Jewish World Review Jan. 5, 2011 / 29 Teves, 5771
Dysfunctional Duo's undoing
By Jonah Goldberg
"Unfortunately, partisan politics has immobilized
The article was mostly a clever way to slap
"The Governator," meanwhile, leaves
Both Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg were deemed heroic for abandoning ideology to focus on pragmatic problem-solving. Bloomberg has made this something of a crusade. He helped launch the laughingstock group No Labels, which seeks to get the "politics out of problem-solving."
But people disagree about how to solve problems, and they may disagree about what is a problem in the first place. In a democratic republic, we hash out these disagreements through this thing called "politics." Getting politics out of problem-solving is synonymous with getting democracy out of politics.
The same goes for ideology. If you agree with a solution, it doesn't seem ideological. But if you disagree with the proposed solution (or that there's a problem at all), the remedy might look very ideological indeed. Given Time's political agenda, it saw Schwarzenegger's decision to spend his political energies on the Global Warming Solutions Act as an exercise in "pragmatism."
This was ludicrous because
In other words, even if you're on the climate change bandwagon, couldn't you say that the governor of the state with the nation's worst credit rating, a budget crisis more unbelievable than the plot of "Twins," a cratering manufacturing base and famously dysfunctional schools was making an ideologically blinkered decision to make global warming a priority, particularly given that the benefits of the law for
Meanwhile, Bloomberg, who before snowmageddon reportedly took seriously the idea of being carried to the Oval Office by a groundswell of support from Americans who don't believe in labels, thinks it's not ideological to dedicate much of his mayoralty to fighting global warming by clogging the streets with bike lanes and hybrid taxis.
The point isn't to argue with every one of the Dysfunctional Duo's decisions or priorities. They didn't get everything wrong, and things in NYC and
It is true that some serious problems are fairly free of partisan wrangling. But that doesn't mean they are free of politics. It means that there is such an overwhelming political consensus that nobody disputes what should be done (even if they might fight over how, or how much to pay for it). We all agree, for example, that firefighters should fight fires and that police should fight crime.
Oh, and New Yorkers believe that one of the mayor's top responsibilities is to make sure the snow is cleared so ambulances can reach those in need and so everyone can get to work. Mayors who spend more energy fighting "labels" in our politics than clearing the snow are rewarded with some labels too colorful for a family newspaper. But "ideologue" works as a substitute.
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