Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Real Politic

A couple of recent news items demonstrate once again that in spite of all the high flying rhetoric that Democrats and Republicans like to throw up, at its core politics is about two things: winning elections and implementing your policies.

Example numero uno is the Minnesota Senate contest. When Al Franken was trailing during the recount, the mantra of his campaign was "Count every vote!" while the Coleman campaign was content with the status quo. Now that Coleman is behind, he's the one talking about protecting the precious rights of every citizen to have their vote counted while Franken is trying to prevent any further votes from being tallied. The reality is that neither campaign ever cared about every vote being counted. They just wanted the right votes counted that would allow them to win. To pretend that one campaign's actions have been more noble or principled than the other's is naive. During all phases of the election, both campaigns have operated with one goal in mind: win the election. The one that appears to have been more effective at is the one that will likely be the winner.

Number two is the curious case of Timothy Geithner. No liberal with a shred of intellectual honesty can pretend that if a man with his background and tax trouble had been nominated for Treasury Secretary by a Republican, they wouldn't have been at the ramparts in high dudgeon screaming at how outrageous it was that a man who had failed to pay his taxes would now be overseeing the IRS. Different rules for the "common man" and the elites and all sorts of other populist wailing would have been heard from every liberal blogger and pundit in the land. But since this the man that Obama wants, it must be the right thing to do. It shows once again that ethics are nice to talk about during a campaign, but once it comes to actually getting things done they take a back seat. It shouldn't be surprising since that's how politics has always worked. The message is different--"hope and change"--but the politics are the same.

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