Various & Sundry 1/12/10
Little bits, because I can’t seem to think at length today:
* Clearly the most important topic of the day is whether one is on Team Leno or Team Conan, and while I am personally on Team Why Would I Watch TV When There’s Left 4 Dead 2 To Play, I think it’s pretty clear that Conan O’Brien is being totally screwed here. Here’s a guy who did everything he was supposed to do, did nothing wrong, and his now being crapped on because of the incompetence of his bosses. Inasmuch as my heart can go out to any fellow who makes exponentially more than I make in any given year, my heart goes out to O’Brien. Rich or not, it sucks to be reminded that at the end of the day you can have your job yanked out from under you because someone else did something incredibly stupid.
* Another from the annals of How Disconnected Political Appearances Are From Political Reality: Obama’s Winning Streak On Hill Unprecedented. The story notes how the legislation favored by Obama passes through Congress with a higher success rate than just about any other recent president, including famed arm-twister Lyndon Johnson. The secret to Obama’s success? a) Democratic majorities in both houses, b) the man picks and chooses his battles, c) he’s willing to compromise and get something passed than dig in his heels and have it fail.
I recognize that depending on one’s own personal politics, any or all of these could be a bug rather than a feature. But I don’t know. I think capitalizing on advantages, minimizing disadvantages and a certain willingness to compromise on details to achieve a larger goal is what used to be called “doing politics.” I certainly like it better than the apparently more current definition, which appears to be “scream a lot, be inflexible and don’t actually get anything done.” Which is a funny definition of politics, if you ask me.
* I’ve been asked what opinions I have on the Proposition 8 constitutional trial going on out there in California, and I have to say that I think my answer is fairly standard, in that I worry that taking a same-sex marriage case up to Supreme Court as currently constituted will doom same-sex couples to a much longer road to equality. But at the same time I think that if Olsen and Boies can make their case legally and intellectually, then asking the plaintiffs in this case to wait for a time more convenient from a strategy point of view in order to ask for what should morally and justly be theirs is neither moral nor just.
Basically: I worry about the timing, but then I suppose there’s never a good time for people to ask for their rights from people who don’t want them to have them. I just hope Olsen and Boies know what the Hell they’re doing.
And that’s where my brain is today.