Monday, May 15, 2006

Wanted: Someone Interested in Governing

Doesn't anyone want to govern this country?
Writing in yesterday's New York Times, Adam Nagourney raised the uncomfortable prospect of some leading Dems thinking it might be better to not take back Congress:
But here is a slightly heretical question, being asked only partly in jest right now: Is it really in the best interest of the Democratic Party to win control of the House and Senate in November? Might the party's long-term fortunes actually be helped by falling short?
As strange as it might seem, there are moments when losing is winning in politics. Even as Democrats are doing everything they can to win, and believe that victory is critical for future battles over real issues, some of the party's leading figures are also speculating that November could represent one of those moments.
Today we read in the Times that some on the right are thinking the same thing:
"There is a growing feeling among conservatives that the only way to cure the problem is for Republicans to lose the Congressional elections this fall," said Richard Viguerie, a conservative direct-mail pioneer.
The argument is an old one: Wait until things get worse and the masses will rise up in righteous indignation and cleanse the halls of power, ushering in a golden age, et cetera... Among the flaws in this line of thinking is that it leaves until a future date the thorny question of governing.
Not surprisingly, Bill Clinton, the last Democrat to actually govern the country, offers a useful perspective:
"I don't buy the argument that we'd be better off if we almost got there and didn't win a majority in either house," Bill Clinton, the former president, said in an interview. "I think when you suit up you've got to try to win, and I hope we will win because we will get better public policy and it'll be better for America."
The legacy of Bill Clinton reminds us that (a) not only can we do better, but (b) we actually have, and recently.


Blogger Vigilante said...

Oh? Do I understand you? Which Clinton legacy? Where have we done better recently - in terms of governance - than we did in the Clinton years?

11:52 AM, May 21, 2006  

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