Jonah Goldberg

Meanwhile, Bloomberg, who before snowmageddon reportedly took seriously the idea of being carried to the Oval Office by a groundswell of support from Americans who don't believe in labels, thinks it's not ideological to dedicate much of his mayoralty to fighting global warming by clogging the streets with bike lanes and hybrid taxis.

The point isn't to argue with every one of the Dysfunctional Duo's decisions or priorities. They didn't get everything wrong, and things in NYC and California might have been even worse with different men at the helms. The point is that ideology is in the eye of the beholder and that pursuing nonpartisanship for its own sake isn't necessarily courageous or wise. Sometimes what seems visionary to Time magazine is nothing more than craven fad-following.

It is true that some serious problems are fairly free of partisan wrangling. But that doesn't mean they are free of politics. It means that there is such an overwhelming political consensus that nobody disputes what should be done (even if they might fight over how, or how much to pay for it). We all agree, for example, that firefighters should fight fires and that police should fight crime.

Oh, and New Yorkers believe that one of the mayor's top responsibilities is to make sure the snow is cleared so ambulances can reach those in need and so everyone can get to work. Mayors who spend more energy fighting "labels" in our politics than clearing the snow are rewarded with some labels too colorful for a family newspaper. But "ideologue" works as a substitute.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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