Partisanship and Leadership
Golda Meir once remarked of the Palestinians that when it comes to peace, they never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity.
A variation of that observation can be made with regard to partisanship in this recent financial crisis. Many of the same individuals who were instrumental in getting us into this mess are now, due to their positions, charged with getting us out of it. One would hope that they would be able to refrain from simple jabs. Their poisonous barbs can be easily saved for that marvelous and inevitable period when the storm has cleared, the sun emerges, and the spears are sharpened.
But, to quote the philosopher John Belushi, "Noooooo." There appears to be an almost irresistible desire to mix abuse with cries for compromise. That is shabby behavior, the people know it is shabby, and it will be remembered. Furthermore, such cheap shots are an abdication of leadership. The leader is supposed to elicit our better natures and not cater to our lower ones. It is no accident that the politicians who are most prone to this nonsense come from the sort of safe districts or states where they would have to be found guilty of clubbing seals in order to risk electoral defeat. Even then it might be close.
Which reminds me of the most cogent argument in favor of term limits: Their purpose is not to get rid of your member of Congress but someone else's.