Wise Words About Local Politicians’ Cosmic Sermonizing While Neglecting Mundane Challenges

Jim Geraghty notes some smart thoughts from Victor David Hanson and adds a bit of his own:

The always great Victor Davis Hanson: “Dupnik is a good example of the increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing when more mundane challenges go unaddressed. In Dupnik’s case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff’s department files to ensure they don’t get guns and bullets and pop up at political events, but apparently far easier to deflect subsequent responsibility by sounding off on political issues.

“New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was a past master of lecturing about the cosmic while at times ignoring the more concrete. Governing the boroughs of an often-chaotic New York City is nearly impossible. Pontificating on the evils of smoking, fatty foods, and supposed anti-Muslim bigotry was not only far easier but had established the mayor as a national figure of sensitivity and caring. He was praised for his progressive declarations by supporters of everything from global warming to abortion. But Bloomberg’s carefully constructed philosopher’s image was finally shattered by the December 2010 blizzard and his own asleep-at-the-wheel reaction. An incompetent municipal response to record snowfalls barricaded millions in their borough houses and apartments, amid lurid rumors of deliberate union-sponsored slowdowns by Bloomberg’s city crews.”

There is enormous opportunity for the Republicans elected in 2009 and 2010; if they just do their jobs, they will prove exponentially more satisfying to the electorate than the recent breed of aspiring philosopher-kings. To paraphrase FedEx’s Fred Smith, the first priority is making sure that the first priority remains the first priority.

Politicians in general, and liberals in particular, have a huge problem with mission creep.  For example, check out just about any of the photo-logs at Zombietime of lefty protests.  They may start out as anti-war (or as Glenn Reynolds points out, anti-US rather than anti-war) protests, but inevitably devolve into a mess of anti-globalism, anti-capitalism, environmentalism, etc. incoherence-ism.

What we need is for the political class, especially those on the left who desire to control us, to understand that what we want is competence in the basic tasks of government.  Keep us safe, protect the borders, restrain the worst elements of free society, and manage for the unfortunate a basic safety net.  That’s about it.  Just be competent and otherwise stay out of the way.  Apparently, that is too much to ask.

The quote is from Jim’s Morning JoltSign up here.

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

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