Thursday, February 19, 2009

He'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again

Thomas Frank has a nice op-ed in the WSJ, taking the Villagers to task for their obsession with the magical bipartisanship pony and their disdain for, you know, every issue of policy and substance.

One quibble. When Frank says ...

It is supposed to be high-minded stuff, this longing for a bipartisan golden age. But in some ways it is the most cynical stance possible. It takes no idea seriously, since everything is up for compromise. The role of the political parties is merely to cancel each other out, so that only the glorious centrists remain, triangulating majestically between obnoxious extremes.

... I can only think of what an unkillable meme it was last decade among the chattering classes to dismiss Bill Clinton as a "triangulator."

'Course, that means I'm implying that they're consistent and not hypocritical. My bad.

Frank's conclusion is money, though:

What's more, bipartisanship's boosters can't even discern friend from foe. The Republican caucus in the House of Representatives, which seems to be growing even more conservative as its numbers shrink, has clearly resumed the strategies of the early Gingrich era -- obstruction, bomb-throwing and more obstruction. But to the mainstream media, the angry Republican pols seem to mainly discredit Mr. Obama, who failed to win over the GOP. Which will, of course, encourage the bitter-enders to obstruct even more.

Never has Beltway orthodoxy looked as clueless and futile as it does today. Confronted with the greatest failure of economic ideas in decades, it demands that the president make common cause with people for whom those failed ideas are still sacred. To think we can solve our problems in this way is like hoping to chart a route to the moon by water.

(h/t: DougJ/Balloon Juice)

No comments: