Transterrestrial Musings  

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Watch
NASA Space Flight
Hobby Space
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
Mars Blog
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Space Cynic
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Selenian Boondocks
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
True Anomaly
Kevin Parkin
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
Saturn Follies
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
The Ombudsgod
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
Joanne Jacobs

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Hillary Finished | Main | Same Old Corn »

A Depressing Screed

...with which I wholeheartedly agree, from Lileks:

On the Hewitt show tonight I was talking about the end result of the administration’s overall rhetorical failure, its inability to assert and explain ideas near and/or dear to many who elected him. I think people gave up expecting high fine oratorical flourishes about matters other than the war and the ancillary issues long ago, but it does gall; like the squandered Congressional majority, it was a sign that the thick institutional inertia had filled the vacant crevasses in the domestic agenda. So we get campaign finance “reform,” and we get an energy bill that will require everyone to switch to bulbs that cost ten times more and require an EPA HAZMAT team to ninja their way through your skylights if you drop a bulb. (Yes, I know, it mandates efficiencies, and if old-style bulbs meet the standards, they’ll pass, but given the higher cost of fluorescents and the general planet-friendly rep they have, I expect that a combination of foot-dragging, ad campaigns, somewhat lower prices and improved quality will move people away from incandescents.) I don’t think the administration is in the pocket of Big Flourescent; I just think they don’t care.

Either they figured the logic of their case was self-evident, or saw no short-term gain to making arguments that polled low.

The Middle East? Don’t get me started. At the end of the Bush term Syria will run Lebanon, Israel will pressured to concede, Iran will unsanctioned and unbowed. Iraq will work in the end if we care and try and stay, and that’s no small thing; that’s the big thing, in the end. History won’t give a fig about the fluorescent-bulb bill. You could say that second terms always end like this. Clinton, however, would probably have gotten a third term. You could say he was an anomaly, since his appeal was more personal than ideological, and you could say that he didn’t spend his time making speeches in his second term defining liberalism for the 21st century. But he didn’t have to explain his ideas; they were part of the free-floating cloud of Unexamined Good Things instinctively accepted by the overclass, so he wasn’t exactly fighting an uphill battle. Bush had an opportunity to redefine certain ideas as progressive, not retrograde. Really: if the public school paradigm is the status quo, then attempts to upend the Etch-A-Sketch and find new solutions are progressive – unless you’re one of those blunt-headed types who believe that “conservatives” (a meaningless term, here) want to destroy unions and punish inner-city schools and funnel public bucks to nuns who prowl the aisles with a ruler, whapping knuckles when anyone mentions Darwin. Rethinking Social Security is progressive, especially if it means giving young people more control over how their forced contributions are invested. Nuclear power is progressive; the status quo, in place for twenty years, still thinks “The China Syndrome” is a documentary. I know it’s a different definition of progressive, but heck: redefining “progressive” is progressive.

As is redefining "liberal."

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 11, 2008 05:21 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.