Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It Depends

Ok, I finally figured it out.

You know how they say that Democrats always give nuanced answers that do not play well in campaigns? Remember John Kerry's "I vote for the war before I voted against it," to President Elect-Obama's long policy answers he gave in his debates against Hillary? Well it dawned on me why Democrats have a hard time giving the soundbite, the to-the-point affirmative answer. We're lawyers.

You know what the answer is to 90% of questions they ask you in law school? It depends. And then you have to show all the reasons why it might be one way and why it might be the other. That line of thinking does not fare well for a commercial or even a debate.

Whereas nuance is frowned upon by the public in politics and seen as wish-washy, it it cherished in the law. We are paid to argue about nuance, pick-apart details, and make sophisticated arguments examining minutia. When we counsel people on what they should do, we are supposed to present all options, all considerations, and all potential consequences.

It was a very sad realization that I cannot think like a "normal" person anymore. When I saw someone ask if it is a good idea to get back with an ex-boyfriend, my first instinct was to say "It depends. There is a rebutable presumption that it's a bad idea, but it could be overcome if . . ." I hate myself.

Also, I thought there would be a news void in my life after the Presidential election, but I am still hooked. Between reading about Obama's new cabinet picks and his daughters touring DC schools, I found one really funny/sad Politico story about members of Congress who sleep on cots in their offices, shower in the House gym, and leave packets of ramen around.

If you start your day with a little West Wing on Bravo before school or work, I am sure you will appreciate this story.

[picture of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) with his duct-taped cot, taken from Politico]

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