Friday, March 16, 2007

 

Revolutionary/Evolutionary

I was in college in 1970. Kent State, Vietnam, Nixon - it all had little effect upon me. I stayed below the radar, even as the campus I attended exploded around me.

At the end of that year, I enetered the Navy, avoiding the draft and the Army. I angled for the Naval Security Group, which mostly worked NOT on ships, and largely in Europe.

So I went into the Navy, and then off to Germany and Scotland. I avoided Vietnam by complying with the system enough to stay below the radar. It was as calculated an effort as the Dems on the Hill are taking now, and it’s roots were the same - deal with what can be done.
Nonetheless, for me it was a personal consequences kind of decision. The risk profile for my choices was much lower than ALL the alternatives I could see.

So I wonder how much of what we sae, what Obey said, is a personal calculation of probable outcomes, or a good-of-the-people kind of calculation.

I can see that we all have legitimate differences about how to approach the good-of-the-people decisions - some of us will do what is possible, others will work to change what is possible. I think we all fear that the choices being made about Iran and Iraq are NOT good-of-the-people choices, but good-for-the-person choices. I am confident that most of us believe Republican, taken as a whole, are making good-for-the-person choices, and we believe that many Democrats are no different. But we desperately want to believe that the Democratic leadership is NOT making those kinds of choices.

I don’t think they are. I do think they are making do with what is possible.

Is it possible for ANYONE already on the hill to change what is possible? That is the question, isn’t it? Do we believe that Reid and Pelosi can change the conversation enough to change the possible? I don’t think they can. What change was possible happened back in Nov. Now we must rely upon the tools of power already in place.

In the end, and on the hill, it is never what is right, only what is possible. It is always politics.

It is a strike against Senator Clinton that she wouldn’t change the conversation even if she could, that her calculations have little appearance of even trying to do the possible.

I am not against calculation - I am opposed to calculation of the personal kind when in public position.

Who among us sacrifice the personal good for the public? Very few I think. We all like our comfort too well.

Voting is good - it’s cheap and satisfies our need (if we feel a need) to participate in the process. It isn’t enough.

But we will never convince the majority of Americans to vote, much less to participate. Personal comfort is very hard to argue against.

We each have our own journey to where we are. My journey leads me to argue for what is possible, but I am aware and appreciative of those who work to change what is possible.

Jake

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