Putting “politics” aside is capitulation

With the August 2 deadline fast approaching, many people are getting more than a little anxious for some kind of deal on the debt ceiling.  One of those is syndicated columnist Donna Brazile.  In her column, she calls on Congress to “drop politics”.  Unfortunately, like most any other person who calls for folks to drop politics, her motivations are political.

You see, any time anyone calls on the opposition group to drop politics, it’s really a call for that other side to shut up and do what the person wants.  It’s no different than calls for bipartisanship.  It doesn’t matter on political affiliation either, because both major parties do it pretty regularly.

However, if Brazile was serious about helping the nation, I would argue, then she would also beg for deep, deep spending cuts that exceed John Bohner and Harry Reid’s plans.  She would be calling for a serious rollback on intrusive government and job hampering regulations that would, ultimately, lead to increased revenue for the federal government.  She would call for a lot of things, but she isn’t.

Like so many others out there, Brazile is just wanting Republicans to shut up and do what she thinks they should be doing.  Is she necessarily wrong?  Well, that’s a topic for debate all on its own.  I honestly don’t want to get into that one right now.  But right or wrong doesn’t really matter, not for the purposes of this post as it applies to the debt ceiling.

Maybe it’s because I’m just a libertarian and therefore don’t have a team in Congress to call my own, but I get really sick of these kinds of calls.  Not because I don’t think people in Congress should do the right thing, but because politics is often predicated on what the right thing really is.  The third paragraph of this very post shows what I consider to be the right thing.  Those are my politics after all.  That’s where politics comes from.  The reason I get sick of these calls to “do the right thing” is because they really are “do what I think is the right thing”, and that’s not necessarily the right thing.

Once upon a time, there were laws in many states that required white people and black people to use separate facilities.  Everything from where you ate lunch to which water fountains you could drink from were regulated by law.  It wasn’t a good thing.  However, when those laws were passed, there were people who would argue with you until they were blue in the fact that segregation was “the right thing”.  Did that make it so?  Of course not.  This isn’t any different really, except in scale.

When someone wants politics to be put aside, they are doing it out of a refusal to put their own aside.  Look at the debt ceiling debate, for example.  No one is putting their politics aside, not completely.  If Democrats, for example, put their aside, then the debt ceiling would already be raised.  But they’re not doing that.  Nor should they necessarily.  Republicans aren’t putting aside theirs either, since if they did then again the debt ceiling would be raised.  Again, they’re not doing that.  And again, nor should they necessarily.

No one is putting aside their politics, and they shouldn’t.  Should they try to avoid defaulting?  Absolutely.  That doesn’t mean that either side should just roll over either.  After all, aren’t they all doing what they think is best for the United States?


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