Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I harp on Israel partly because as a subject it's the best example -most consistently in the public eye- of avoidance, elision, misreading and mislabeling among those who would see consciousness as unified: the technocratic "reality based community" in academia and politics. American left-liberals are unified in their opposition to recent economic policies and mostly so on our various wars, but they don't engage actively in mapping out the history of their transformations. People don't move to the left any more than to the right, by and large if not absolutely, they're moved.

Chris Bertram again tries to justify engaged neutrality.

Duncan Black comments on the Cook Report downgrading the chances of 10 House Democrats, 8 of whom are conservative "Blue Dogs" and therefore, though he doesn't mention it, from districts populated by constituents divided both amongst and within themselves on issues of liberalism and conservatism, economics and social policy.
I admit it's quite nice feeling that for the first time in forever I can actually root for a few bad Dems to lose their seats.

Inevitably the beltway gas bags will tell us that when they lose it's because Obama is too liberal and we're a center right nation blah blah blah. It's the same story they've been telling since I've paid attention.
The Blue Dogs are no or less more ahead of the pack in their districts than Anthony Weiner is in his. With the opposition offering firm leadership in retreat from the responsibilities of democracy, Democrats without a clear mandate from their constituents are in a holding pattern, which is seen correctly as weakness.

Most politicians don't have the intelligence or strength to lead. When leadership is required in the defense of principle, or even the defense of what they themselves may think the best course of action, they hedge.

This goes back to the of the myth of objectivity and its relation to political passivity. It's as important to fight as to have something to fight for; adversarialism is mandated engagement. Maybe it would be better to have elected representatives be more like lawyers: have them draw lots to pick the sides of an issue with the winner obliged by law to act on the platform he was given whether he agrees with it or not.

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