll be brief.
We’ve just come off four years of bitter partisan wrangling that resulted in nothing except the passage of health care reform that was well-intentioned and will be a disaster. Congress’ performance was so poor that more than 9 out of 10 Americans disapprove of it. We just wrapped up an election season dominated by the spending of billions of dollars on negative ads loaded with half-truths and outright lies.
And what did we do? We re-elected the same cast of characters that we all say we’re so dissatisfied with. The same President, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader. The same composition of both the House and Senate, except that each actually moved slightly away from the center, not toward it. Nothing changed, or if it did, it got marginally worse.
The apocryphal definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” On that basis, we are one crazy nation.
One disagrees with Pogo at one’s peril. Hope and change?
2 thoughts on “Meet The New Boss”
Dan, your blogs of the last few days have been well crafted, insightful and accurate! I agree with your assessment, now that we have a diagnosis, are we able to craft a remedy….not sure!
Thank you, Terry. I’m not sure either. Admittedly, my comments have amounted to “Quit yer bitchin’!” There is limited value in that. Diffuse problems are particularly hard to solve because, well, they are diffuse. Check out http://www.bigmiddle.org. To see what my friend Colston Young is up to. Recognizing that there’s a lot of consensus around fiscal conservatism and social moderation, but a shortage of candidates who reflect that, he’s gone to Iowa to see if it’s possible to get a couple of people who embrace those positions elected to the House.
My other thoughts this early AM:
1) Blind redistricting. Some computer-operated algorithm that looks for the way to create the cleanest geographic lines regardless of voting history.
2) My home state of Washington used to have an open primary, meaning that you didn’t ask for Republican or Democratic ballot – everyone was on every ballot and you could cross party lines race by race. There was always fear that people would cross party lines to nominate weak candidates on the other side, but that really didn’t happen. What DID happen was that even though the party organizations were relatively extreme, the moderate candidates on both sides tended to survive the primaries, so we wound up with pretty good choices in the general.
3) The state also published a voter’s pamphlet. Each candidate was given a page to present a bio and a statement of their core positions. This gave voters at least a few paragraphs of information that required actual thought. It also meant that when you went into the voting booth (you would typically see voters carrying the pamphlet with them), you knew which races were relevant to you and you had information on all of them.
In this internet age, I suppose it would be possible to create an online version of that. It needn’t be state-sponsored but would have to be carefully controlled to ensure zero appearance of partisanship. What do you think?