Jots with dots 11/7

David Brooks: I like that, think he’s right. As I have explained in this space over the past year, disagreeable as I come across at times I’m not really a fanatic. So I had some affection for Palin for a few years, but certainly never drank the kool-aid. But nor did I appreciate for some time that she wasn’t quite a big league politician. She’s not, as Brooks notes. And these guys that have started to come back into the game are, which makes Republicanism a lot more formidable.

Common thread this morning on the midterm / presidential year seesaw. Here’s Jammelle Bouie. Douthat also, on his page and MattY at Vox. Here’s the thing, or a thing, to me. Midterm voters vote consistently. A big swath of voters can be lured to vote in presidential years, provided there’s a superficially hip candidate running for one of the parties, and this swath of voters seems to have the ability to thwart the preferences of the mid term voters. That’s all well and good and fair. It would seem fair to critique these presidential year voters as fairly low info and obtuse though, and that is at odds with some of the tropes we use to characterize the parties and their voters.

Ellen show: I’m pretty sure this is the Dunham episode. Maybe I’ll rewatch it this weekend. Maybe not.

On obstructionism and the Presidents successes. This deserves more argumentation that I can give at this moment, but I want to get it out there as a kernel of a thought. The center left press accounts of the election keep referencing GOP ‘obstruction’ as if there’s 97% consensus on it and all the details are agreed on. I might philosophically disagree, naturally, about the characterization of obstruction, but I’m hard pressed to recall the details at all. What exactly has been obstructed? Some ambiguous infrastructure program that no Democrat has actually proposed in legislation? What?

Other thing is, there’s some surprise that Democrat candidates would distance themselves from the President, and that he has low approval ratings in the first place, given that he’s been ‘successful’ in implementing his agenda and the economy lumbers along and improves incrementally. I do think this is obtuse, given that the administration executes almost nothing with an appearance of competence, and this comes from the top down. VA, PPACA/Obamacare, IRS, Snowden, Benghazi, Bergdahl. Ask it another way: is there anything they do that has the appearance of competence? I suppose the Bin Laden raid, which is in the news. That’s one.


2 thoughts on “Jots with dots 11/7

  1. pm1956

    couple of things (all I have time for…)

    1. Yours ifs a fundamentally anti-democratic position. Why are some votes/voters in your opinion better or more qualified than others? Our constitution makes it clear that they are all the same. Doesn’t matter how informed you may think they are or are not. I suppose that we could require that all voters pass some form of a quiz…in which case all of those who watch Fox News would fail, as well as those who are religious…(i am being tongue in cheek, but there are studies that show that Fox viewers are terribly poorly informed about this country, and there are also surveys that show that atheists generally know more about religion that do the religious…obviously not what the topic of the quiz would be, but that just goes to show–what constitutes being well informed? and who gets to set the standards?)

    2. As for Obama’s competence–just look at the economy. Taking over in the sdepths of the Bush Recession, Obama haasc ut unemployment in half, and restored economic growth. He has gotten us out of a dead end war, and killed the enemy (both things that the previous administration failed to do), and implemented the most important addition to our social safety net since Medicaid (and i think it was a very remarkable success–there are always troubles, and if the only real trouble has been on a website, I still think that is a success).


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