It’s hard to pin down exactly why I haven’t been posting much recently. I think I’ve become a little overwhelmed with our nation’s politics. It seems to have reached a level of absurdity that I can’t bring myself to write about. I can’t tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats, I don’t see much hope in any real change happening soon,and so I think for a while I’m giving up on writing about the American political landscape.
I am however still motivated by the current challenges that my community faces. One of those challenges I was interviewed about by the local newspaper AnnArbror.com. I talked to a reporter about the growing need for emergency food assistance, the budget cuts, and the lack or resources. I was happy with the way he wrote about the subject, and if you’re interested you can read the entire thing here.
And while I’m on the subject of food banks, Matt Ygelsias wrote and excellent article in Slate about how to best help your local food bank (hint: it’s not dropping an old can in a box once a year.)
I suppose this can be called a shift in focus. I hope to start writing again more frequently, and I’m sure I’ll touch on the broader themes and causes of the difficulties that people in South East Michigan face, but I don’t anticipate caring about the GOP debates anytime soon.
Hold on everybody, it’s getting colder and weirder every day.
Part of the reason I’ve been blogging less is that right now I feel like I am probably more disillusioned with politics than I have ever been. More than during the lead up to the Iraq war, more than after Kerry was defeated, and more than after the financial collapse. But today I want to forget about that for just a minute. I want to share in celebrating my original home state of New York passing a landmark bill allowing homosexuals to get gay-married.
More great photos here.
And to think that if we as a country had similar rules to the state of New York, often referred to as the most dysfunctional congress in the country, we could possibly have a law like this nation wide. Matt Yglesias makes a very good point.
Suppose that the New York State Senate operated according to the rules of the United States Senate and a bill failed unless it secured a 60 percent supermajority. What would people be saying about Andrew Cuomo now? Well, itseems to me that many people would be castigating his failed leadership. Instead of Michael Barbaro’s account of his behind-the-scenes leadership reading like a virtuoso performance it would be reading like a story of a failed inside game. The meeting with high-dollar pro-equality Republican donors would seem not savvy, but naive and weak. Conversely, if the US Senate operated on a 50 vote rule, then both the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank bill would have gone further in advancing progressive priorities, there would have been more economic stimulus in the 111th Congress, the DREAM Act would have passed, and it’s conceivable that some kind of nationwide carbon pricing scheme would be in place. Which is just to say that political institutions matter, a lot.
I am waiting for the day when we as a country can pass a law that recognizes all of our citizens as equal, but for right now I’ll take what we can get. Thanks New York.
… by the way, in case you were wondering how the media covered the historic event, this graph does a lot of talking.