The Cure: For our Broken Political Process
by Sol Erdman & Lawrence Susskind

The book is subtitled: How we can get our politicians to resolve the issues tearing the our country apart. The premise is noble to be sure but some of their notions of how to get where they are heading are quite wrong. Before that we have to examine the authors, one of whom Susskind was partly responsible (as a negotiator) for the longest national suicide note in history, otherwise known as the Kyoto Protocol. A document so bad and so harmful to the American economy, while not even including the world’s biggest polluters India and China, that it was unanimously defeated in the Senate when it came up for vote.

Needless to say the book assumes that anthropomorphic global warming is a fact and not up for discussion (the authors no doubt believing there to be a consensus). It makes some other amusing assumptions as well. It claims that the media is so anti-politician, because of the viewers demands, not the MSM’s biases. If this were the case how come the media did not reflect the angst in the population at all by reporting fairly or accurately the recent tea-parties which over 1.5 mil people attended. In fact the media, of all ilks, has its own agenda (most skewed to the left) and preaches to its viewers through its prejudices.

Another corker of a claim is that most of Congress is either hard-right or hard-left (in the American context). Considering the last election, this is truly a farcical considering the make-up of the Congress. The percentage of Representatives & Senators on the hard-right in no where near as high as they make it. The majorities on the porkulus bill would not have been so decisive if this were a case. While the book claims to be “moderate” it in fact skews clearly to the left. And, naturally, they use the left-right line paradigm not taking into account libertarians/fiscal conservative-social libertarians.

Its all about “consensus” politics, the wooly middle that has servered European countries and the EU so well or rather hasn’t served it at all. Consensus politics is not desirable, politics should be an intellectual battle of ideas and methods.

In an effort to make it attractive, the book is in the form of “conversations” between a new member of the House of Representatives and his “guru” on the matter. While cute, the discussions are trite and unreflective of the reality of politics. Its quite unbelievable that someone so naive as the main character could be elected to Congress anywhere unless they were named Kennedy. Really they are pushing for proportional representation (or a form thereof) and we all know how badly that works anywhere it is used. To read a fairly good description of why its undesirable read this from Canada where it was being proposed.

At the end the books asks “Are you in?’ To that I can simply answer… not a chance.

I found this book naive, skewed to the left, out of touch and at times hilarious. I am guessing that was not the aim of its authors.

Be Sociable, Share!