Radical Pragmatism

In this new interview, Mother Jones calls Tony Kushner a “Radical Pragmatist,” a moniker I wouldn’t mind carrying myself. (It will take some effort on my part, though. I can’t imagine any aspect of my life or politics being described as “radical” right now. Baby steps.) He talks a bit about his and Robert Altman’s* failed attempt to film Angels a few years ago — nothing new if you’ve read their interview in either Tony Kushner in Conversation or Approaching the Millennium. The meat of the interview, though, is a discussion of the current political climate. I especially like this bit. Kushner is sounding more and more like John Rawls:

There are a lot of politically active young people, but I feel that we’ve misled them. I have great admiration for the essayists and writers on the left, but the left decided at some point that government couldn’t get it what it wanted. As a result, it’s a movement of endless complaint and of a one-sided reading of American history, which misses the important point: Constitutional democracy has created astonishing and apparently irreversible social progress. All we’re interested in is talking about when government doesn’t work.

On a related note, here’s a link to an editorial at GOPUSA.com that was inspired by Frank Rich’s piece from a week ago. It takes pot-shots at likely targets: Barbra Streisand and “the tinsel town left,” George Soros and Howard Dean (who is once again saddled with the now-mandatory modifier “McGovern-like”). Oh yeah, and you can also buy your copy of Treason there, so you know the site’s a bastion of fair and balanced journalistic integrity.

* Fun Fact: When I spell-checked this post, Dreamweaver suggested I replace “Altman’s” with “Batman’s”