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September 29, 2005

Popes Are Catholic; Goth Lead Singers Are Morbid; Politicians Are Disgusting

I used to joke that the Soviet Union collapsed because they only had one communist party. They'd still be around if they'd been smart enough to have two communist parties that were exactly alike on every issue except abortion.

So, here's an excerpt from a tangentially-connected post by Limited, Inc.:

[Begin] by viewing the parties as dead machinery. Not as ideologically colored, but as primarily vehicles to achieve political power by politicians. Now, just as we know that goth lead singers are going to be morbid, we know that politicians and those in the inner circle of politics are mostly going to be disgusting. I mean that special level of disgusting, that level on which every act of niceness, of goodness, is actually aimed at some incredibly narrow self-interested end. Politics collects manipulators. Furthermore, it is impossible to view politicians merely in terms of their political careers. In the age of big national governments, politicians long ago learned that this is a very good way to channel upwards and make money – with an elective office merely the junket that prepares one for the bucks of lobbying, corporate board membership, or the thousand and one ways to milk the cow that have developed since 1940 in D.C. Cheney simply puts into starker terms the reality of D.C. politics – it is all about making it in the “private sector,” which is actually as connected to the public sector as the function of the dryer is connected to the function of the washer. For a liberal like me, keeping my eyes on this primary fact – thinking, for instance, that it is as important in the career of Madeleine Albright that she lobbies for the Kuwaiti government as it is that she used to work for the Clinton administration – that the switches, here, are seamless -- is one way to get out of the magic circle cast by the reputation of the Democratic and Republican parties. For more politically important people than myself – people who govern NGOs like the Sierra club, or Moveon, etc. – this is a crucial step, although somehow I doubt they will ever take it. Eventually, they all plug into D.C. court society.

You should read it all. (Via.)

Posted at September 29, 2005 12:24 PM | TrackBack

Roger is one of the more underappreciated bloggers.

Posted by: Harry at September 29, 2005 02:10 PM

Jonathan -
With your usual perspicacity, you have penetrated to the essence of the distinction between the Stalinist and Free World systems. We're smart enough to invent *two* parties, so we can have Punch and Judy shows! USA No. 1!

More seriously, I am more and more seeing the parallels between our age and the Gilded Age. If we only had a Mark Twain, we might eventually be treated with a Teddy Roosevelt.

Posted by: jonj at September 29, 2005 03:16 PM

That's right. We need a president whose racist, imperial wars are more picturesque.

(With a nod to John Ralston Saul.)

Posted by: Sully at September 29, 2005 08:35 PM

Gore Vidal long ago had it right: Dems and Repubs merely represent the two wings of the Business Party.

Posted by: mk at September 29, 2005 10:31 PM