Morning Ed: Politics {2016.02.09.T}

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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114 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    1. This is a standard farther left critique of American liberalism and the Democratic Party. Lee talks about it all the time and how the farther left has always critiqued the idea of “bourgeois freedom” like Freedom of Speech. That being said, the BernieBros is strong in this one but Sessions strikes me as a guy who idiotically believes that a Ted Cruz victory would “heighten the contradictions” and lead to a socialist revolution faster. I’ve been thinking about the disliking HRC is sexist complaint. On the one hand I do think that a lot of young guys can be influenced by sexism and 20 years of GOP more than they think. On the other hand, there is something about the “ALL CAPS” response to HRC non-supporters that turned me off. I can’t tell if this is ageism (I loathe net hyperbole and gifs) and/or a bit of sexism in myself “ALL CAPS” and gifs are generally associated with female linguistic patterns on the net.

    4. The Sessions piece is also fairly standard of how many pundits including those on the left view the Bernie v. HRC fight. Idealism v. Realism, Romanticism v. Pragmatism. I think a lot of left-writers and HRC supporters would admit that she is basically offering politics as the Somme. A lot of Sanders supporters I know have said that they would prefer a Sanders victory even with the GOP keeping the house because they trust Sanders not to engage in any “grand bargains” that cut Social Security or Medicare in exchange for higher taxes on the rich. In short, keeping the welfare state as is or improving it, is more important to them than raising taxes on the rich.

    Re GOP and the Black Vote: Julian Bonds long argued that the GOP could be highly competitive among black voters if they only embraced affirmative action. He noted that there is a long standing social conservatism in the African-American community. TNC has also made similar observations on African-Americans and social conservatism. That the GOP has proved extremely hostile to even the slightest embrace of affirmative action is telling. My guess is that courting Latino(a) Americans means less grappling with the darker side of American history while also finding a similar group with some natural social conservatism. Though the GOP blows themselves up when it comes to the Latino(a) vote and anti-immigration rhetoric.Report

    • Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Someone should tell Last that the hedgerows were in Normandy. “Politics as the Somme” may be the most unfortunate metaphor ever.Report

    • Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Telling the Republicans that they need to support affirmative action is taking things entirely too far.

      The Republicans need to prove that they’re ready to put boots on the ground in the cities and fix some stuff. Doesn’t even need to be fixing it as the government, fixing it as private citizens (via running some businesses) will do. Then show up and run for mayor, run for city council. Put the time in, and show by doing that they care.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to Kim says:

        Republicans have been mostly mute on the affirmative action issue since the 90’s. It hasn’t really stopped the bleeding and arguably hurt them with whites and Asians than helped them with minorities. But the issue itself has been swamped by other issues and a general demeanor.

        The bigger issue is that they’ve settled on a single dynamic of what “A Republican” is, and it’s one that excludes a lot of people. But it’s there, and it informs all of the debates over terminology (What constitutes “a conservative”, who is a “RINO”, etc).

        The good news for the GOP is that the Democrats are starting to have some of these conversations, too. (Can a moderate be a progressive? Where is the heart – and identity – of the Democratic Party really… with Hillary or Sanders, Cuomo or DeBlassio). It’s going to take them a long time to catch up, though.Report

        • Autolukos in reply to Will Truman says:

          The bigger issue is that they’ve settled on a single dynamic of what “A Republican” is, and it’s one that excludes a lot of people. But it’s there, and it informs all of the debates over terminology (What constitutes “a conservative”, who is a “RINO”, etc).

          What’s really amazing is the clockwork precision with which the conservatives of four years ago become the RINOs of today.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Autolukos says:

            The Revolutions podcast on the French Revolution is very instructive.

            That being said, the charge has lost its bite this cycle. When the only “Real Republican” is a guy that supports nationalized health care, called Romney’s immigration platform cruel, is friends with the Clintons, and was a Democrat and independent until recently… that’s hard for even the loudest shouters to take.

            It’s been a little fun watching, I’m not going to deny.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Republicans do not necessarily need to embrace affirmative action to attract Black voters. A meaningful call for police, prosecutor, and prison reform will also help Republicans compete better for African-American votes. The image of the GOP as a law and order party, with African-Americans on the receiving end of the law and order, hurts them with African-American voters more than it helps. Embracing affirmative action would also help slightly. The Republican problem with attracting more African-American voters is that any policy that they could offer would go against an existing GOP constituencies policy wants.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Re: The Sessions piece.
      All political philosophies have their version of the Three Laws-
      1. The People should get what they want.
      2. The proper outcome of policy should be Just.
      3. The proper outcome is general Prosperity.

      And just like the Three Laws, they inevitably conflict with each other.
      The people often want the outcome to be unjust. Prosperity often is built on injustice.

      The tension between liberalism and the “organic structures” he references exemplifies this. He is unwittingly repeating the conservative argument that in order for a command economy to create justice it needs to override individual liberty.

      Its why I tend to see rights and philosophies as negotiable creations rather than revealed truth-there isn’t any perfect mechanism for solving all three laws at once.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I liked yesterday how yesterday Loomis went on his (usual) jeremiad on the discipline of economics hours after a post on the ins and outs of the oil tax – its incentives, the probable bottom line tax incidence, and the implicit acceptance that 10 bucks a barrel is the ‘right’ amount.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I found it amusing when Erik Loomis yesterday went on his (usual) jeremiad against the field of economics, because he had just posted a few hours before about the proposed oil tax. A post that discussed the incentives of such a tax, the probable actual tax incidence, and the implicit acceptance that 10 bucks a barrel is around the the right amount.

      I suppose that analysis was derived from the fields of microbiology or astrophysics or art history or something.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Kolohe says:


        A few years ago, Planet Money interviewed economist who said he left stuff like morality and ethics to the “philosophers” because they can’t be put on graphs. That is more of my problem with economics. Also the assumption that economics should control all.Report

        • Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Hell, I can put morality and ethics on graphs.
          Of course, you aren’t bothering to cite the economist by name, so that we can point and laugh at him.Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Let’s replace the word “economics” here with the word “physics”, or “chemistry”, and see if anyone notices…Report

          • You don’t hear physicists saying “String theory… so here’s what your income tax policy should be.” Or chemists saying “Valence electrons… so cap-and-trade on sulfur dioxide emissions.” You can find PhD economists who will say things like, “Laffer curve… so current top-end income tax rates should be cut, and don’t bother me with details like which side of the peak we’re on.” Which is particularly dangerous, since politicians who want to be reelected are very concerned about “the economy” and benefiting the proper set of voters. This election cycle is getting very interesting because for the first time in a long time the proper set of voters might not be “people who can afford large campaign contributions.”

            I don’t have a lot of complaints about micro-economics. I think there’s been a lot of good work done there in understanding how certain kinds of limited systems function. I have a lot bigger bone to pick with macro, where it’s a very large dynamic system with nasty feedback loops on different scales, and the academics generally want to simplify far too much.Report

            • Christopher Carr in reply to Michael Cain says:


            • Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain says:

              You hear (and have heard for decades) the Federation of American Scientists saying “this is what nuclear power and nuclear weapon public policy should be”Report

            • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

              Awful lot of physicists & chemists saying “CO2 concentrations will store heat and raise temperatures, so we should do something about that”, even though global climate systems are ridiculously complex with lots of nasty feedback loops that are poorly understood and hard to measure and model.

              Economists get the hate not because they offer insights from their science to policy makers, but because their science deals with money & wealth directly, and non-economists like to pretend the discipline has a lack of rigor (especially if the economists insights conflict with their ideological priors*). The real problem isn’t a lack of rigor, it’s that it’s a relatively young discipline and it’s still forming a solid foundation, especially on the macro side. It doesn’t help that many of the variables it has to account for irrational behavior.

              *Hell, look at how intensely people want to deny climate change, despite the much more rigorous sciences saying it’s happening.Report

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Modern economics (Smith) predates both modern chemistry (LaVoisier) and biology (Darwin). The problem with rigor in economics I think is not immaturity, but that it will never be able to effectively run experiments.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                I think Smith formed the philosophical foundation, but when did economists actually start gathering data and start trying to apply the scientific method to their work. I don’t think Smith or his contemporaries had much ability to do such work.

                Economists do run experiments, but in the same way climate scientists do. They can do small scale experiments, and build models, but doing a real world experiment is damn tricky.Report

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Probably David Ricardo (between LaVoisier and Darwin) is when real economic modeling began, but even physiocrats such as Quesnay (predates Smith), as well as Malthus, more or less a contemporary, engaged in modeling. It’s probably fair to say that analytical economics arose as a discipline more than 200 years ago.

