Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: "I couldn't get it done"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Utah and SF Bay
    Posts
    1,831

    Default "I couldn't get it done"

    David Suissa
    The Jewish Journal
    June 28, 2019

    It was a shocking moment.

    In the middle of all the bluster at the Democratic primary debate Thursday night, with one candidate after another promising they would fix all of our problems, one candidate, Pete Buttigieg, decided to go in another direction.

    He decided he would tell us the truth and admit failure.

    In so doing, he exposed a deeper truth: There’s just so much a politician can do to make our lives better. All too often, they fail. The problem is, they never admit it. They’re afraid that if they do, they will lose our vote. And maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re just suckers for hucksters who promise us the moon. We want to believe that someone, somewhere, can make our lives better. The alternative— that the solution to most of our problems is inside each one of us — is too burdensome.

    It’s a lot more convenient to believe that some charismatic politician with the body language of an earnest savior can swoop in and save us. Then we’re off the hook. If we end up miserable, we can just blame the huckster who failed us. Rinse, repeat.

    With one honest line Thursday night, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg blew up that silent contract between huckster and sucker. When MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked him a tough question about the worsening race relations in his city under his watch, he didn’t dodge. He took the blame.

    If you ever wonder why the credibility of Congress is at an all-time low, and why cynicism is at an all-time high, look no further than the inability of politicians to ever admit failure and their reflex to overpromise.

    In a line that ought to resonate in all civics classrooms and enter the pantheon of our political discourse, Buttigieg looked at us and said, simply: “I couldn’t get it done.”

    The idea of a politician admitting failure so publicly was so disruptive to the prefabricated media drama of candidates battling each other that it slipped by like a ship in the night. No one dared touch that piece of plutonium. If the media got too close and started examining it, it might blow the cover on the lucrative hoax that politicians have the power to transform our lives.

    They don’t.


    Even the greatest dream merchant of modern times, Barack Obama, showed us the limits of exterior forces to fix our little worlds. He showed us that promising the world may seduce us, but, in the end, it won’t help us. It’s just another sugar high on the road to never-ending disappointment.

    Yes, it’s wonderful when politicians can get things done. But it’s not wonderful when they feel obligated to look like superheroes and make unrealistic promises because they think that’s all we’re capable of hearing—that we’re too weak to hear the truth about the limits of political power.

    Not one candidate had the courage to tell us the limits of politics, to tell us what they can’t do for us. Instead, all we saw was another carnival of overpromising.

    If you ever wonder why the credibility of Congress is at an all-time low, and why cynicism is at an all-time high, look no further than the inability of politicians to ever admit failure and their reflex to overpromise.

    It’s only by trusting the truth that one can regain trust. If all politicians do is tell us what we’re programmed to hear, they don’t treat us like humans, they treat us like robots. That is what these two primary debates over the past two nights felt like to me—a procession of well-meaning political robots. Not one candidate had the courage to tell us the limits of politics, to tell us what they can’t do for us. Instead, all we saw was another carnival of overpromising.

    Pete Buttigieg broke that pattern when he fessed up to failure. What he modeled for us with his answer to Rachel Maddow was humility, honesty and courage. Those character traits are bipartisan, and they’re more useful to our lives than any political promise everyone knows won’t be kept.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Saint Helena Island, SC
    Posts
    9,908

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    My daughter watched the entire debate. We talked about it the next day. She thought he came across the best. Presented facts, not emotion. At this stage, and admittedly it’s VERY early in the game he’s our favorite.
    The media however seems to have picked Harris as the clear winner, mainly do to the whipping she administered to Biden.
    If we are to choose a candidate based on their ability to beat up on other members of their own party as opposed to presenting facts then we might want to get ready for another 4 (or maybe more?) years of what we’ve got now.

    Frankly I’d like to see intelligence made fashionable again.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    22,252

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    That other article (interesting) suggests that’s unlikely. Folks don’t want to put in the effort.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)
    Posts
    55,821

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    We let them get away with it because it's too hard to be responsible. And the same applies to religions, it's the will of the lord and only ………………………… * can intervene and fix it. It's the same kind of thinking, but then if you were at the concentration camp door being shoved inside I guess you had to believe that something would help you, and if not your particular brand of politician/ sky pilot in this world, maybe the next. And if you believe in that particular piece of crap then you won't fight for what you have in this one.



    *(fill in politician/religion/dictator of choice)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    4,686

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    We let them get away with it because it's too hard to be responsible.
    As a "crew chief" as work.. if somebody under me messes up and admits it. The most I can say is "don't do it again" with a thank you added for being honest. Try to dodge the facts, lay blame on somebody else, or simply not tell anybody, blows everything out of proportion.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    St. Paul, MN, USA
    Posts
    52,784

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    I was very impressed with that answer. Honesty about a failure (whether one can legitimately blame it on him or not) is normally as rare among politicians as an extra head. I think the piece in the initial post is only partly true, but that part's important.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Utah and SF Bay
    Posts
    1,831

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    More honesty in IOWA.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    47,541

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    In the early '80s I used to arrange meetings between our congressman Gerry Studds and various low income people. This was the high tide of Reagan's slash and burn of poverty programs and congress was no protection. Unlike other pols, Studds did not make excuses for the repeated liberal failures to advance economic justice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    United States of Stupid
    Posts
    11,732

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post
    More honesty in IOWA.

    Very good!!
    In the US this perverted idea of “blood and soil” over “constitutional principles” is the most radical and anti-democratic and anti-Conservative idea I have heard in my lifetime.

    ~C. Ross

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sharon, MA
    Posts
    22,652

    Default Re: "I couldn't get it done"

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard38 View Post
    .
    The media however seems to have picked Harris as the clear winner, mainly do to the whipping she administered to Biden.
    If the object is to insure Trump's defeat, then a pragmatic choice for the person best able to stand up to Trump in the general election is clearly the best pick.

    Look, the universe of Democratic voters spans from the extreme left, to the moderate near-center.... and there are some voters who will not tolerate a candidate who doesn't endorse their views on specific issues.... which is the greatest weakness of what is normally considered to be a political asset, namely, the famous 'wide tent'.

    I'm not crazy about some of the far-left proposals... and neither am I enthusiastic about the 'minor incrementalism' posture of the extreme moderate candidates...

    ... but there isn't a single Democrat I would not gladly vote for, if doing so means a defeat for Trump. I simply hope that whoever gets picked, can do a credible job against him.

    Is Harris that person? So far, I'd say 'yes'... although my opinion is certainly subject to change.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •