Friday, December 30, 2005

The Right Thing To Do

It's become almost reflexive for political observers to assume that all policy positions are motivated by a desire for political gain. Whether it is the average American, who scoffs at the notion of a politician who actually gives a damn about their welfare, or the media pundit, who is oh-so proud of their clever way of using words to pin down a wiggling politico, we have all become ingrained with the belief that politics is about nothing more than political gain.

Democrats only feed into this notion when they are seen to discussing whether it is politically wise for them to decry the violation of bedrock American principles.

Digby has it exactly right, that the question of whether this is a winning issue for the Democrats is and should be completely besides the point.

Did the men who signed the Declaration of Independence do so because they thought it would earn them an honored place in history? No. Most of them assumed they were signing their own death warrant. They did it because it was the right thing to do.

Did Martin Luther King face jailings, beatings and death for what he believed because he thought it would lead to this nation declaring a national holidy to celebrate his birth? No. He expected to die. He talked about it often. But he continued on because it was the right thing to do.

Should Democrats oppose Bush's imperial presumptions because doing so might earn them a vaunted place in history (or at least a few extra votes at the polls)? Should they avoid it because it might hurt them at the polls? No. They should do it because it is the right thing to do.

It is the right thing to do because it is the right thing to do!


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