Practical, pragmatic politics is about factions and coalitions and deal making, and offering people who, yes, hate you something they want in exchange for them backing you on something important to you.
For example, Lyndon Johnson as a white person from a poor background was for Civil Rights as a deep, heartfelt, personal value that he was willing to fight for, and fight for it he did in his unique style of political coalition building and persuasion. His party was deeply split between North and South whereas the Republicans were for Civil Rights because Lincoln, but many could just as well break out the popcorn to watch the Democrats fight each other.
So President Johnson threw money around. You voted for Civil Rights, and your state got a bridge or a road. Republicans were going to vote for Civil Rights anyway because Lincoln, but why not get a bridge or a road for something you knew in your heart was right instead of sitting back to watch the Democrats fight?
President Obama campaigned on some vague kind of New Politics where he was not going to revert to Washington-as-usual deal making. In retrospect, President Johnson's style of politics was corrupt, even if it got us the Voting Rights Act?
I guess President Obama's New Politics turned out to be scolding people -- a lot. The Republicans scold right back, Putin comes right out and instructs him to put it someplace, and the leaders of China let it go in one ear and out the other. And I guess the people who support Mr. Obama are into scolding Republicans -- before the Republicans are given half a chance to agree with him.
Yes, there are some people on Right-wing Web sites finding a cloud enclosing this silver lining. They are saying that A.G. Holder is doing this to lock the heels down of local police over Ferguson and Staten Island.
Maybe Mr. Holder is "going after" local police, and maybe this is long overdue, and maybe it took tragedy in the minority community to make this happen. A lot of the Libertarians in the Libertarian-Conservative-Republican-Right coalition have been talking about the police being out-of-control -- in the war-on-drugs, the seizure thing. A lot of people on the Right have been torn about Ferguson. Maybe in their hearts are not in the correct place with black people, but Randy Balko at Reason has long championed the case of black persons getting on the wrong side of heavy-handed police tactics.
But the protest response to Ferguson was scold-scold-scold-scold. You are Conservative, you are white, and you are racist for thinking that a black man should not reach for a police officer's gun when that officer had gotten all fascist on him.
People on the Right have been saying for years that Mr. Obama ought to "triangulate", offer them something they could agree on. This order by A.G. Holder is the first major instance I can think of the President triangulating with the Right, maybe splitting off the Libertarian Right from the Law-and-Order Right.
Yeah, moderate me Troll, I've got Karma to spare, but the folks coming out swinging against people who want to agree with them on something have a lot to learn about politics. You do one thing that your political oppositions favors and you "deserve accolades"? There is a lot in politics and life to be learned.