Getting On with It

In Politics, Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

Politics, the saying goes, is the art of the possible; yet this hard-earned bit of wisdom is too frequently forgotten by the very people most determined to bring about political change. Take, for example, the last-ditch effort to cripple health-care reform—by the left. Initially, progressives rightly insisted that any reform bill include a public option. When, after months of hard fighting, it became clear that the votes for a public option just weren’t there, some advocates accepted the...

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About the Author

Nathan Pippenger is a freelance writer in Berkeley, California.