Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Amongst the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos

I want to chime in on something that I saw here via this place, specifically, the following bit from the P-G on Bonnie Mayor Lukey's criticism of Councilman Otis' criticism of the Mayor's budget:
"I'm not willing to sacrifice the city budget and use the city budget process to talk about political and personal agendas."  
Seriously?  Am I reading this right?  Is a politician offended that another politician would take a political issue and turn it into a political issue against him?  I am shocked, SHOCKED that this could have happened under my very nose!   Think of the children!  Alert the media!  Quick!  To the fallout shelter: POLITICS IS INVADING GOVERNMENT!!!!11!! 
The Horror!  The Horror!
Here I was thinking that the politicians that we elect would hold hands, sing "Kumbaya", and set aside their personal ambitions for the common good.  I had no idea that someone could put political gain ahead of the good of the polis
Of course, I've been living under a rock since 384 BC and had no knowledge of most of the canon of Western Political Theory, including Aristotle's Politics, Machiavelli's The Prince, Hobbes' Leviathan , or even the Federalist Papers and I also believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Elves, Magical Rainbow Farting Unicorns, and the presence of WMDs in Iraq that are an imminent threat to the United States. 
Think of what this will mean to the Republic: Elected officials will start caring more about polls than good policy!  They will start trying to play up issues that appeal to the electorate!  They will become divisive against their colleagues, hoping to achieve marginal gains at their expense!  They will play to the electorate's basest fears and desires, hoping to gain votes!  They will even say things that aren't technically true. 
I mean maybe you have to be as old and grizzled as me and you have to spend your career in public service to realize that politics is pervasive in government, so I'll forgive anyone with the naivete to think it is otherwise.  But seriously people, only the delusional or mildly retarded think that anyone in elected government is solely looking out for the common good and don't care a whit about upcoming elections. 
I hope I didn't shatter anyone's illusions. 

No comments: