Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dilemma of DeLay

The indictment of Tom DeLay brought the usual torrent of comments from the GOP and the dems - all utterly predictable. Either he is a saint being persecuted or the devil incarnate getting his just reward.

But over at The Moderate Voice Joe Gandelman makes a profound point -
In 21st century America actual facts are less important than — above all — winning a game of political domination (the whips and chains are news outlets and blogs).

But it's much more than that. The bottom line is that the partisans of each party have a world view and are convinced they are correct. There used to be a time when skilled politicos from both parties finessed these world views and tried to craft conventional wisdom — or consensus. In 21st century America (so far) it's a lost art.

Were this not a lost art we would not be saddled with monstrosities like the transportation bill. DeLay lives politics like it is an event or a series of events. That violates the third rule of legislative practice - namely the Scarlett O'Hara rule - "tomorrow is another day" - legislative bodies run on a process not as an event or series of events. When you consider political activity as an event - you are more willing to allow the indignities of adding in a bit more here and there - so we get multimillion bridges to nowhere.

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