Back on this post, Mike Cakora said there were things we could do to get the economy back on track, but there was a catch:
…it could be that one party develops a comprehensive approach to taxes,
healthcare, energy, and the other stuff that ails us. I know you won’t
like this, but it’s going to take a party to do so because any
comprehensive fix will involve leadership, discipline, and limited
horse-trading to deal with the special-interest harpies.
Actually, Mike, it doesn’t take a party to act in time of crisis. It takes the opposite; it takes willingness to cast partisan considerations aside. Conveniently, there’s an object lesson of this atop today’s front page in The Wall Street Journal:
WASHINGTON — On Jan. 17, Washington’s mad dash to finalize an economic-stimulus plan ran into a wall.
On an afternoon conference call, the two top Democrats
in Congress warned President Bush against going public with his own
plan. "People will have to come out and criticize it if you put out a
plan," Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said, according to
people familiar with the matter. "It will look like you’re trying to
jam us on this." Mr. Bush said he’d think it over.
Democrats left the call fuming. Some discussed rushing
out their own plan to avoid being upstaged. The effort by both sides to
keep their partisan instincts under wraps was coming unraveled. Ten
minutes later, the president averted a clash by instructing his
Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, to call Capitol Hill leaders and say
the White House would keep mum on the details of its plan.
A week later, congressional leaders and the White House announced their
boldest attempt yet to address the economic uncertainty that some fear
could lead to the deepest U.S. downturn in decades.
Mind you, I’m not saying this stimulus plan is necessarily the right action. But having slept through Ben Stein’s class, I can’t say I know what the right action is. Considering I have to trust other folks to be smart for me on this, I am WAY more likely to trust a bipartisan consensus action than a partisan one. Yes, that could mean a plan too watered down to do any good even if it moves in the right direction. Right now, I prefer the conservative (and no, folks, I don’t mean politically conservative in the popular sense; I’m using the word in a plain English manner) approach. I guess for the time being I’m trusting Brooks’ ecology to set the balance right.
Of course, when we get to the bread lines, I might be calling for a New Deal.
But in the meantime, we need Dems and Repubs to act like grownups and think about the good of the nation for a change, instead of scoring points on each other in the nauseating game that they usually play. And Sen. Reid, your people would not "have to come out and criticize," nor would the president’s people "have to" do likewise, no matter how compelling your visceral compulsion may seem.
To the contrary, you all have an obligation to the country not to go into knee-jerk partisan fulmination mode, particularly in a time of crisis. Thank you, Sen. Reid and President Bush, for realizing that and managing to overcome that impulse and act appropriately, even if you did it only out of electoral fear of those of us who are sick and tired of your default modes, and even if it’s only for this one brief moment.