Thursday, April 06, 2006

Moralism and It's Constraints

Cal Thomas fancies himself a moralist. He approaches politics from a moral set of rules and values and happily condemns those who fail to live up to his standards. Unsurprisingly all of his vaunted morals and values are basically set up such that Conservatives win and Liberals lose; he's, in essence, rigged the game. To be a good person and a moral politician, one pretty much has to be a conservative republican.

This moralistic way of writing about politics does have it's limits though, as evidenced by his latest article on the Tom Delay resignation. You see Mr. Delay seems to have done a bad thing. He seems to have been corrupt. On the other hand, he has been a vigorous Republican. So how do you reconcile these two problems? Well you right a mishmash of a column, one that seems kind of like an amorphous spineless blob (very few blobs have spines).

One example of this blob like qualities - he spends three paragraphs talking about Democratic scandals and bad faith in pursuing Tom Delay and then says:
All of this is beside the point. Ethics should not be a matter of how many indictments were handed down (or averted), or how close one can get to the edge of the law without violating it; neither should it be about score-carding the opposition and declaring one party more honest than the other because more of them have been forced to resign, or gone to prison than members of one's own party.
That is called having your cake (ripping into democrats) and eating it too (by rising above the partisan bickering). It's a very moralistic and spineless thing to do.

His solution to the Delay problem, incidentally, is term limits. Presumably because he doesn't trust the American people to notice corruption effectively.

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