S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Visiting the sausage factory

Washington, D.C. -
"Laws are like sausages," said Otto von Bismarck . "It's better not to see them being made."
Watching American politics these days is like watching sausage being made, to turn the old phrase slightly. Having a German heritage and growing up on the farm, I know very well how sausage is made. And I still love the stuff, even if it is heavy, messy and lacking in proper nutrition.
Political activists cannot travel on an empty stomach. The recipe for the 2008 election is already tacked up near the prep center. Followed carefully good online news fare will satisfy all progressive tastes:
  • Variety meats - rump, gut, meat of backbone, ham, pork and heart are all part of the electoral process. We have rump speeches, gut reactions from the public, candidates' backbone, ham-handed tactics, political pork and the heart of the matter - getting elected. Daily Kos is probably one of the prime progressive slaughter house sources of variety meats.
  • Fat - You cannot have no-fat sausage. The whole idea is a misnomer. Political news fat consists of the absurdity of detail, too much about who is currently ahead in public opinion, too many empty-headed pundit quotes, too much pure gossip, too much bias, hyperbole, etc. However, for us political "junkies,"scanning the blogosphere every day is the snack we cannot resist. One of the leanest brands is Talking Points Memo.
  • Spices - Good sausage is well seasoned with fresh spices. The best political news is flavored with authority, timeliness, pertinence, objectivity, depth and truth. Firedoglake is hot like pepper. The Huffington Post is savory like bay. The Washington Note is subtle like basil.
  • Grinding - Eventually the news of the day must be processed into the smaller, more digestible portions we can tolerate. The Washington Post political section is close enough to the daily grind of national political news that it is a must for regular consumption. They do not often get it wrong.
  • Mixing - A skillfully mixed sausage has the correct proportions of ingredients, mixed well enough to be cohesive and stick together. The Politico, though very young, is turning out to be an excellent mix of inside and outside political news. Their news comes out in a variety of forms that are a nicely cohesive "brand."
  • Stuffing - Sausages come packed in either natural or artificial casings. The Washington Monthly's "Political Animal," Kevin Drum has guts (natural). Slate Magazine online can taste a bit artificial on occasion.
  • Curing - Sausage is perhaps best eaten after it has aged. Time and a predictable temperature make for the best flavor, though those elements do not guarantee perfection. Sausage making is an art, not a science. The New York Times politics section is perhaps the most well-cured progressive/liberal newspaper in the nation. It has often been called upon to make some of the most difficult editorial decisions ever made in the Fourth Estate.
To the discriminating gourmand even sausage can be the centerpiece of an everyday meal. Activists need a full stomach to keep up the good fight. If you have an appetite for good political news as I do, you can have the staying power to get through this extremely long period until the fall of 2008. Eat hearty!

My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about following the rules.


betmo said...

nice analogy :)

Carol Gee said...

Thanks, betmo. Truth be told, it is probably more bologna than skill.
BTW, my (for real) favorite is Braunschweiger on brown bread with German mustard.