Friday, July 15, 2011

Occasionally I worry

On general principles - that knowledge and insight are dispersed widely, that any organization large enough to be a coalition of interests is bound to make compromises against what's right for the benefit of what's possible, to name two - blind orthodoxy is almost always wrong. When you see Republicans who routinely passed debt limit increases under Duhbya hold the nation's credit-worthiness hostage under President Obama, you know they're rank hypocrites whose principle is not knowledge much less wisdom, but instead only what power they can derive from a political position.

How then can I claim that the Democratic Party and its interest groups are consistently right on every issue?

I can answer this question in three ways:

  1. The Democratic Party is not consistently right on every issue. In fact, it's often badly wrong and compromised not just for practical gain but also morally. The Democrats are in bed with corporate lobbyists and the wealthy, just as the Republicans are. The difference is one of degree - Dems are bad, Repubs are actively evil.
  2. The Democratic Party is in fact not liberal enough, and I've criticized it many times on that score.*
  3. Democratic policies, politicians, and interest groups are reasonably often wrong. Republicans are decisively wrong in their platform. Democrats, like all humans, are subject to excess both personal and political.
To illustrate answer 3, I give you this municipal labor union overreach.
“It is commonplace, if you are a resident of the city of Chicago, to see work crews on which only a couple of people are working and others appear to be standing or sitting idle,” Mr. Ferguson said last week. “The remarkable thing about this is they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. We have basically codified wasteful overstaffing.”
The purpose of labor unions is to gain a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, not to featherbed. Detailing five guys to walk along behind an asphalt paving machine with hand tools is a day's pay for a smelly stroll. I've heard conservatives use the phrase "unsustainable model" about all labor work rules, but that phrase surely applies to this.

Of course, it's a Democrat who's trying to reform his fellow Democrats.

* A second introspective question: Given answer 2, how do I differ from conservatives who said that Duhbya's greatest fault was his lack of sufficiently extreme conservatism?

Those teabaggers who started during the 2008 campaign to disclaim Duhbya on grounds that he was a moderate (oh, what bullshit) only did it when he was no longer useful to them, when they were facing loss of the government. I've been criticizing President Obama right along. Sure, I was euphoric that he had been elected, but I had believed him to be the least liberal candidate in the Democratic primaries, and I think events since his election - particularly putting Tim Geithner and Larry Summers in charge of economic policy - have proven Obama to be a tepid centrist.

Conservatives march in lockstep when they hold power. Democrats and liberals debate, dissent, and compromise.

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