On eating cakes

The TOI front page edit yesterday-

…The time has come to also say no to corruption. The strongest signal Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh can send out to venal netas and their babus is to pack the cabinet with honest and efficient men and women. Let us not continue with ministers who have so brazenly bled the system…

It’s time we jettisoned our politics of cynicism for a politics of conscience. We are aware that the pundits will laugh this off as the naivete of the hopelessly idealistic, and say “that’s not how the system works”. But change comes because someone somewhere has the courage of conviction—no matter how foolish—to tilt at windmills.

The TOI thinks its being “idealistic.”

Here’s today’s edit

The Left strategy, which was formulated by CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and accepted without any visible opposition by all allies including the CPI, was to project before voters a third front as the alternative to the Congress and the BJP. This front was nothing but a pre-election coalition of convenience consisting of parties…

It is now known that not all in the party agreed with the central leadership’s decisions to withdraw support to the UPA government on the nuclear deal issue and champion the third alternative. Pragmatic state leaderships that run governments don’t seem to share the ideological stubbornness of the likes of Karat.

There’s something amusing here, apart from the “fact” that this analysis of the Left’s defeat is dead wrong – the editor is simply seeing what he wants to see.

As far as I know, both “idealism” and “ideology” share the same etymological roots, the word “idea.” So its amusing, again, to see amnesia in action. Yesterday, it was all about idealism; today its all about pragmatism with “ideology” being “stubborn” (I am not supporting Karat). TOI needs to make up its mind. Some “pundits” would say compromising with “venal” politicians – being pragmatic – is a good thing.

Corruption does not always mean stealing when no one’s watching. It can also occur in the open, with newspapers applauding it. Like George Will writes in this Washington Post column (via Cafe Hayek)-

The Troubled Assets Relief Program, which has not yet been used for its supposed purpose (to purchase such assets from banks), has been the instrument of the administration’s adventure in the automobile industry. TARP’s $700 billion, like much of the supposed “stimulus” money, is a slush fund the executive branch can use as it pleases. This is as lawless as it would be for Congress to say to the IRS: We need $3.5 trillion to run the government next year, so raise it however you wish — from whomever, at whatever rates you think suitable. Don’t bother us with details.

This is not gross, unambiguous lawlessness of the Nixonian sort — burglaries, abuse of the IRS and FBI, etc. — but it is uncomfortably close to an abuse of power that perhaps gave Nixon ideas…

The Obama administration’s agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of “economic planning” and “social justice” that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail. The administration’s central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.

More wisdom from the Times – Kamal Nath is a free marketeer

Kamal Nath entered politics courtesy Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s younger son, and he strongly believed in the Gandhi scion’s socialist vision. Today, Nath represents everything that is ‘free-market’.

Nath, who has won eight elections from the backward and predominantly tribal constituency of Chhindwara, was in 2004 assigned the job of projecting the country’s free-market image to the world.

And Hitler was a saint.

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  • K. M.  On May 23, 2009 at 1:05 am

    The TOI thinks its being “idealistic.”

    More wisdom from the Times – Kamal Nath is a free marketeer-

    That was really very amusing.

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