Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Wednesday, May 01, 2002
Another strong and, I think, brave editorial in The New Republic on the subject of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. TNR got big points for me last summer for supporting ANWR drilling, and proposing that Democrats agree to a compromise: support for drilling in exchange for tighter fuel-efficiency standards. Sounded good to me. But, as the editorial points out, Democrats have, as a party, far less interest in actually improving the environment than they do in scoring political points off the public perception that the Bush Administration is ruthlessly anti-environmental - which, in fact, it is not.

One by one, the key Democratic interest groups are proving that all they stand for is self-preservation. The environmental lobby is interested in its own fundraising, not protecting the environment, so it forces a showdown over ANWR rather than negotiate with - and thereby legitimate - the Bush Administration. The so-called civil rights lobby is interested in its own fundraising - funds largely obtained from the government - and so favors symbolic showdowns (such as over the worthless Civil Rights Commission, or the maligned Judge Pickering) rather than the kind of horse trading that might help the communities they purport to support. The national Hispanic organizations fight to preserve bi-lingual education even though their own people strongly oppose it and the evidence is ovewhelming that it is an educational fraud, and they do so because it ensures that they will always have a captive constituency unassimilated into the American mainstream. The elderly lobby fights any kind of entitlement reform and, indeed, is lobbying to increase the cost of existing entitlements, thereby exacerbating the health-care problems of the poor and uninsured. I could go on and on. TNR has been very good about taking the Democratic interest groups to task for harming the very people they purport to represent - and, more importantly, gutting the Democratic Party in the process. They have come out in favor of ANWR drilling, in favor of expanding educational choice, in favor of welfare reform, in favor of entitlement reform (though not privatization), against racial hucksterism, in favor of a genuine judicial restraint and against the horrible politicization of the judiciary (which is now a bi-partisan sport), etc. etc. I applaud them. I wish the party with which they primarily identify would listen to them more often.