Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Political Cost of Listening to Constituents

Funny title, right? Well, according to Bush 43, that's exactly what's coming. This article has the Prez on record as follows (emphasis added).

President Bush, facing an uphill battle on Social Security in Congress, worked Tuesday to persuade moderate Republicans to resist pressure from constituents and support his ideas for changing the nation's retirement system.

"I fully recognize some in Washington, you know, don't particularly want to address this issue," Bush said in an auditorium at Greece Athena Middle and High School. I recognize some of them say, `Well, this is, this is a partisan thing. You know, we don't want to make one party look good at the expense of another."

So when did we start caring about playing politics and partisanship to paint one part with a big red brush? Just curious. Here's the seemingly inconsistent part:

"I think more and more people recognize there's a problem and people are going to say `Go do something about it.' And those who obstruct reform -- no matter what party they're in -- will pay a political price, in my judgment," Bush said.

Either this is another of Bush's endless non sequiturs, or he appears to be saying that the political price to be paid is not that of losing the votes of constituents, or at least not directly. But what price would matter more to legislators? After all, it's not like the GOP cries havoc on those who stray from the party line. It's just those pesky moderate republican constituents, who are so negligent as to vote their consciences.

Orwell keeps looking more and more prescient.


Anonymous binky said...

Well, there is some foundation within democratic theory to support the "leading" function of elites in addition to (or even instead of) the blind representation of constituents. Such arguments are often marshalled in support of major shifts in policy (civil rights in the US for example, where many constituents were violently opposed to change). I don't know if Bush is that well-acquainted with such theory, nor that he intends to use it to justify his position, however I'm sure he'd like to portray his ideas on Social Security as just such a shift, one for which people oppose something that really is better.

9:41 AM  

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