"Never attribute to a coalition that which can be explained by collusion."

In a scathing analysis of the immigration amnesty bill, William Rusher offers an interesting explanation of Republican and Democratic bipartisanism at work:

It is extremely difficult to focus the attention of the people at large on any policy, however bad, that is wanted eagerly by an influential minority.

The policy in question -- namely, to legalize the status of the 10 or 15 million illegal aliens in this country, keep them working here for peanuts, put them on track for citizenship and open the doors to millions more (all in the name of "reform") -- has the support of not one, but two powerful minorities: professional Democratic politicians, who calculate that the great majority of them will vote Democrat if they ever become citizens, and greedy businessmen (mostly Republican), who want their cheap labor no matter what the social consequences for the country.

My fellow columnist M. Stanton Evans is responsible for the brilliant perception that the Republicans (in John Stuart Mill's formulation, transposed from Britain) are "the stupid party" and the Democrats are "the evil party." Every once in a while they get together and hatch some policy that is both stupid and evil. This is called "bipartisanship," and the immigration reform bill was a spectacular example of it.

Are we ruled by a coalition of the stupid and the evil?

While I think both evil and stupidity exists in both parties, the above might go a long way towards explain a lot of things. In particular, the constant frustration which can be created by an overly rigorous application of Hanlon's Razor:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
The Hanlon link also references Heinlein's Razor:
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice.
Nor should we rule out various combinations of both. There are evil stupid people, stupid evil people, people who are too evil to admit they're stupid, and people too stupid to know they're evil.

We're all in this together!

posted by Eric on 08.14.07 at 12:41 PM


Where is the opt out form?

M. Simon   ·  August 14, 2007 4:57 PM

The concept you are looking for is the One Party State of Incumbistan.

We just happen to be in the Zero Party vassal state of Electistan... no need for collusion, malice nor stupidity! This is just the Incumbistanian Emir's policy. They are so much wiser than we poor Electistanians. Just trying to make sure that, as we are unfit to do any jobs, that they can then bring in a more subserviant class to them and make Electistanians absolutely dependant upon the Emirs for *anything*. Such wise and intelligent Emirs to copy the things done in the lovely Nations of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait! Why, I am sure that they will have nothing for we poor Electistanians to do in no time at all...

ajacksonian   ·  August 14, 2007 6:43 PM

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