Saturday, September 03, 2005

Getting it done

To amplify on my flaming from yesterday, the biggest thing that I think derails forward progress in politics is the making of one's opponent to be an enemy. If one's opponent is an enemy, then the enemy must be utterly defeated in order for forward progress to be made. And utter defeat of one's enemy is unlikely, perhaps even improbable. So if we frame the problem in terms of good guys and bad guys, it can't be solved.

Right now there is a lot of rhetoric in the press about how Bush and FEMA are bad guys. This isn't going to help anything. What's important is that they didn't get it done. The question to ask next time it comes to a vote is not "is Bush a bad guy?" It is "will he get it done?" And so a political campaign to promote a candidate should have as its focus "will he or she get it done?" Not "is the other guy the Antichrist?"

I noticed as I saw the news of relief finally making it to New Orleans yesterday that I was disappointed. How can good news be bad news? It's because it cuts into the idea of the enemy. The enemy would never solve the problem. But here the problem is, getting solved, a little. They must have done something wrong - it must still be a bad solution somehow - because they are the enemy. They're not the enemy. They're just late. It's great that they finally arrived. It's okay to rejoice about that.


Blogger Patricia said...

"And so a political campaign to promote a candidate should have as its focus 'will he or she get it done?' Not 'is the other guy the Antichrist?'"

The president is supposed to be our employee, not our ruler, after all. You don't burn an incompetent employee at the stake, you fire him.

I think part of the problem, here, is that Bush's actions are those of a person who wants to rule, rather than someone who wants to do a good job.

Friday, September 09, 2005 7:13:00 AM  
Blogger Ted Lemon said...

We've all seen autocratic people in positions of power. I think it's fair to say that people like that aren't doing their jobs, because when you are managing an organization, being autocratic works against the overall success of the organization.

So we can talk about Bush's character flaws, whatever they may be, or we cal talk about the results of his actions. It seems to me that it doesn't matter what Bush's character flaws are - if he were doing a good job as president, I'd want him to stay, because I've never seen a president who didn't have character flaws.

So it still boils down to whether or not he's doing a good job. I don't think he is. I think we can work with that, without resorting to sniping - I think people tend to be impatient with sniping, and with good reason, so if we want change, we have to resist it ourselves, difficult though it may be.

Friday, September 09, 2005 9:54:00 PM  

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