Thursday, June 19

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a man who is the mayor of a small commuter-city within the NYC metro area. He seemed to be an upstanding individual, and had several municipal programs in place that appeared to be aimed at "doing the right thing" (social welfare, urban redevelopment, etc.). During that conversation, it was pointed out that a couple of his council members are opposing some of the good things he wants to do. I asked why--budget constraints, differing views of the correct solution? No, he said, they just didn't like him personally.

Later, an astute observer pointed out that politics is one discipline that never sheds the simplistic and immature social relationships we develop in high school. The above situation makes me think of the political wind-blowing described in this article from today's New York Times: The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs.

In politics, it seems, attempts at objective thought are considered irrational idealism. (New York Times; login: opensewer; password: iswatching.)