Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bland Centrism Waters Down the Stimulus

E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post wrote on Thursday about how bland centrism watered down the stimulus package...

The Obama administration keeps having to learn that bland centrism is not pragmatic, that it's not helpful in resolving a big crisis and that it certainly doesn't buy you any love.[...]

This is the cost of bland centrism: The plan seemed to be defined more by what it didn't want to be than by what it actually was, inspired more by a concern with how things look than what actually works. [...]

The Senate's compromise bill was the essence of preferring the illusion of moderation over substance. By stripping out of the House bill significant amounts of fiscal help to the states, school construction money and other forms of spending, those so-called moderate senators who provided the key votes made the proposal far less stimulative. [...]

There is nothing wrong with a sensible centrism that tries to balance competing goods. But Washington has become too concerned with appearances and with calculating the distance from some arbitrary midpoint in any given debate. The sensible center should be defined by what works, even if that means discovering that the true middle ground isn't where we thought it was.
Follow the link for more specifics on the stimulus bill.

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