                By experiments, I’m referring to isolated, basic science, such as those run in particle accelerators or otherwise isolated systems. Economic experiments and climate models will never be free of bias.Report

              • Chris in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                The comparison is interesting, but mostly because it shows the difference between what we consider modern biology/chemistry and what we consider modern economics, at least in their historical trajectory. By the time modern biology was born, for example, their existed millennia of more or less systematic investigations of biology, so that modern biology in perhaps a new wing of a very old and well-supported building. It may now be a wing that takes up the largest part of the whole building, but it didn’t start the building from scratch. Modern economics, on the other hand, while it can perhaps find directly relevant ideas throughout the history of ideas, was building the building from the ground up.

                Put differently, Smith is more comparable to Aristotle than Darwin, in terms of the timeline of their respective sciences, and as such economics can still be rightly said to be in an early stage of development.Report

              • Oscar Gordon in reply to Chris says:

                What Chris said, so much better than I did.Report

              • North in reply to Chris says:

                Seriously, that was really well done.Report

              • greginak in reply to Chris says:

                Agreed with what other said. Good work. I’d add that biology or chemistry has always been the same underlying facts, we are just better at discovering them. Economics may have some underlying laws, but real world economies have changed a lot since Smith’s day. He couldn’t conceive of the world we have now. Simply; biology is the same as it ever has been, economics is hella different over the last few hundred years.Report

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:

                Smith, LaVoisier, and Darwin are rightly regarded as having driven paradigm shifts within their respective disciplines, but it’s wrong to think that no substantive economist came before Smith.

                There was Thomas Aquinas, who wrote about value theory, interest, and monetary theories 500 years before Smith; the mercantilists; free trading societies like the Pheonicians developed complex systems of accounting from which writing itself developed; even Christ made the normative distribution of wealth a central theme of his teachings and used the concept of investment in one of his most memorable parables. As for Smith being comparable to Aristotle in the history of economics, I would argue that Aristotle, as more or less the first text one reads in any history of economics course, is a better choice.Report

              • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                Yes, the Jesus and Aquinas cites are exactly what I was referring to. I didn’t mean to imply that there was no work on economic topics, but it was scattered, largely embedded in other contexts (e.g., Biblical prohibition of usury), or domain specific.

                By the time Darwin was around, general theories of classification in biology had has been around for thousands of years.

                Economics’ development (and that of other social and behavioral sciences) was and continues to be hastened by developments in other areas — biology, philosophy, mathematics, computer science, cognitive science, etc., some of which are actually younger than economics — but it’s still young and experiencing growing pains, and at the macro-level, perhaps, fatally limited, while at the micro-level often horribly contingent.

                Added: There are a lot in courses for which it is better to start with AristotleReport

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Chris says:


                Do you think that some time in the future, someone will unite and take for granted (in the literal, not idiomatic sense of that expression) the various behavioral sciences in the way that the modern synthesis united and explained the various observations that came before? Or do you think that by their very nature, they will remain rather disparate and amorphous, a claim once commonly made about biology?Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                How long is it supposed to be until Hari Seldon is born?Report

              • Chris in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                I dunno. I can imagine economics becoming one pillar of an empirically-rigorous sociology/anthropology synthesis, particularly as economic structures change dramatically.

                Behavioral economics is already basically just applied cognitive psychology, so to whatever extent behavioral phenomena become central to economics going forward, it will to that extent be a branch of applied psychology, and perhaps of whatever the behavioral and neuroscientist synthesis looks like when neuroscience is sufficiently advanced.Report

              • Chanakya allegedly wrote Arthashastra in the 4th century BCReport

              • Morat20 in reply to Christopher Carr says:

                Except possible in EVE online. 🙂Report

              • Christopher Carr in reply to Morat20 says:

                Computer models are great at confirming what we already know or for playing with variables to see how they might effect outcomes or introduce error, but they cannot be used for creating new knowledge. This is an issue in medical research, and why animal models plus human testing remains requisite and will likely continue to be required well into the future.Report

            • Brandon Berg in reply to Michael Cain says:

              Well, mostly you’ll see stuff like that from non-economists who swear economists are 100% behind them. It’s pretty much universally agreed among serious economists across the ideological spectrum that cutting income taxes from current levels will not lead to higher revenues, and that people who say it will are cranks. Note, similarly, Krugman’s recent criticisms of Bernie Sanders, even though they’re ideologically on the same side.

