Tuesday, December 14, 2010

smarter than the average donkey?

The Achenblog has a couple of interesting thoughts on the current tax bill. One of them carries the transcript of Obama's response to a reporter questioning Obama's values. A clip of this appeared on the Daily Show last week. Here's a bit that wasn't included there: 
That can't be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America. Neither does The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Most Americans, they're just trying to figure out how to go about their lives and how can we make sure that our elected officials are looking out for us. And that means because it's a big, diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we're going to compromise. This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare was started, it was a small program. It grew.
Under the criteria that you just set out, each of those were betrayals of some abstract ideal. This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding. And if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a union.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw the tape of the exchange with Obama. The "principled" view of those on the far right and left will result in nothing getting done and leave the nation stagnating in a morass of full societal problems (climate, energy, financial just to mention a few) while other nations continue to grow and progress (from their current developmental stage (China, India, etc). In that relative sense we will become less influential (not necessarily a bad thing) and more vulnerable (that is a bad thing). I've never thought any kind of orthodoxy to be a positive influence. It's just self-righteousness.

211 Vierling