Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's all clear now

This is why I hate politics.

A successful campaign almost requires some fibbing -- the candidate is either less extreme than he's telling his party's base, or more extreme than he's telling the general public. The trick is not to get caught -- not to be too obvious in the tactical compromises that are necessary in the marathon race of a presidential campaign.
From A Man Who Won't Sell His Soul

So, will there be anyone to vote for in 2008? Or will it once again be voting against? Sigh...Why can't we just put honest people in office? I know politics is about compromise, but still. I think I'd rather vote for a raving liberal that is up-front about it than vote for a waffling sit-on-the-fencer that stands here, there, and everywhere.


The Bard said...

I see where you are coming from. Sometimes I would rather read an opinion by Justice Brennan where he is openly ignoring the text and history of the Constitution in order to fulfill his clear, but misguided leftist vision than a wishy-washing mush of an opinion by Jusctice Kennedy trying to play both sides and yet never saying anything.

That said, the quote you posted is far from a revelation. All politicans do it, they always have, and doing so is one of the least of their sins. I'd be content with someone who just avoids outright lies. Yes, politics is always a choice between the lesser of two evils because politics, no matter what Jerry Falwell says, is not the path to redemption; it is simply a way to slow down the path to perdition.

That said, I have one more comments about Senator McCain. His record, viewed objectively, has long been among the more conservative in the Senate. He does have his "exception" issues, but the idea of him being a moderate is a myth primarily created by the media and adopted by McCain whenever it serves McCain's primary goal: the advancement of McCain.

Ben said...

I remember reading the famous debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas once. These were famous as the paragon of all political debates. I was stunned by their lack of substance. There was just as much empty posturing and ad hominem attacks....just as little discussion of policy and the good of the any Bush-Kerry debate.

I've studied the Founding Fathers in depth. Alexander Hamilton was the victim of the 18th century equivalent of Swift Boating (vehement attacks with little relation to truth). Thomas Jefferson was attacked as a "howling atheist." People thought members of the other political party were, literally, traitors. (Nowadays, people just call each other "traitors" without thinking.)

Politics has never painted a pretty picture of human nature. But really, what has? Human nature isn't pretty.

Ben said...

Another thought.

Ultimately, a "raving liberal who's up front about it" or a "raving conservative who's up front about it" won't win elections. Their base of true believers would be too small. Too few people actually agree on things. People say they want someone who shoots straight and says what he thinks.....but they only want that until that "straight shooter" says something that offends them. THEN you'll see how many people actually respect a leader for telling the truth.

THAT's why we can't put honest people in office. Because most of us won't vote for that person.

I sign off by quoting Switchfoot:

We are broken. We are bitter.
We're the problem.
We're the politicians...

Ben said...

As a follow up to my prior comments, see the comment I made on this blog about the times when obfuscation can be a good thing in politics:

I cite the example of Abraham Lincoln.