Monday, July 21, 2008

Quotes of the week...

from Don Eggen at The Washington Post:

Quote of the Week No. 1

"Well, you know, God bless him, bless his heart, the president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject, and for him to be challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again."

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), when asked by CNN about Bush's criticism of Congress

Quote of the Week No. 2

"And they have no disregard for human life."

-- President Bush, referring to enemy fighters in Afghanistan

Don't you just love the English language and all of its little idiosyncracies? I know I do.

the Myth of Centrism

Definitions of centrism on the the web:
  • a political philosophy of avoiding the extremes of left and right by taking a moderate position or course of action
  • In politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes. ...
  • Any moderate political philosophy that avoids extremes
  • But, as George Lakoff knows, that center is something of a myth.

    Jim White (noted UT commenter) attended Netroots 08, and shared with us in a post at AchievingOurCountry his experience at a session videotaped for DFA's night school. The session was based on work from Lakoff's latest book, The Political Mind.

    Jim writes:
    To illustrate the concept that there is not a linear scale, Lakoff holds up the brilliant example of Senators Joe Lieberman and Chuck Hagel. The popular press incessantly describes both as “centrists”, yet they share virtually no views. On social issues, Lieberman is consistently progressive and Hagel is solidly conservative. On the war, Lieberman is conservative and Hagel is progressive. They share views on nothing, yet both are branded as centrists. How can there be such a thing as a centrist, or a center, if these two agree on nothing?

    And isn't it interesting how often we use words that are just as likely to be Reality-challenged as if they were everyday items? As if they were things that you can use and touch.

    So, that mythic centrist space doesn't really exist, especially not as a spot in one-dimensional space. After all, in politics, even three dimensions can seem inadequate for describing what the hell is going on.