              But yeah, macroeconomics is tricky.Report

        • Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          “Also the assumption that economics should control all.”

          Saul Degraw:
          A few years ago, Planet Money interviewed economist who said he left stuff like morality and ethics to the “philosophers” because they can’t be put on graphs. That is more of my problem with economics.

          Like Oscar said, you’re asking a screwdriver to be a hammer. It’ll work, after a fashion, but you’re not using the tool right. There’s plenty of fields (e.g. medicine) where they’re are higher order ethics involved, especially at boundary cases, but the bulk of the field is straightforward expert system problem solving.

          Also the assumption that economics should control all.

          Who actually says this? The closest you get to something like this is a political preference that favors hyper-technocratic managerial governance, and even most of them favor conducting that over the foundation of liberal representative democracy.

          (& you know who used to be really all about economics uber alles and hyper-technocratic managerial governance – Marxists)Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          The assumption is not that “economics should control all” as much as “economics is measurable (and, as such, can be put on graphs)”.

          Morality and ethics are far too easy to compare (unfavorably, of course) to matters of taste when it comes to measurability.Report

          • Troublesome Frog in reply to Jaybird says:

            I think this is it. A lot of people seem to be completely unable to think quantitatively about value. It’s easy to say, “We should do X because it solves Y problem and getting rid of Y problem is good” as long as nobody says, “Sure, but it will cost $Z. Is getting rid of Y worth $Z?” That last part is a fairly concrete question that makes policy debates a lot clearer, but it also tends to frustrate people who just want Y solved without worrying about the costs.

            And that’s not even getting into places where an economist can tell you that, contrary to your intuitions, policy X will actually make Y worse.Report

      • Kim in reply to Kolohe says:

        Game theorists have a pretty fun spin through the field of economics.
        Psychologists too, and sociologists probably would if they could get their heads out of their asses long enough to string together a few sentences.

        Totally want to see an anthropologist do an economics lecture on Madagascar. Think I can bribe Mike to do it?Report

  2. Roland Dodds says:

    The Jazz Shaw piece hits close to home at the moment: after subjecting my wife to the Republican debates, I think I turned her into a Jeb! voter. Now I just shake my head when in her presence (only partially joking). It was unexpected, but it made me also recognize that political-nerds are a small group of committed online pundits, and that many Americans are going to pick their candidates for very different reasons than we do.

    Having said that, she would almost surely vote Hillary in a general election (or so she says). So her Jeb! support might be pretty lukewarm.Report

    • Clancy and I were talking about our votes yesterday. We’re more-or-less on the same page. If Trump wins the GOP nomination, we’re voting for Hillary. If Cruz wins, we’re voting for Johnson. If Rubio wins, I will probably vote for Rubio but she is uncertain. We both used to be more conservative than we are, but she has moved to the left on social issues and I’ve moved more on economic ones.Report

      • If Richard Dreyfus wins, I’m voting for him.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:


        Reading between the tea leaves, am I correct to assume that your Hillary vote would really be an anti-Trump vote?

        Would any of that change if Bernie is the nominee?Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to Kazzy says:

          Actually, it is kind of a funky decision tree because it means
          1. Hillary is preferred to Trump, but
          2. Johnson is preferred to Hillary, and
          3. Rubio is (probably) preferred to Hillary and Johnson

          Which begs the question, why not Johnson if either Hillary or Trump? How does Cruz “make” Johnson better than Hillary in a way that Trump does not? Please, show your work.Report

          • Autolukos in reply to Marchmaine says:

            The correct answer is, of course, that your vote doesn’t matter.

            There is a tiering that makes some sense:
            1. Rubio
            2. Johnson
            3. Clinton, Cruz
            4. Trump

            If our goal is to elect a candidate from the highest tier possible, and we’re making the false assumption that our vote matters and the true assumption that Johnson is not going to win no matter what we do, we care about supporting Clinton over Trump, but we’re indifferent to Clinton vs. Cruz and so can “waste” the vote on Johnson in that race.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Basically, if it’s Cruz and HRC, we don’t strongly care who wins so we can more comfortably throw our lot in with the candidate who we most strongly identify with ideologically. Trump is sufficiently worse than Cruz, and Hillary, that we’d vote for the Democrat (which I haven’t done since 1996, and she never has). A vote for Johnson is a half-vote against Cruz, a vote for Hillary is a full-vote against Trump (and Trump warrants that).

