Tortured by Compromise; Fantasy and Symbolism Tempt the Unwary

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 15, 2007 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Tortured by Compromise; Fantasy and Symbolism Tempt the Unwary


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Washington is awash in debates where politics collides with principle. Politics is the art of compromise, but players are loathe to admit compromise, or even to concede any ground at all. The pols agree with the late Vince Lombardi, the famous football coach: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."

But politics, which "ain't beanbag," ain't football, either, though the candidates fumble, flip and flop like a ham-handed halfback, backing, filling and shaving meanings. We see compromises all about us. Uncompromising politicians are usually called rigid ideologues, but that's not quite accurate. Rigid ideologues rarely win, but they often influence the politics of the winners.

It's the influence, not the ideology (or the theology) that certain religious conservatives seek with their threat to form an ineffectual third party over the abortion issue. They say they want a candidate closer to their view and they're willing to lose with Aloysius Q. Nobody rather than win with Rudy Giuliani or someone like him, even though Rudy or someone like him would give them everything else they want, maybe even the judges who question the way abortion rights are determined. When they finally focus on the enormous impact of what they're doing on many other issues they hold dear, maybe they'll drop the third-party fantasy. Or maybe they won't. There's fog over the crystal ball this morning.

Sometimes debate pits domestic politics against foreign policy interests. Congressmen with a significant Armenian constituency have for years been pushing for a congressional resolution to label as "genocide" the massacre of a million and a half Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire 90 years ago. Last week they succeeded, getting a strongly symbolic but essentially meaningless resolution endorsed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Like so much else debated in Washington, the politicians are not debating what happened way back when, but taking care to appease a domestic constituency. Both President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates argue that the resolution is likely to anger the Turks, jeopardizing the use of Turkish airfields and supply routes in support of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, sensitive to the importance of Turkey to the United States, declined to use the word "genocide" to describe the great suffering of the Armenians. This time, however, the "principled" congressional grandstanders trumped the security of American soldiers in Iraq with a feel-good resolution of non-binding sentiment.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Tortured by Compromise; Fantasy and Symbolism Tempt the Unwary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.