Wednesday, August 11, 2004

NRO - fair and balanced

It's taken me a while to get over my distaste for conservative political journals. But articles like Jonah Goldberg's here, voicing distate for the newborn Keyes campaign, sure make it a lot easier. What a pleasant surprise to see a conservative journal not drool over the possibility of preserving a Republican Senate seat, whatever the cost. Instead, Goldberg is quite perturbed by the trendy political MOs practiced by both sides of the Aisle.
The trends at work are complex and numerous. The cult of celebrity allows famous but unqualified candidates to drop into politics in ways that, say, scholars or economists cannot. Loopy campaign-finance rules encourage the super-rich to buy their offices, and weakened political parties are only too happy to serve as closing agents for the sale. Worse, consumer culture has infected civic culture. The push to make voting so convenient you can do it with a remote control exemplifies a growing tendency among voters to regard their "choices" as more important than their obligations. Indeed, for some reason, lots of people think it's imperative that criminals vote. Put your ear to the ground and you'll hear the bulldozer coming for the Electoral College.