Saturday, May 07, 2005

Short term near-sightedness, over and over

Meanwhile, back the ranch: in the middle of a political foodfight in
Washington Alan Nathan points out the long view that voters and citizens actually have:

« Often when clashes occur between Republicans and Democrats, it sounds like an argument between two kids in class, each declaring his intent to beat up the other but neither having the temerity to take it outside. Such profiles in courage are now on display throughout Capitol Hill.

The Democrats are apoplectic about this and are promising to paralyze the Senate should the GOP move forward with what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada characterizes as a violation of "checks and balances."

"Checks and balances" is a term of art referring to the inter-dependency of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government. However, referencing this term is not a license for the minority party to have majority sway in the Senate — a chamber that's only one-half of one branch. Democrats want the political force of the Republicans without the numeric force to attain it.

Ultimately, the greatest source of fear [for politicians] is the voting citizenry. But a paradox in representative government is that political power can legitimately go against popular will, even though earlier popular will is what placed that power in office. That's because the electorate is driven more by long-term sentiment over many issues in the aggregate versus short-term feelings over a few in the polls

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