The Real Debate

Lost in the shallower commentary of the Pennsylvania gubernatorial
race -- Philly versus Pittsburgh, the white guy versus the black guy,
the career politician versus the political newbie -- is a legitimate
debate between two distinct choices.

"Fast Eddie" Ed Rendell represents a quintessentially Democratic
approach to government: namely, that government's job is to do stuff
for the people, like juice the economy and create jobs and administer
programs. Ask him to tell you what he's done for the state and he'll
rattle off a laundry list of checks he's presented to various agencies
and for various initiatives.

Lynn "Swanny" Swann represents a quintessentially Republican approach
to government: namely, that what's wrong with the status quo is that
government has become bloated and corrupt, and that the solution is
for government to be smaller. Ask him to tell you what he'll don for
the state and he'll talk about things like tax relief and putting
dollars back into citizens' wallets.

You know which side of this fence I stand on, but that's not the point
of this post. The point is that this is what is truly interesting to
me about this race. Not that Swanny used to catch passes for the
Steelers, while Fast Eddie does a weekly talk show for the Eagles.
But that here is a choice for Pennsylvania residents about what
government is for, how jobs are created, and how many of our dollars
should be put to use for public purpose versus left in our pockets. I
hope that the next 45 days or so will percolate more of this aspect of
the race.

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