July 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

Chris Satullo of the Inquirer, on the constant flip-flop hunt:

This narrative is illogical, but that only tightens its grip.

It goes like this:

Moderation equals weakness, a deficit of courage and principle. Compromise is for cowards. The middle is muddle, the land of Milquetoasts, the house of waffles, flip-flop beach. To find vigor, rigor, passion and principle, look to the margins. The spectrum's right and left edges are the land of the genuine, the home of the brave.

So any politician who moves - excuse me, "runs" - to the center must, the thinking goes, be motivated by craven expedience. It couldn't possibly be conviction or common sense.

This is counterfactual craziness, but so ingrained that we barely notice our mental straitjacket. Partisan activists adore this narrative. It flatters them, enhances their clout beyond what their exhausted ideas deserve.

You know what's almost as sad? The Sunday Inquirer has gotten so thin that I was able to read almost all of it just on one bus/train ride into the city.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 28, 2008 05:10 PM
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