Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Forget next election, worry about now

In this morning's Union Leader, Charlie Arlinghaus reminds us that there's something between the last election and the next one, governing:

In New Hampshire, we face a significant budget crisis, perhaps the greatest in recent history. Partisans on all sides will be tempted to look ahead to the next election. They need to avoid that temptation and follow Gov. Palin's advice to focus on the task at hand, the job they were elected to do.

In doing that job, they can focus on principle or abandon principle in search of some mythic consensus or middle ground. Lamar Alexander suggests action based on principle.

Voters elect people to represent them. We expect each to do the right thing, to adopt policies he or she believes will be effective and to accomplish something. Sometimes a policy choice might achieve consensus or something close to it. However, consensus is necessarily rare. If it weren't, it would be because there were no policy differences and elections wouldn't matter.

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