            Where it gets a tad more complicated, and going to @kazzy ‘s question, is that if it is Sanders, we probably do the same thing, but I would feel way less bad about. I view Hillary in an especially negative light as especially corrupt and dishonest*, apart from ideological spectrum, and moreso than any major candidate except Trump. Sanders’s ideology is worse to my eyes, but I think he’s a good guy and I think that sort of thing actually matters. My wife thinks HRC is particularly bad, but since she thinks most of them are bad there is somewhat less distinction, and has bigger problems with Sanders’s ideology.

            * – That is an explanation of my views, not an argument. So I’m not going to argue the point to anyone who thinks I’ve been tainted by right-wing media or whatnot.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

              Thanks, Will. That makes sense. I haven’t gone down the road that fully though will probably end up in a position where I vote for whomever keeps the GOP nominee out of the White House. Which is less an endorsement of any of the folks who might get my vote and instead a recognition of my dismay at the prospect of the GOP controlling two (and likely three) branches of the federal government.

              I’m actually of the mindset that having ideological diversity — both in the moment and over time — is good for the country. But the ideas that seem to be dominating the GOP right now, especially on the social front, really scare me.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman says:

              Thanks, updating my Trumwill visio diagram now.Report

            • dexter in reply to Will Truman says:

              @will-Truman, ln ten thousand words or less I would appreciate it if you would tell me what makes Senator Sander’s ideology so bad.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

                (Not to speak for Will, of course, he can speak for himself but here is my attempt.)

                When I was a kid, I was raised pretty hardcore evangelical.

                One of the things I was promised was, someday, I would stand before God, be judged, be found worthy of Heaven due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his Son, and live forever in Heaven.

                For the record, I don’t think that this will happen.

                The fact that I don’t think that this will happen makes this a bad goal to go for even though I admit that there are some things that would be nice about eternal life in Heaven (it has upsides in addition to the obvious downsides).

                In that same way, Bernie has a number of goals that, on one level, are quite nice and pleasant and are things that, theoretically, I could see as being good things.

                It’s just that I don’t think that the world is a way that would allow for Bernie’s ideology to actually be implementable.

                As such, I think that his ideology is bad. Even though, in theory, I find its goals to be quite pleasant. He’s a good person.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ted has a number of goals that, on one level, are quite awful and evil and are things that, realistically, I could see as being terrible things.

                And I do think that the world is a way that would allow for Ted’s ideology to actually be implementable.

                Which is why I’d gladly vote for Hillary to prevent that.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

                In a post-labor economy of wealth, I could see myself going for Bernie in a big way.Report

              • dexter in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird,I think we have had this same conversation on a different subject. If I may, what you are saying is that you like Senator Sander’s ideas but it would entail too much work to accomplish them so we should elect somebody that has taken millions of dollars from the big banks for speaking and forget about it. Or in the case of Cruz elect a person that is married to a big banker. Or maybe we should elect a vacuous metro sexual in high heels. Etc,etc or yada,unto infinity!Report

              • Murali in reply to dexter says:

                No, he is saying that Sanders, if he had his druthers, would run the economy into the ground. Thankfully, presidents don’t have absolute control over policy, so in the worst case that wouldn’t happen. But a Sanders or Trump presidency is an America which does not make free trade agreements while a Clinton or Rubio one is. So, definitely the latter two over the former two.Report

              • dexter in reply to Murali says:

                @murali, What you call free trade, I call ship the job to China, Vietnam, Haiti, Bangladesh or any other country with few or no environmental regulations.
                If half of the horror stories about the TPP are true, that will be a real horror.Report

              • Murali in reply to dexter says:

                Right, inflation is so much betterReport

              • dexter in reply to Murali says:

                @murali, Three things:
                What you call lack of inflation I call wage stagnation.
                In the long run I do not think it is in America’s best interest to send hundreds of billions of dollars to other countries every year.
                Just because you say something don’t make it so. Show me how there would onerous inflation if America did not send all its manufacturing jobs to countries with minimum wages below 75 cents per hour, very little in the way of worker’s rights and extremely lax environmental regulations.Report

              • Murali in reply to dexter says:

                I’m pretty sure labour costs contribute to the price of consumer goods. I’m also sure that price is a huge consideration in determining the consumption choices of the working classes. Hell, its an important consideration for me when I buy clothes and I’m not exactly working class.Report

              • dexter in reply to Murali says:

                @murali, If that was your entire argument that onerous inflation would ensue if America didn’t outsource so much you failed to come close to convincing me that it is good for America.Report

              • Murali in reply to dexter says:

                No, its not my entire argument, but I’ve got other things to do than babysit you through the whole thing. Or you could read a bit.


