Sunday, May 08, 2005

Goo-goos get nuked

This Washington Post editorial says a lot of sensible things about the GOP’s impending exercise of the nuclear option and Democratic plans to disrupt Senate business. As in, both sides are behaving in a cravenly political manner, abandoning basic principles for short-term advantage, and damaging not only Senate comity but its institutional DNA, the charming quirks that make it what it is. OK so far. But what is the Post’s solution? To address the filibuster issue – but have any changes take effect in 2009. But such a solution is obviously impossible – the proposal ignores the trends that got us into this fix in the first place. The writer must be aware of these, having spent the previous seven paragraphs succinctly outlining them.

This reflects the plight of the editorial writer in these days of unremitting partisan warfare: If you yourself are not buying the party-line hackery (not a given by any means) what do you say when there is no realistic, boring good-government solution? Harumphing and urging both sides to suddenly stop being partisan is ridiculous. The GOP has so hopelessly tilted the playing field that there is no middle ground. Democrats have no alternative ideas, but opposition seems to be working for them. The recriminations are going to play out one way or the other.

This is yet another reason for the decline/growing irrelevancy of newspapers – the editorial pages’ borderline-nutty high-mindedness. So what should editorial writers do? I’ll have to think about that one.