Monday, June 20, 2011

Peter Baker's complacence

Sandy Levinson

Peter Baker has the lead article in yesterday's NYTimes "Week in Review" section. At one level, it is on the money inasmuch as he argues that the Constitution was designed to make governance difficult (though, presumably, not impossible). What is astonishing, though, is the stunning complacence he seems to display. For him Madison almost literally seems the last word (and, of course, he pays no attention at all to the Madison who spoke of the importance of learning the "lessons of experience"). Baker does quote some critics of the present gridlocked system, including Norman Ornstein, though his own heart seems to be with the pabulum dispensed by Vice President Biden and others about how the system really works quite well. And, of course, there is no mention at all of people like Dan Lazare, Larry Sabato, or myself (or, for that matter, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who has come out for a new constitutional convention in order to propose a balanced budget amendment).

Baker's aricle is almost enough to make one sympathetic to some of Sarah Palin's attacks on the ideological blinkers of MSM, but, as Richard Nixon might remind us, "that would be wrong."


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