Thursday, July 30, 2009

Let's get rid of the Beltway Mentality

Glenn Greenwald is right when he says, of our modern politicians and media:

Dispensing with core Constitutional principles in the name of "practical considerations" -- and treating ludicrous, bad faith claims with respect -- creates a facade of reasonableness. But there's nothing reasonable about
it. It's intellectually barren and, worse, is the prime enabler for why our political leaders stray so far and so frequently from those principles. It's why they break the law with impunity and know they can. The Bill of Rights and the rule of law aren't like modifications to the tax code or compromises over the stimulus package. They're in a fundamentally different category. The failure to recognize that category is a defining attribute of the Beltway sickness and is a prime reason why Washington so frequently degrades and destroys whatever it touches.
He's wrong abou tone thing, however, and it's a labeling issue.See, like many pundits, commentators, and thoughtful journalists (a.k.a. Bill Moyers), Glenn refers to this as a Beltway Mentality. Its a phrase of convenicne, meant to excoriate politicians in Washington D.C. located inside the Capitol Beltway (I-495). I get that. The thng is - I live and work insdie that same beltway, in a federal executive agency. Yet I do not share the outlook, ideaology, or platfrom of those oligarchs. And I' appreciate it if Mr. Greenwald would consider inventing an dpopularizing a new term - Capitol Mentality, Congressional Mentality, American Oligarch Mentality - something pithy and succinct, but which leave out the character and world views of everyone else who lives and works inside the Beltway. That way, the focus will be on the people (and their words and deeds) who are really the responsible parties.

Thanks Glenn, I know you will come through.

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