I’ve started reading the portions of the Times I like each morning through blogrunner’s annotated syndications. This may well make me dangerous, until we get a condo and can start getting physical papers (which will be a novelty) … and then I’ll be more like “On page 4a of the Times, there’s this great piece…”
In any event, in the Op-Ed section today, David Brooks “writes about abortion” in an interesting light — his point is that abortion is so polarizing and issue that it weakens everything else in the political process. I think this is interesting, because he’s not debating abortion — and neither am I — but rather considering the impact the issue itself, and the debate of the same, have on American politics. In current form, he fears it will bring the machine as it is grinding to a halt. With all of the discussions I hear about nuclear options and filibuster issues, and all of the struggle for judicial nominations, I can’t say I disagree with him on this point. I don’t know that I agree that the decision should never have happened, but the amount of people that vote a certain way entirely based on their party’s stance on Roe v. Wade (I’ll admit I have my own difficulties with this) do sort of miss the point on the remaining six thousand issues affecting our democracy.
On the other hand, what first came to mind while reading Brooks’ article was “well, nothing happens in politics these days because the system is mature, and it’s more a matter of refinement than reform.” I’m not sure I agree with myself in retrospect, but it caused me to re-approach the way I think about politics a little bit, in trying to think of a particular political system as a a chaotic mess that approaches a singularity at which it is considered stable, and further changes are less and less drastic.