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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Esteem-able Things

Chris Stirewalt comments on the past and current inability of the congress to get anything meaningful accomplished:
The saying goes that if you want to have self-esteem, you should do esteem-able things.

Somebody should tack that one up in the Capitol.

There is still much that the members of the legislative branch must do before the November election, particularly as it relates to budgeting and appropriations. Then there are things that they should be doing, like addressing the ongoing debacles surrounding immigration and health insurance.

These are ongoing harms inflicted by the government on the people, and decency would seem to require some effort at serious remediation. But we all know that you’d go broke pretty quickly betting on the decency of the 115th Congress. In our post-shame era, there’s not much to do about such dereliction.

There are still other things that Congress could be doing. Election security strikes us as a pretty urgent cause, as does the fast-approaching insolvency of entitlement programs, decaying infrastructure and an educational system that is failing young people from pre-school to post-doctorate.

Aside from requiring courage and thoughtfulness, these things are impossibilities because they cannot be done in such a way that represents an abject defeat for one side. In business and most of the rest of life, “win-win” is the preferred outcome. In Washington, no action is deemed truly successful unless it harms someone else.
And therein lies the problem, negotiation has become win-lose because compromise on both the Right and the Left is viewed as a defeat. Let's consider one pressing issue—immigration. On the Right, a proposal that would grant amnesty to millions of illegals is viewed as heresy, even though everyone, including the same right-wingers who oppose amnesty, know that what we currently have is de facto amnesty. On the Left, any attempt to follow existing law and secure our borders along with rewriting our ridiculously ineffective immigration laws is viewed by left-wingers as bigoted and racist, even though the American public, by overwhelming majorities want our borders protected and our laws strengthed. Both sides are wrong, but neither will compromise.

In addition, in an era in which Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicts the Democratic party, there is no possibility of compromise—on anything. Donald Trump, according to the leftist majority of the Democratic party has accomplished nothing—the economy is in ruins with the lowest recorded unemployment in 40 years and the GDP edging toward 4 percent; racism is rampant as blacks and Latinos experience record employment; a trade war is imminent as the EU resolves to eliminate many tariffs; NATO is in peril as member nations (finally) commit the dollars it needs to maintain its strength; the middle class has been left behind as new steel mills open, employing thousands; only the rich have benefitted from tax reform as tens of millions see more money in their paychecks; we are closer than ever to war, even as North Korea takes the first tenuous steps toward nuclear disarmament; the president is a Russian puppet even as his administration has imposed some of the harshest measures against Russia in modern history. All of that and much, much more leads to cognitive dissonance on the part of any thinking Dem, but the response has been #Resistance. Just imagine what a little less resistance and a little more compromise from both the GOP and the Dems might accomplish. Nah, that's too sensible.

Doing esteem-able things? LOL.