March 7, 2009

NO ONE EVEN MILDLY VERSED IN HISTORY...:

Yes, More Mr. Nice Guy (MATT BAI, 3/08/09, NY Times Magazine)

As the political scientist James Morone recently pointed out on The Times’s Op-Ed page, legislative bipartisanship, in the sense of two-party unity behind a single agenda, has never really existed. The presidents we tend to immortalize hardly managed to transcend party politics; their greatness grew from their willingness to articulate arguments that were calibrated to be divisive. Franklin Roosevelt infuriated generations of conservatives who reviled his concept of expansive government. Ronald Reagan’s passionate counterargument made him an enduring enemy to the left.

This doesn’t mean, though, that our politics have not fundamentally changed over the last few decades. Roosevelt and his Republican critics had profound disagreements, but both sides understood that their dispute was ideological rather than personal, the clash of opposing theories in a common pursuit.


...could write with a straight face that politics wasn't personal for FDR, perhaps the most vindictive man ever to occupy the White House. This was a guy, after all, who put Americans of Japanese descent into concentration camps just because he miscalculated the Japanese military's capacity.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2009 7:39 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« AS A POLITICAL MATTER...: | Main | WHAT IS YOUR DEMOCRACY TO OUR rEALISTS?: »