Like a lot of people, I've been paying less attention this year to the federal budget debates. With a divided government and a presidential election looming, the balance is tilted even more than usual toward budgeting-as-mere-political-posture. Why bother?
Aristotle says that three elements are necessary for a successful argument: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos refers to the character of the one who speaks or writes. Is he credible? Do we regard her as a good person, someone whose experiences inspire curiosity or trust?
Yesterday, House Republicans passed a bill that, if enacted,
would repeal last year's health-care reform bill. It won't be enacted; it'll
never get past the Senate or the president. But the GOP took the House back in
part because of its promises to repeal reform, so a symbolic effort was
Good catch last week by Pat Garofalo: House
Speaker John Boehner wants to cut government spending, but it's still difficult
to get him to name any programs that should be slashed. This was a theme during
the campaign and the lame duck session that followed; it remains true now that
he's taken over the House.
Today, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Rep.
John Boehner (R.-Ohio) as the Speaker of the House. That's a routine gig for a
Supreme Court chief justice, but yesterday's was unprecedented: on Boehner's
request, Roberts also swore in the new Speaker's staff.