Morning Ed: Politics {2018.04.30.M}

Will Truman

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

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35 Responses

  1. Kolohe says:

    Po8 – notwithstanding that we need more elected positions, not fewer, I know that our electoral boards randomize the order the names are listed – but I don’t know if it’s the same order state-wide or each locality has their own order. Though, where it matters most are those local races, which additionally, don’t have party id per state law – but also ipso facto have different names throughout the state anyway.Report

  2. Murali says:

    Po9: Savage makes at best one correct point while meandering through an entire shitpile of wrongness: People don’t in fact generally respond to people pointing out that their cherished beliefs are not in fact supported by the evidence by changing their minds. Presidential debates don’t really matter qua ideas presented and the goodness/badness of said ideas. What wins political battles is amassing coalitions etc. It would indeed be a mistake to think that making good arguments (and perhaps a charismatic vehicle for said arguments) is all it takes to win.

    But I’m not sure Beltway types really make that claim

    But even it if it (people responding rationally to arguments) won’t happen it is desirable. The fact that he can’t see the normative desirability of people responding to arguments says more about him than it says about the desirability of rational argument.

    Process is important and for there to be civil peace, people on both sides must be more committed to maintaining process than to achieving any actual outcome. Legitimacy must come before justice. That Savage is unable to see that is indicative of how far up his ass his head is.Report

    • Jean Meslier in reply to Murali says:

      Yes, to your last point, exactly. Savage’s main point is that the show idealizes process over substance. But isn’t that correct? In the political domain, the exact policies that will bring about the ends we want are unknown; meanwhile, the policies we debate will have far-reaching, unpredictable effects on our huge, infinitely granular society. Process, it seems to me, is the engine for getting from a menu of policy proposals to a better society.

      What is Savage’s countervision? It would seem to be some sort of Hobbesian/Machiavellian state of nature in politics, where ruthless ideologues tear down their opponents using means fair or (preferably) foul in service of their own grand visions, maybe a Richelieu or FDR on steroids, to use some of history’s less unflattering examples. Not only is this vision not especially appealing, it’s unclear what end it would be expected to bring about. Why would Savage fetishize this? Perhaps I just haven’t read enough of his other writing to know what he has in mind.Report

  3. LeeEsq says:

    Po7: The decision to join the EEC was very devicive in the United Kingdom. It had supporters and detractors in both of their parties. Corbyn is part of the Labour faction that was EU skeptical and saw it as a basically anti-socialist, pro-capitalist venture.

    Po8: You joke about the fewe elections but many people in political science believe fewer elections are the key to keep people political engaged rather than overwhelmed.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Po8: I’m not joking. I want (a) elections reduced more or less to one a year (National/Local/State/Local/National/etc though with some biannual legislative elections), (b) consolidated local governments, and (c) fewer independently elected executive positions. Ideally I might toss in (d) banning primaries, but only if we review the party system to allow unresponsive political parties to be displaced.

      Some of the political scientist types you’re referring to want to go further than I do on (a) with elections every two or four years only, but I think one set a year is about right as I want to keep state and federal separate and don’t want to do away with midterms.Report

  4. pillsy says:

    [Po3] Of course Liel Liebovitz is going to scold people for evaluating entertainers differently from him.Report

  5. pillsy says:

    If the California GOP is going to stop being an irrelevant basket case any time soon, it’s not going to be due to the efforts of the next generation of Republican activists. It looks like they’ve decided to go all in on the Milosian strategy (such as it is) of devoting all their energy to pissing off their fellow college students and then complaining about how everybody on campus hates conservatives.Report

  6. Saul Degraw says:

    Po3: I don’t think I fully agree here but I know you have made this point before because many or most artists have left-leaning politics and conservatives still need to like them. But Kanye like Trump never got over Obama calling him a jackass. I also think it is a false equivalence. Lots of people on the left were really angry at Susan Surandon in 2016 for being a Jill Stein supporter and throwing HRC under the bus. I really like Greta Gerwig but disagree with her BDS stance.

    Po9: I was a college and twenty something liberal during the Bush years and watched the West Wing fairly regularly. I don’t think the show is as bad as this article makes it to be or I would phrase it differently. The show was a great defender of bourgeois liberalism and the idea that competency and expertise matters. This is a great balm to the general anti-Intellectual for the sake of being anti-Intellectual thing that happens to America. Everyone on the West Wing was competent without being super-human. They still made mistakes but not because they were overwhelmed and did not understand their job.

    I’ve written before about how I think there is a large aesthetic component to politics. A big part of this is that a lot of politics is driven by forces which can be roughly described as “the Bourgeois and their Discontents.” When people like Palin complain about “Coastal elitists” and I think the complaint is largely aesthetic. Sarah Palin has a lot more money than I do! A lot of Trump voters might not have college degrees but they are not suffering economically we have discovered. What they seemingly object to is how the upper-middle class liberal types spend their free time and recreation dollars. They find it boring and dull.

    The same fight happens on the left. The Chapo Crackhouse types hate the upper-middle class respectability that exists in contemporary Democratic politics on the running things end. They find the grind and white paper stuff boring. It feels inauthentic to them. The kicker is that a lot of them come from middle-class bourgeois backgrounds. They aren’t exactly salt of the earth either. But the bourgeois way of doing things will always be seen as dull and boring to many.Report

  7. Saul Degraw says:

    David Frum comes to a qualified defense for Michelle Woolf

  8. One thought on Po1 and 2 that is adjacent, but a simple change I’d like to see is move election days to a weekend, especially primary voting. Many countries already do this.Report

    • Most countries don’t have primaries at all! We’re one of a select few, though more are moving in that direction.

      As far as election days go, my belief is that we should keep them on Tuesday but allow liberal early voting on the Saturday and Sunday before. End all early voting apart from that (though I can take or leave that Monday).Report

      • I could live with that, I think early voting has gotten a bit out of hand (30+ days in some places doesn’t seem to have a sound basis). So open early voting the Sat prior and leave open with revolving locations, which is how they do early voting in my district anyway, I could be good with that.Report

  9. Will Truman says:

    Election design matters.


  10. Stillwater says:

    In an attack on John Kelly, I’m hearing about how he obstructed Trump’s desire to agree to a deal granting DACA kids citizenship in exchange for $18billion in wall funding. That’s not really news, since I know that *I* was aware of that contemporaneously with it being shot down. What’s new is that Trump apparently expressly *wanted* the deal!

    Hard to determine fact from fancy in this admin, but this rings true to me. Makes me feel a bit better about Trump, and a whole lot worse about his staff.

    Also, the thought that those kids could have been nationalized for a small price, which Kelly wouldn’t agree to, is just incredibly disappointing.Report

  11. Marchmaine says:

    From the “Unclear on the Concept” brigade.Report

  12. Kolohe says:

    Ok, Will, with Nashville TN you may have a point.

    There are three different court clerks, a county clerk, and an entirely seperate register of deeds.Report