Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Natural Tensions

In an earlier post I had confessed that I am not an expert on anything military. I make the same confession with respect to Physics. In fact, if I recall correctly, Physics was one of two courses I failed in High School. I think the other was Geometry.

One concept I did understand, although only in the most basic fashion, was the one that described how surface tension is the force that allows a water droplet to exist in the form we know it.

I call the concept "Natural Tension". In my view, natural tension exists in all manner of relationships, physical or not.

For example, there is a natural tension between parents and their children. The children are expected to explore their limits, the parents are expected to resist at whatever point they consider appropriate. In our modern era, where it seems every natural tendancy that is obviously ordinary has suddenly become complicated, the natural tension between parents and their children is now monitored by thousands of laws and bureaucrats.

Remarkably, or not, millions of parents seem to embrace the notion that child rearing is just too complicated for them and welcome the intrusion of Federal ( School Lunch programs, No Child Left Behind Act), State (each one has a Secretary of Education), County (innumerable Child Protective Services bureaucracies) and local governments in the raising of their children.

I, for example, cannot take my child out of her High School and bring her back later the same day without a note from a doctor. Why is my determination that it is ok for her to be out of school for any reason I deem appropriate insufficient? Because the bureaucrats and the parents who elected and/or acquiesce in the appointment of them presume me to be an idiot and/or a predator. Unfortuantely it appears that the majority of my peers agree with that assessment of parents in general; not themselves, of course, just "other parents". For reasons best known to themselves they happily or unwittingly have placed control of their kids in the hands of people they don't even know and seem comfortable with the notion.

There is also a natural tension in our political system. The executive and legislative branches, for example, are involved in a constant battle with each other over any number of issues. The absence of tension leads to cronyism and corruption. Too much tension and the "water droplet" that is our system may break. The exacerbation of natural tension is one of the several explanations for the seccession of the South.

Today, in the same way that so many of us have abdicated our responsibilities as parents to bureaucrats, many of us appear to have succumed to the notion that there is something unnatural about the natural tension of politics. We hear endless demands from the left for more civility in politics that are reported as though they are sincere. In the same breath that they call W all manner of vile names, compare our troops to Nazis (Sen. Durbin), declare that our troops in control of Abu Grahib are no better than Sadam (Sen. Kennedy), and vilify the politicization of the post of US Attorney (Sen. Schumer).

What Durbin, Kennedy, Schumer et al understand is the natural tension of politics. The tension is essential. They pretend sincerety while throwing their verbal bombs, but they cannot be sincere. I am often surprised that they are able to keep straight faces while making their silly assertions.

Schumer, for example, knows that the position of US Attorney is a political appointment and that the US Attorneys "serve at the pleasure of the President". The President has unfettered power to dismiss them at any time, for any reason or no reason. He knows, but does not say that Bill Clinton dismissed all 93 US Attorneys early in his first term, they were mostly Republican appointees, so thier dismissals were entirely political.

He knows but does not say that US Attorney Lamm in San Diego served to the end of her term, indicted and convicted Red Duke durng her term and was not removed to thwart that investigation. The suggestion to remove her was made months before the expiration of her term and the determination made that she would be replaced at the end of her term. There was obviously no intent to influence the Duke investigation.

The natural tension in politics is stretched to the breaking point when politicians succumb to the temptation to put politics ahead of the good of the country. Unfortunately we may be seeing evidence of just such an event now. Dems and Rinos have decided that for political gain they are going to try to force us out of Iraq.

The same people who were patiently explaining to us in 2005 and 2006 why it would be such a bad idea to set a timetable for withdrawal (Reid, Biden, Clinton) are now advocating the opposite. We know that they are doing so purely for perceived political gain because they do not refer to their earlier positions and explain why they have changed their minds. The reason they avoid that is there is no reasoning, other than personal political gain for their reversals of position and we as a group don't look kindly on the placing of self-interest before national interest.

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