The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Taking a Risk

I have studiously avoided any direct comment on Congressman Anthony Weiner’s behavior. I will continue to do so. However, the broader lessons to be learned are noted by Dana Milbank:
To make it to Congress, lawmakers have already been successful, and lucky. They stood out in their state legislatures, their businesses or their military careers. Once in office, they are surrounded by sycophantic staffers and lobbyist supplicants. Their members-only perks include drivers, special treatment on airplanes and the power to skip metal detectors. Because so few of them come from competitive districts, their lopsided victories and adoring supporters make them more and more impressed with their own might.

To amuse themselves, and to test their power, many of them take risks — a small gift, a playful remark, a bit of rhetorical excess — and, each time they get away with it, they become more convinced of their invincibility. They become thrill-seeking adolescents, taking ever-greater risks until they retire or get caught.

Milbank goes on to state that lawmakers take risks, not only in their sexual endeavors, but in the leadership roles we’ve elected them to perform.

This morning I listened to democratic Senator Dick Durbin expound on the economy, the debt, and solutions he might have to the economic problems we face. In what is becoming a distressingly common answer among Democrats, Durbin proceeded to criticize concrete proposed solutions by Republicans, claiming that they were policies that “got us into these problems in the first place.” That’s a meme you’ll be hearing frequently as the election season approaches.

But what you won’t be hearing are viable alternative solutions. Durbin, along with President Obama and most members of the Democratic leadership, has decided to take a risk. He talked about eliminating waste and abuse, and other peripheral cost cutting measures, even though these would do virtually nothing to reduce the deficit. He avoided providing any real solutions of his own.

Durbin and his brethren have decided to put the country at risk—all in the name of preserving profligate programs that they adore. No matter that these programs—from social security to Medicare, from social spending to jobs programs—are going to bankrupt this nation if nothing is done, they believe it’s worth the risk to delay, hoping that it provides political advantage.

I honestly don’t care whether Congress Weiner resigns for taking the risk he took. He put none of us at risk in doing so. But Durbin, the President and others who have decided to play chicken with the economy? They are taking a risk that puts all of us at risk—and that’s unacceptable.