David Brooks: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/opinion/david-brooks-the-governing-party.html?_r=0 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. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/11/the_disunited_states_of_america_why_demographics_republican_obstructionism.html 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. http://www.ellentv.com/episodes/lena-dunham-melissa-mccarthy/
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.