Being right on policy issues is irrelevant if you cannot govern.
dennisbmurphy
161

Based on your other writings, I’m guessing that you mean the ability to govern requires one to be part of the political system; to be an integral member of a political party, without which you will receive no support for your policies in Congress.

Is that the argument?

In response, I’d opine that the ability to push your policy agenda is worse than irrelevant — it is malignant — when that agenda is harmful to the country and its inhabitants.

We’ve seen this play out over the past decades. Reagan was able to govern, but dramatically cut income taxes for the rich, while layering payroll taxes on the working class. Was that better, or worse, than an impotent President who has all the right policies, but no political support?

Bush sent us to war with his ability to govern; a war we can’t extract ourselves from; a war directed at no specific enemy. A war against a tactic. Is that better than a President with no support in Congress, but with a veto pen and a conscience, to prevent disastrous bills from becoming law?

Clinton had the ability to govern, and used it to discriminate against the LBGT community, to outsource prisons to for-profit enterprises (creating an obscene profit-motive to incarcerate people), to further impoverish the poor with welfare reform, and then police their neighborhoods like an occupying army. All while removing even the pretense of regulation on Wall St, and setting the table for the global financial crisis.

If that’s governing, I’ll take a little less of that, thanks.

The ability to govern — or, if you will — the political support to advance your agenda, is only a good thing if it’s a positive agenda for the many, not the few. Bernie’s agenda was positive. His was the only agenda that was consistently positive, because his was the only campaign that wasn’t taking bribe money from corporations to push their agenda for the few, at the expense of the many.

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