The Bigger Picture, Post-2012 Election Edition

I don’t think many of you are reading these.  If not, you’re missing some really good political analysis – better than most stuff on-line and miles better than the cable news navel-gazing.


8 responses

  1. Nobody reading? Maybe you need more information rather than references to other liberal opinions. The “nuanced view” mostly boiled down to not having a clue. Only looking at the most foolish rationale from the opposition, as in the video, dates back to Plato’s Dialogs (at least). Understanding the ones who vote Republican but distance themselves from the party would be far more useful. Calling the presidential election a “beauty contest” also shows more disdain than understanding of the voters. Comparing the county-by-county presidential election maps from 2004 ( and 2012 ( I notice that there is not much difference. So if the Democrats are looking for some significant change in voting they are going to look at something outside of racial prejudice.

    It also looks to me that there are some significant numbers missing from the graph talking about the grand bargain. For instance, the increased federal payouts for unemployment and food stamps alone are a (small!?) matter of about an extra $100B a year now versus before the recession.

    Oh. And one more thing. Cats. How do you expect people to read your blog without any pictures of cute or funny cats? Talk about REALLY out of touch…

  2. The UI and food stamp numbers are not “missing” from the graph. That’s the point. they are a part of the temporary increase in federal spending that will automatically go back down again once the economy recovers. Short-term automatic stabilizers cannot be drivers of our long term deficits. Only large, permanent, programs that’s cost growth is outside of government’s control can do that; i.e., health care through MC and Medicaid.

    Regarding more balanced opinions, I have linked many times to conservatives who are frustrated with the radical direction their party has taken. Andrew Sullivan. David Frum. Bruce Barnett. The problem is, as soon as they depart even slightly from the official ideology, they are made apostates, no longer welcome in the conservative fold. This has always been my problem in posting stuff for the group: Trying to pretend that this is the conservatism of 20 years ago, or 10, or 5. I finally have given uop faking balance between the PARTIES; However, your criticism of a lack of balance between political philosophies (lib vs Con, not lib versus right-wing) is well-taken.

    So, here’s yet another conservative critique of the modern GOP having lost its way:

    Remember, criticizing the Republican’s current version of conservatism is not necessarily the same thing as criticizing actual conservatism. Our meeting this week om John Sturart Mill may illuminate this.

  3. You are still thinking about the opinion of bloggers. What I meant was that the important information was the reasons why the ordinary voters voted the way they did. Bloggers, such as the ones you referenced, are something like the top 1% of political involvement. They talk about details that I think the ordinary person knows and cares nothing about. I think this being out of touch with the thinking of the ordinary people is the primary reason why the Republicans were so dumbfounded over their loss. And is also the reason why the Democrats lose out periodically as well.

    This is why I keep raising the question about why is it inevitable that the party in power changes regularly in a two-party system. It is due to a large extent on arrogance and getting out of touch in the party in power. It is not necessarily an inevitable thing.

  4. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    Would you prefer one party in power for years? If the parties didn’t change, it wouldn’t be a two party system, would it? IT would be a one party system

  5. I certainly would not prefer a one part system. The issue is whether changes are truly inevitable. It seems to me that a two party system could easily become a one party system if people are thinking that changes in power will come about naturally without effort and safeguards. Look at how long the GOP was in control of the US government after the Civil war. It took the Great Depression to bring about a change. Even then, if they had the sort of attitudes I see all too often today, the change might not have even happened then. Collapse into what is effectively a dictatorship has happened elsewhere. I do not think there are sufficient safeguards to make sure that it cannot happen here.

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