Sunday, January 2, 2011

On Writing And The Consitution

Alpheus links to an interview in which Ezra Klein argues the meaning of the Constitution is confusing and conclusions breakdown along partisan lines.  Therefore, it doesn't really have any meaning.

FLG could go on about time horizons -- how Ezra looks at the partisanship as the root cause, but it could also be that people bring their time horizons to bear, not mere partisan advantage --  but instead what first came to FLG's mind was Phaedrus:
I cannot help feeling, Phaedrus, that writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence. And the same may be said of speeches. You would imagine that they had intelligence, but if you want to know anything and put a question to one of them, the speaker always gives one unvarying answer. And when they have been once written down they are tumbled about anywhere among those who may or may not understand them, and know not to whom they should reply, to whom not: and, if they are maltreated or abused, they have no parent to protect them; and they cannot protect or defend themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Per your time horizons - did you catch this in the NYT today? It's from a column advising O on how to *actually* work with the people he called hostage takers about 18 days ago:

"Charles L. Schultze, chief economist for former President Jimmy Carter, once proposed a simple test for telling a conservative economist from a liberal one. Ask each to fill in the blanks in this sentence with the words “long” and “short”: “Take care of the ____ run and the ____ run will take care of itself.”

"Liberals, Mr. Schultze suggested, tend to worry most about short-run policy. And, indeed, starting with the stimulus package in early 2009, your economic policy has focused on the short-run problem of promoting recovery from the financial crisis and economic downturn.

"But now it is time to pivot and address the long-term fiscal problem. In last year’s proposed budget, you projected a rising debt-to-G.D.P. ratio for as far as the eye can see. That is not sustainable..."

Mrs. P

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