Why I Hate Politics

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    As was explained to me, slowly, the very idea that a purely principled person might make it to elected office is laughable.

    We need people who are on our side who are pragmatic enough to get elected up there so they can get elected and be on our side.

    A guy who is principled who can’t get elected is downright worthless on a policy level.

    Anyway, that little speech was given to me by someone completely on board with the whole “vigorous foreign policy” thing who saw the “fiscal conservativism” thing as too out there. (Full disclosure: Redstate banned me.)Report

  2. Avatar MadRocketScientist says:

    Alternate title: Why Political Parties Suck.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      @MadRocketScientist,

      “Why Political Coverage Sucks”.

      The article dismisses the substantive issue in favor of the horse race. The administration doesn’t, because it is, after all, doing something that will probably have negative political results.Report

  3. Avatar Bob says:

    “…But the sincerity of even this fairly obvious bit of truth-telling is thrown into question by the fact O’Malley was himself voicing apprehension about the lawsuit in the closed-door meeting.”

    Ah, between a rock and a hard space. There is nothing odd going on here, no there there. As you say, it is “obvious,” DOJ had no choice. Equally obvious is the reality that the federal case against the Arizona law will have negative consequences for Democrats. I don’t see anything strange or disingenuous or insincere about OMalley holding both positions. Both *are* equally true.Report

    • @Bob, Absolutely. What I find consistently frustrating here, though, (and this is obviously not a unique situation) is that the outrage from the political classes is that the Administration is doing something unpopular, in effect demanding that popularity trump all else even when the Administration is acting in its capacity as the head of the executive branch of the US Government.Report

      • Avatar Trumwill says:

        @Mark Thompson, is it outrage? It seems a lot of what I am seeing is more confusion, concern, and smugness. Confusion among the knee-jerk cynics who refuse to believe that politicians having to look at themselves in the mirror is something that might be relevant. Concern among those that could be politically hurt and smugness from those that benefit.Report

      • Avatar Bob says:

        @Mark Thompson, I understand the point of you post, I understand the point of your comment. I’m not sure I agree but certainly I don’t disagree enough to pursue it.

        My beef with you is very narrow (picky?), questioning the “sincerity” of Gov. O’Malley.Report

      • Avatar Koz says:

        Really? Do you think the feds will win the lawsuit? If they lose will it be a matter of unpopularity or something else?Report

  4. Avatar Trumwill says:

    I think it’s really only the side whose position I disagree with that is being so sharply political. My side, on the other hand, is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing and it’s my side – not definitely theirs – that cares about doing the right thing. Well, the rightest thing that can be done in the current political environment. We have to be realistic, after all.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    The administration sets the tone for politics, by sending out operatives to insinunate racial profiling every chance they get, yet the lawsuit is supposed to be about the primary federal role in immigration law. The President, rather than being an objective head of the federal government, sounds like a hack partisan on the campaign trail in every speech he gives, using sophomoric, partisan tactics to ridicule the Republicans.Report

  6. Avatar Trumwill says:

    Seems to me that things generally fall into one of a few categories:

    1. You support something that public opinion favors.
    2. You oppose something that public opinion does not favor.
    3. You support something that public opinion opposes.
    4. You oppose something that public opinion supports.
    5. You support or oppose something that public opinion is mixed on.

    Reaction, regardless of political affiliation, seems to generally be:

    1. We live in a democracy. If it doesn’t pass, it’s a failure of democracy.
    2. We live in a democracy. If it passes, you make a snarky comment about “so much for democracy” or you rail against leaders for being out of touch.
    3. We live in a republic. Being in political office is about doing the right thing even when it’s unpopular.
    4. We must never forget that the founding fathers railed against the Tyranny of the Majority.
    5. If you look closely at the public opinion numbers, you will see that public opinion is really at my back. See #1 or #2.Report

    • @Trumwill, This is, I think, generally true, and quite possibly true enough a characterization of the way my own reactions work, although I like to think I generally stay away from appeals to popular opinion. Then again, it’s pretty rare that my opinions are in line with popular opinions, so maybe that’s not a terribly worthy point.Report

      • Avatar Trumwill says:

        @Mark Thompson, I find that I am more often than not the beneficiary of deviation from democracy. If I weigh cases where the decisions of those in power deviate from public opinion but in a way that I would prefer and cases where I agree with public opinion and the government just won’t act on it, the scale tips towards the first. The big cases in the latter category are abstract things that are hard to oppose (smaller deficit, more transparent tax code, “personal freedom”) but the devil is in the details and polls are not particularly to be trusted.Report

  7. Avatar RTod says:

    I’m not sure, having read this article, why it leads you to hate politics. It seems to me to be more of an argument for why you should hate the media that covers politics.Report

  8. Avatar Koz says:

    Do you believe that the feds would actually suffer immediate and irreparable harm if they didn’t challenge the Arizona law or was that just for rhetorical effect? The way you phrased it, you were kind of hedging your bet.Report