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April 17, 2009


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Nah, just playin' to the rubes. The situation now looking particularly grim to some folks, I'd wager that the returns to political theater might be higher. These are, after all, the sorts of times in which you get the kookier sorts of populism, etc, showing up.

As an aside, I keep getting an odd error associated with your site, specifically the comments. I usually end up having to kill the page manually. Dunno if anybody else gets that, but it could ding traffic.

On the post-apocalyptic side, may I suggest http://www.comicvine.com/scout/29-48005/

Hey, Bernard,

Why write "nah"? I thought I was pretty clear that all this posturing is just "playing to the rubes." Wasn't I? If I wasn't, tell me, because AFAICT I agree with you 100%.

My argument is that the GOP in these states is playing to the rubes in its primary electorate, but that's wrecking their chances of being competitive in a general election. In all seriousness, Perry just advanced the date when Texas turns blue by at least an election cycle, probably two ... unless the Republican Party turns itself into something rather different rather quickly.

It makes sense to an individual politician, of course. If you're safe in the general election no matter what you say, why not pander to the base, especially (as you say) in grim economic times? And if you're not safe in the general should you say crazy things, well, you've still got to make it through the primary. So the incentives are to be crazy.

But even if you can understand the political logic, it is striking to have the GOP governor of a state, or a GOP legislative majority, strike positions similar to Cynthia McKinney's, only in the other ideological direction.

I know of Democratic city councils and mayors that have gone as crazy in the other direction, but I'm hard pressed to think of any Democratic statewide officials or legislative bodies that have found it electorally efficient to go as far away from the median voter as the state GOP has chosen to do in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.

It has got to a worrisome development if you think it's important that the country has two electable parties to contest public office.


Bernard, can you describe the problem more specifically? I'm going to post an entry asking about it, and also send something to Typepad.


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