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Pontius Pilate Says Hello to John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, et al.
As an expert on practical politics, I have been asked to comment on the current controversy about you and certain other Republican politicians “caving” in to their apparent enemies, betraying their principles, etc. etc. etc.
First of all, as a practical politician, I offer you my basic philosophy distilled down to three words: “Quid est veritas?” i.e. “What is truth?”
The truth is whatever a practical politician wants it to be! You cannot let absolutists muddy the waters with obsolete concepts like integrity and the like. Absolutism restricts your flexibility to act in a way that leads to success.
Second, as a practical politician, you must always have it both ways! Agree with those who support a certain action, give them as much of your rhetorical support as possible, but if it looks like betraying them will solve your problem, then explain while you wash your hands of the situation that you are not really responsible. Explain that your washed hands are tied, that you would like to be on the side of principles and truth, but for the higher good and to keep the peace you will need to let the opposition do what they want.
Finally, politics is about survival! If e.g. sacrificing truth, justice, and the life of one man prevents the deaths of thousands in a riot and preserves the peace, the choice is obvious! A narrow-minded absolutist politician, insisting upon following principles of righteousness, even when they disrupt and endanger the peace and prosperity of the people, is as dangerous as a murderer on the loose.
So, take it from me, Pontius Pilate: you are doing the right thing by surrendering to the realities of November 2012: the people have spoken, and you must let the people have what they demand.
Let me remind you of my most famous adjudicated case: I obeyed the will of the people and prevented a huge riot, possibly even a dreadfully bloody revolt, and saved the lives of thousands, by sacrificing just one carpenter’s son.
So I hope you feel better about what you are doing! Practical politicians throughout time will all agree with your course of action.
And if you are wondering, yes, I was forgiven everything and am now in Paradise! It is not quite what I expected (girls and peeled grapes and all that), but I have this huge screen to entertain me for eternity! Of course there is only one channel, and the only show has this drawling good-ol’ boy with puffy gray white hair giving long-winded speeches about how wonderful he is, along with this thin beige man giving long-winded speeches about how wonderful he is. I keep hoping Oprah will come on, or maybe Jackpot Bowling, but no luck so far.
But this is eternity! Things will change eventually!