Politics as Mess
Guest-blogging at Andrew Sullivan, Peter Suderman focuses on the "chaos" of the health-care debate to write more generally about the "problem with politics":
Politics is a matter of shouting, and dissent, and deal-making, and strategy, and slippery rhetoric, and compromise. It is not a matter of deciding on the "right" policy and then making it so -- even when your party controls the White House, the House, and the Senate.A reader wrote in to chide Suderman for ignoring the rising tide of community organizing, etc., and Suderman responds back:
As far as I can tell, the health-care protesters at town halls are "politically involved." Lobbyists soliciting favors from Congressmen is "political involvement." Politicians who know better (or should) cynically spreading rumors about "death panels" is political involvement too. It's not all pleasant, community-minded folks peacefully and sensibly arguing in policy-smart bullet points. I don't think it's possible to have a politically involved citizenry and avoid the sort of nuttiness we've seen.