Thursday, November 09, 2006

was i just talking about engagement?

The other day I was talking about engagement with neoconservatives.

This, from Senator Barak Obama, is more along the same lines.

...You can have the best agenda in the world, but if you don’t control the gavel you cannot move an agenda forward. And, when you do control the gavel, not only can you move an agenda forward but you can actually [move them]. I constantly see opportunities for collaboration across ideological lines to get stuff done. But you have to be the one who’s dictating how the compromises work. If it’s somebody who’s not interested in compromising who’s in charge, you can come up with all sorts of good ideas, and they’ll stiff you. If you’re the person who somebody else has to come to, you can actually engage, and that’s how, for example, we got the death-penalty reform. We set up the first videotaping of interrogations and confessions on capital cases. We were in the majority at that point, but I still reached out to all the law-enforcement folks, and we just sat down in a room. And that is, by the way, the most gratifying feeling in politics, for me: when you hit that sweet spot where everybody concludes that the law that we’ve just passed works and is going to make things better, and everybody across party lines has to confess that we’re probably better off with this thing than not...

So, I am not averse to reaching out to the fallen in political dialogue. As long as the gavel is in my hand, I at least can ensure fair debate.

Beliefs are beliefs, but what you believe about process is the difference-maker. If you believe in good-faith process that enables the best decision, the best law and the best government to emerge fairly, then you are in my way of thinking.

My hope for the Democratic Party is they won't run away from that idea. It is part of why they puff up with superiority, but it is also what makes hope in the political process possible. If both parties veer toward cynical governance, then 'the terrorists have won' as people are wont to say these days.


Post a Comment

<< Home