              • Brandon Berg in reply to dexter says:

                Globalization has dramatically raised incomes for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in Asia over the last thirty years. Would you prefer that that not have happened?

                This takes on a much more sinister tone in the light of Sanders’ and his supporters’ opposition to globalization.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                So it’s a win-lose scenario, where in order for a guy in India to have a job, I have to lose mine?
                Can we imagine a world in which wage stagnation in America isn’t justified by saying “but look how great things are in Mumbai!”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Murali says:

                Yeah that phrase “free trade” sets my teeth on edge nowadays.
                Because like “free market” no such thing exists, has existed, or can exist.

                Its a term of art meant to ride on the emotive value of the word “free” without revealing the actual content, which is “a system of gates and switches that favor this interest over that.”Report

              • Murali in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Reducing or eliminating tarriffs, import restrictions and quotas is by and large a good thing. Imposing Disney’s copyright preferences globally is kinda bad, but not as bad as leaving those barriers in place.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Murali says:

                What trade agreement actually reduces regulation?
                Most trade agreements are about adding regulation in the form of property protection.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                most trade agreements reduce regulation by harmonizing regulation to close to a single standard, so regulation itself won’t be used like of a protective tariff.

                It’s a frequent enough left-wing critique of trade agreements, claiming they will cause both sides to seek the lowest common denominator in whatever avenue of regulation one thinks is necessary (e.g. labor standards, environmental standards)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kolohe says:

                Yes, exactly.
                They select one framework of things to be protected by regulation, and suppress all others.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

                If I may, what you are saying is that you like Senator Sander’s ideas but it would entail too much work to accomplish them so we should elect somebody that has taken millions of dollars from the big banks for speaking and forget about it.

                I think that, if it is possible, there is a lot of stuff that needs to happen first. We, effectively, have to achieve Scandinavian levels of Trust and Collaboration/Cooperation. Without those levels of T and C/C, it doesn’t matter if we attempt to institute Scandinavian Social Services because They Will Fail.


                And it’s not a “too much work” question, really. It’s a question of the allegory of the long spoons.

                If you don’t have the foundation that a tall structure needs, any structure you build on that site above a certain height will fall.

                Or in the case of Cruz elect a person that is married to a big banker. Or maybe we should elect a vacuous metro sexual in high heels.

                I am not, and would never, suggest you vote for Cruz or Rubio.

                May I interest you in my fine selection of third party candidates?Report

              • dexter in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird, I get what you are saying. The difference between you and I is that you think the change I am talking about is impossible and I think it is merely hard.
                I think the scariest thing for the republicans would be for the racists to realize their enemy isn’t the other tribe, but the 1%ers.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to dexter says:

                I don’t think it’s impossible.

                I think that electing Bernie will result in failure given the amount of T&C/C we have now (which will reduce the amount of public T&C/C).

                Which will be counter-productive for those who wish for a more Scandinavian Model.

                If you do not build the foundation before you build the building, your building will crumble and fall.

                The Gods of the Copybook Headings talk about this. A lot.Report

            • aaron david in reply to Will Truman says:

              My calculus almost exactly matches @will-truman, so I got that going for me, which is nice.Report

      • How do you know Johnson is running? Does the Libertarian Party elect nominees-for-life?Report

  3. Michael Cain says:

    Pretty much describes our household these days. The wife and I generally agree on candidates; any real arguments are about the initiatives.Report

  4. Alan Scott says:

    Kulkarni’s piece on Republican and the Black vote is the same kind of lazy awful that those pieces always are.

    Here’s the problem. When your pitch to Black voters is “Republicans hate the Gays and the Mexicans just as much as you do”, Black voters are going to remember how Republicans were hating them just as hard in the last election cycle. That’s a turn-off to a voter, even a voter that opposes SSM and immigration.

    The majority of GOP politicians and supporters aren’t Bigots. But the GOP has been catering to the Bigot vote in one stripe or another since Nixon. That’s a stain that has to be addressed before they’ll get the vote of any of the various minorities that they demonized for short-term electoral gain.Report