On and on goes media coverage of the debt ceiling standoff, a shocking spectacle of Democratic weakness and Republican greed. What’s not being covered in the ongoing misery of the millions of Americans who lost jobs and/or homes and see no signs that the White House and Congress intend to do anything in the way of jobs creation.
George Packer recently shed light on the situation by itemizing the travails of one desperate family and showing how irrelevant all such families are to the blowhards we elected to help mend the economy. Then he put the rot of our political system in perspective:
The sociologist Max Weber, in his 1919 essay “Politics as a Vocation,” drew a distinction between “the ethic of responsibility” and “the ethic of ultimate ends”—between those who act from a sense of practical consequence and those who act from higher conviction, regardless of consequences. These ethics are tragically opposed, but the true calling of politics requires a union of the two. On its own, the ethic of responsibility can become a devotion to technically correct procedure, while the ethic of ultimate ends can become fanaticism. Weber’s terms perfectly capture the toxic dynamic between the President, who takes responsibility as an end in itself, and the Republicans in Congress, who are destructively consumed with their own dogma. Neither side can be said to possess what Weber calls a “leader’s personality.” Responsibility without conviction is weak, but it is sane. Conviction without responsibility, in the current incarnation of the Republican Party, is raving mad.
Packer’s use of the word “sane” might be dubious, but he makes it clear the the jobs picture won’t brighten until we stop electing people to high office who are weak, corrupt and/or crazy.
… Lest you think the Lone Star State has the only direct line to the divine, note that, in this presidential cycle, both Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have said they are running at God’s behest. So, for that matter, has Paul Sims, an ex-firefighter and self-proclaimed “George Washington of today” from Rolla, Missouri, who shared his plans via a YouTube video posted in March. In a less conventional move, Mike Huckabee explained that his decision not to run for president was based on God’s guidance.
All of which means the governor with the cowboy boots and the permanent wave might encounter a bumpy road should he decide to go with God. As the Good Book (almost) says, “Many are called, but only one is chosen for the nomination.”