Saturday, September 29, 2012

Winning At Some Costs

Wise words in an essay by John Hodgman, who plays public pomposity, but who, evidently, is a private thinker. It appears in the 90 days, 90 reasons project: a daily dose of reasons to reelect the president. I think he means to address those liberals who're disappointed in Barack Obama because (I told you so) he's not liberal enough, and a pragmatist. People who want it all, now; and, failing that, are willing to let the other side win.
Those on the right who began wishing in 1980 to dismantle the Great Society, de-regulate and de-unionize business, and starve the beast of the federal government are, you may have noticed, very close to succeeding. I am not saying this to scare you; maybe you agree with them. But the point is that it happened because they endured the compromises, hypocrisies, and retreats needed to get the wins, and profoundly change policy in ways we barely noticed -- the repeal of Glass-Steagall; the massive tax cuts; the empowerment of corporations as political donors. These things did not happen because conservatives who believed in them kicked Reagan out of office in 1984 for failing to outlaw abortion immediately. It happened because they won elections.
(And were also willing to settle for the steady erosion of abortion and contraceptive rights, state by state across the country, which, if unchecked, may end up amounting to the same thing).

It's worth a read in its entirety; as a bonus, as you'd expect from him, it's funny and witty, too.

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