Thursday, January 19, 2006

All Politics Ought To Be Discussed In the Language of a Wacky Superhero Comic's just more fun that way.

Today's example: Ezra Klein channels Grant Morrison:
...what's always baffled me about the Bush administration is that despite their unconcerned, craven approach to policy-making, they refuse to capture enormously popular issues by correctly appropriating liberal policies. When they try, as on Medicare Part D, they end up talking like progressives, but legislating like transdimensional beings composed entirely of greed.
(Emphasis added to show the Morrisony part.)

Aesthetic note: "wacky" is meant simply as a description, not a critique.

Political note: I think EK's basic point here is actually off -- while it's true that the Bush Administration often has a "unconcerned, craven approach to policy-making", they also have a sufficient adherence to conservative ideology that of course they would never genuinely appropriate liberal policies (as opposed to liberal rhetoric, which as EK correctly notes they do appropriate). It's not surprising at all.

...I'm struggling with a formulation that will correctly capture the administration's underlying consistency in being craven in some circumstances and ideologically dogmatic in others -- but I do feel fairly sure there is one. It may be that correctly solving this problem will actually require getting a handle on related ones, e.g. to what degree (and in which cases) does the administration believe their own bullshit and to what degree (and in which cases) are they simply trying to (and often succeeding in) putting one over a gullible and apathetic public, i.e. are they stupid or lying?

No comments: