Brown Out (With a bit o’ Science Bleg)

Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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12 Responses

  1. JV says:

    What is your point? It seems to be that if people voted logic it would be different? or that when you reduce it to 2 variables, D vs R it would be a D win?

    Don’t forget that in MA Independents outnumber Ds & Rs put together. They were the ones who gave Obama 63% a year ago. Your analysis ignores that entirely.

    Maybe the Web future of “superempowered” citizens who are networked globally is emerging and an old fashioned 2-party system exists in name only.Report

    • Chris Dierkes in reply to JV says:

      I don’t know if people voted logic it would be different. In any regards, they don’t, so I think it a rather moot issue.

      My point is that analysts project way too much and miss the rather obvious causes involved.

      e.g. If you see (as I have) commentary talking about “how could Mass abandon health care?” I think that’s off the mark by a wide margin. The vast majority of people don’t vote based on policy (#4) or facts about policy (#5). Only political junkies do. And then they (imo) tend to assume that is the mindset (or really the emotion-set) of the voters.

      Voters as Brian Caplan showed are not rational. But too much of political organizing is still based on the idea that they are.

      As to independents, I didn’t mention them specifically but they are implicit in the entire discussion, as independents are the ones most likely to be swayed (from election cycle to election cycle) based on the 2 parties’ images and the individual candidate’s personal and presumed leadership qualities.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Chris Dierkes says:

        Imagine, if you will, an Amendment to repeal the 17th.

        What do you think that that would do to the process?Report

        • Chris Dierkes in reply to Jaybird says:

          I don’t know. Who would be picking them? Kyle if I recall suggested Govs of each state become the Senate and meet on a regular cycle yearly, doing an advise/consent kind of thing only, instead of writing legislation (at the same the House is which I find patently absurd).

          Govs are elected so it would still follow (basically) this formula, although as I recall Gubernatorial elections aren’t as easily pigeonholed into national party politics (usually Gov races precede runs by either party).Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Chris Dierkes says:

            One hopes that state legislators would be significantly more 4ish and 5ish than Joe Voter… is that an unreasonable expectation?Report

            • North in reply to Jaybird says:

              I’m with you Jay. Send the 17th out the door. Let the Legislatures pick the Senators like before. Modern technology, travel and communication fix all the logistical issues with the old style Senate and any legislature that delays too long in selecting their Senators will be ill serving their constituents and will likely be punished accordingly.Report

            • Chris Dierkes in reply to Jaybird says:

              maybe, i don’t know. back in the days of 18th century paternalism for sure, but given the 24/7 politicization, I really couldn’t say.Report

  2. ThatPirateGuy says:

    One thing to note is that I heard of some rather vile attack ads against brown from the coakly campaign that would certainly count as scare tactics. Not that I am happy with Massachusett’s new senator(I’d rather have a party hack who votes the way I want than someone who is pledged to get in the way) but thats no reason to ignore facts.

    I can’t tell you what they said exactly because I didn’t want to look at them from what i heard.Report

  3. steve says:

    Your explanation does help to make sense out of the fact that it is hard to find those on the right who usen numbers in their analysis very much. Other than Manzi, and some libertarians, you seldom see actual numbers/data being used by writers from the right. I have sometimes felt as though the right must be innumerate. Very frustrating for us numbers geeks.