mardi, octobre 09, 2007

He's got a point

I love it when a serious journalist like Hendrik Hertzberg (of The New Yorker) makes an obvious point that I've never thought about before. It is so humbling.

These comments are from a conversation (see link above if you want to read the entire interview) he is talking about political journalism with Radar Online interviewer Charles Kaiser.
I consider myself (kudos from all, please) a literate (well, occasionally), moderate, open-minded member of the commentariat. But I certainly tend to view politicians as being a breed apart-as somehow having sold out before the first school board campaign. Actually, a few of them probably don't get corrupted until they meet their first lobbyist.

I'm being forced to see here that my thoughts on this matter are rather primitive...

So the possibility that they are human beings that sometimes buckle under constant pressure-to compromise, to promote antagonisms, to hide their human brokeness--gives me pause. It' something I need to think about. I don't see myself letting them off the hook when they make terrible choices, as with this war. But Herzberg's comment does make me wonder why I hadn't seen this before-thank you!

"Of course there's an inside-the-Beltway problem. There's also an outside-the-Beltway problem.

Which one is worse?The one that one happens to be discussing at the moment. The inside-the-Beltway problem is a type of tunnel vision and a sense of narrow possibilities. It's also a fear of not being Serious with a capital S.

I would say Serious/Masculine.Yes, right. In other words, it's much harder to damage your career by consistently supporting war and cruelty than by consistently supporting peace and love. The default position is "bombs away." The problem with the outside-the-Beltway mentality is an ignorance of what the actual human pressures and incentives are inside the Beltway, why politicians and pundits behave the way they do, and why that is not necessarily entirely attributable to their moral depravity."

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