Tag: Andrew Hartman

Bad pragmatism in political decisionmaking

This diary was prompted by the debate that circulated here around Senator Obama’s vote on telecomm immunity in the FISA bill, especially in Keith Olbermann’s diary of 6/26, and thereafter.  Olbermann’s rationalization was that Obama’s vote was a pragmatic move to attain power for the greater good.  The debate about Obama’s vote culminated in a defense of “purity trolls” (as such) in a diary listed here: “I’m calling out purity trolls by name,” incl. the Founding Fathers.  Since this “pragmatic” justification is endemic in politics today, I think it behooves us to examine it, and to specify and explain a “bad pragmatism” that comes of the uncritical acceptance of social “reality”.  I will also specify an antidote to “bad pragmatism,” in the concept of utopian dreaming.

(crossposted from Big Orange)