Why Would the NYT Think that Politicians Debate Philosophy?

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012 05:22

For some reason the media routinely bring up philosophy in discussions of politicians' actions. This is utterly bizarre. There is no one in national office who got their position based on their philosophical treatises. They gained their positions by appealing to important political constituencies.

The NYT again committed this sin, telling readers in an article on the budget standoff that:

"The two sides are now dickering over price, not philosophical differences, and the numbers are very close."

Does anyone think that President Obama and Speaker Boehner had been debating points of philosophy in their discussions?

This piece also raises the possibility that the government will use different inflation indexes for different programs in order to accomplish political ends telling readers:

"The new inflation calculations, for instance, would probably not affect wounded veterans and disabled people on Supplemental Security Income."

This sort of political manipulation of government statistics is unusual in the United States. It would have been worth highlighting this part of the tentative agreement.