Thursday, July 27, 2017

"The Era of Bullshit Pollitics"

via Vox:

It is not just McCain. For years, the senators I interview on both sides of the aisle have privately expressed their despair, their disappointment, their humiliation. Few legislators today take pride in their work or believe the era in which they serve will be remembered with admiration and honor. In these discussions, I always ask the same questions. Why not buck leadership? Why not act in the way you think is honorable, if you think the institution is rotting around you? Why not band together with your similarly angry colleagues and refuse to let anything pass unless changes are made?

I have never gotten a good answer.

Skepticism is healthy in politics. But this era requires more than skepticism. This is a total collapse of the credibility of all the key policymakers in the American government. Our political system is built on the assumption that words have some meaning, that the statements policymakers make have some rough correlation to the actions they will take. But here, in the era of bullshit politics, they don’t. If this becomes the new normal in policymaking, it will be disastrous.

I certainly agree with Ezra Klein, but two things always disturb me about American

1.) They never genuinely identify who's at fault here, as Klein writes, "all key
policymakers" when it's nearly always Republican lawmakers who are disingenuous
and deceptive.

2.)  American pundits have zero sense of history, as Klein writes, "If this becomes the
new normal in policymaking, it will be disastrous." Where has Ezra been for the past
20 years or so? What's happening now has been the new normal for at least that long.
And when, with some minor exceptions when Democrats were in the majority, has it
not been "disastrous" for the country?

I do, however, thoroughly enjoy Klein's calling it, "the era of bullshit politics,"
because that's precisely what Americans have been exposed to and suffered under
ever since Ronald Reagan stepped into the Oval Office.

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