06 January 2005

Right Not Might

Two seemingly unrelated items in the news today illustrate the difference between "politics," which is a neutral and occasionally annoying aspect of life, and "politicians," which constitute… something else.

One of the great privileges and responsibilities of citizenship is jury duty. Businessmen constantly complain about juries biased against big corporations; perhaps if they weren't so "busy" that they couldn't take time for jury duty they'd have less to complain about. In any event, there's one class of citizens one might expect would be justified in seeking excuse from jury duty: sitting judges. Apparently, Justice Breyer takes our system just a bit more seriously than that. That is as it should be. For the record, I've never been called for civilian jury duty; were that to happen, at most I might request rescheduling. I was called over forty times for duty on military panels.

Then, too, there's the question of who is in the government. Although I would not have voted for him, nor for the recall, had I been in California a little over a year ago, it appears that Ahnold Schvahtsuhnegguh understands the difference between "election" and "free election" all too well. Now if he will just put that energy into opposing the Electoral College, too… I'm starting to think that Schwarzenegger is as much a hard-cord Republican as was Nelson Rockefeller. And, although I have policy and other preferences incompatible with even that vision, that's a lot closer to Lincoln's party and to acceptability than is the current, umm, junta. (Remember that the man who warned us about the "military-industrial complex" was at least nominally a Republican.)