Yesterday, the guys at Powerline news continued their dispute of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s claim (in an interview with David Schraub) that if FDR was currently the President, he would not have used the war on terror as a “wedge” issue.
Let’s set aside the idea that anyone can say with any degree of authority what a dead President would do in present day, assuming that has any relevance whatsoever. Who cares what Rutherford B. Hayes or Chester Arthur might do? They’re dead – all they can do is take up space in the ground. One might as well speculate how Santa Claus or Harry Potter would handle the war on terrorism.
The argument itself, though well refuted by Powerline, seems too pointless and speculative to waste any effort on. The slippery part for this Beast was the whole concept of a “wedge” issue. He had to look that up.
According to Wikipedia, a Wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which is used by one political group to split apart or create a “wedge” in the support base of an opposing political group, with a view to enticing voters to give their support to the first group..
Forgive The Beast for being dense, but isn’t that just politics? Political parties should disagree, otherwise what would be the point of voting for one instead of the other? And isn’t disagrement inherently “Divisive”? If Party A has a more compelling position than Party B, Party A uses that to convince voters to support them. Presumptively Party B then complains that Party A is being “divisive” and has given them a “wedgie”.
How could you even have an election without being divisive? Both candidates take the same position and get elected for the same office, which they share? That’s silly – in an election the voters divvy out according to the candidate for whom they voted, said decision based, one presumes, on the position he takes on the issues.
Frankly, these sound like losers complaints. It is hard to imagine the winner of an election whining about the other guy using “divisive wedge issues” against him.
From now on, whenever The Beast hears “wedge issue” he will substitute “sour grapes”.
UPDATE: Upon further reflection, The Beast has decided that Santa Claus would probably solve terrorism by giving the terrorists lots of nice presents if they agree not to be naughty anymore and Harry Potter would use his powers to turn the terrorists into toads. You decide which political party each might represent.