Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown victory in Massachusetts

So Massachusetts elected a conservative Republican to succeed Ted Kennedy. I'm not a fan of many of his positions. For example, I do not support waterboarding (I think it undermines our values and is not terribly useful), I support some form of cap-and-trade, and I think our health care system is flawed (although I don't claim to know enough to accurately judge whether the Democrats' proposed overhaul would make things better or worse).

But I'm actually happy that he won. Why? Because regardless of how I feel about his individual positions, I am a fan of competition. Having one party which is able to exert its will unchecked seems to me to be far more dangerous than any particular particular issue going some way that I don't like. Competition is good in the marketplace, and it's good in government because it reins in the worst excesses of either side. Compromises in legislation and policy are ugly sausage making, but nevertheless it's necessary to get any sausage at all, much less sausage that is edible.

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