Saturday, November 17, 2012

What Mattered This Week?

I'm pretty sure the Romney comments, and even the reaction, go in the "doesn't matter" bin. For something that matters...I'll go with Eurozone developments. To some extent this week, to some extent just remembering it's out there.

What else? What do you think mattered this week?

24 comments:

  1. The media seems to think the Patreus scandal matters. I don't, at least as far as 'scandal,' goes.

    But I do wonder if it's an opportunity for some sweeping some of GWB's WOT top brass out of the Republican political pipeline?

    Don't know, but I've wondered. Would appreciate other's opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gaza mattered. I'd argue that the McCain/Graham grandstanding about Susan Rice and Obama's response to it probably matters.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too early to call, but elements of the Republican Party appear to be thinking. So far its been all talk, none of them have crossed the rubicon by calling for an actual major policy shift, even on immigration reform.

    Related - I think McConnell is digesting the message that he's not getting the deficit reduction deal that was on the table last year, and that he's going to get a better deal in the lame duck than will be available in the next Congress. Again, doesn't mean they won't shoot themselves in the *other foot - we'll see.

    I think Gaza matters (politically) mostly in so far as Egyptian President Morsi shows whether he has the ability (or even the desire) to walk the tightrope of competing interests to maintain the treaty.

    Not mattering one bit: Mitch Romney.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ummm... Nixon after 1960, Goldwater (to some extent) after 1964, Reagan after 1976, George Bush the elder after 1992, George Bush the younger today continue to be people to reckon with inside the Republican party. Their supporters endured and ocassionally triumphed -- Nuixon in 1968, say, or Reagain in 1980.

    It's really really hard to imagine Mitt Romney as an important person in future Republican history.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I’ve been struck by how the commentary on the right has mostly accepted that Obama did win the election, i.e. the near-complete absence of claims that it was vote fraud, or that Hurricane Sandy swung it, or even that Romney and his ORCA geniuses just kicked it away. The consensus seems to be that Obama legitimately got more votes, and there’s wide acceptance of the Democrats’ own interpretation that he did this by better mobilizing a coalition of important voting blocs. Instead of denying this, the right is trying to make it sound underhanded, like he bribed people with “stuff” or induced a Euro-style revolt of takers against makers. The right-commentariat also seems to agree that this wasn’t a one-time revolt but very possibly the shape of things to come (“America is over,” from here on we’re just managing the decline, etc.). So they do question Obama’s legitimacy in that sense. But I think it’s significant that this doesn’t question the election’s legitimacy – it acknowledges that the eletion did what elections are supposed to do, which is register the will of the people to some rough approximation. Assuming that interpretation sticks, it means the right will now be debating its actual policy positions and how well they match up with Americans’ political demands, however irrational they think these to be. That seems to me a healthy development, a lot better than having the whole debacle written off, as in ’08, as some combination of ACORN chicanery and a merely predictable reaction against the failures of GW Bush.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Patraeus testimony matters. Unfortunately, it seems like all the second-hand information we're getting is filtered through a partisan lens. There's absolutely no justification for the testimony to be taken in secret. The cure for too much secrecy is not more of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An interesting point about the partisan lens. The fact that the hearings were secret didn't hinder people on both sides from spinning it as soon as they were over. (I suppose there may have been other aspects that we haven't heard about.)

      Delete
  7. The Republican party since 2007 has been slowly dividing not only on social issues but economic as well. This is not good for the Right and their way of politics. Mitt Romney's defeat is an example on how 6 million Republicans didn't vote from 2008 because they didn't think that Mitt Romney was the best choice or wasn't as extreme as he should have been. You may be witnessing the rise of a 3rd party in the United States, not a party that only gets 2% of the vote, but a party that has the ability to take votes from both sides so much as to 25% of the total vote and that my friends is a huge deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anybody who thinks that Romney 'wasn't extreme as he should have been' is not going to be siphoned off by a third party that has 'the ability to take votes from both sides.'

      Such a party would be a square circle.

      Delete
  8. >I'm pretty sure the Romney comments, and even the reaction, go in the "doesn't matter" bin.

    If by "doesn't matter" you mean it won't have any real impact on the future of politics or public policy, then I agree. But I still found the remarks to be the most bitter I've ever heard from a just-defeated presidential candidate, and that to me is telling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I suppose, to sound Clintonian, it depends on what you mean by "matters.". I think JB is speaking in a very narrow sense, that neither Romney's comments nor the reaction to them are, in and of themselves, part of any great causal chain. On the other hand, both may be signs of deeper forces at work. If so we will see. I would argue that JB is being somewhat too strict in his definition of "matters.". It's probably true that they are not effective events in their own right, but signs can often serve to encourage and amplify underlying events by providing information and signals, pebbles calling out to each other to join the avalanche, if you will. In this particular case Ed Kilgore is skeptical, and I sense JB is as well, while Chait (as Kilgore says, of all people) and Ezra Klein, I think, are more hopeful. Matt Yglesias seems to straddle the line, but leans to the skeptic's side. We will see who is right.

      Delete
    2. I think Romney's comments mattered in terms of the historical interpretation of Romney and his campaign. It reconfirms the impressions left by the earlier "47%" episode, and since he did it a second time and did it apparently knowing that reporters were on the line, it's pretty difficult to write off as a mistake or meaningless offhand remark. To the extent that the argument is castigated, that may make it even less likely that future GOP candidates will be temtped to copy his campaign or program. I would think that would also undermine Paul Ryan's chances, since he's pretty closely identified with that sort of argument, although I understand that my views on the matter may not prevail in GOP primaries.

      Delete
  9. It matters who becomes Secretary of State for O2. If things that happened this week affected PBO's decision on that or the dynamics for confirmation in the Senate, those things matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's with this PBO stuff? I've been seeing this for some time, and I really hate it. What's wrong with BHO?

      Delete
    2. Or if you don't want to spell it out, why not use the widely-accepted POTUS?

      Delete
  10. Gaza matters, horribly, to people getting bombed, rocketed, etc.

    But does it 'matter' in the sense of changing any trend lines, or any political dynamics in Israel or Gaza? Otherwise it is one more flare-up in a conflict that alternates between flare-ups and lulls.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It seems like the GOP is not going to be changing any of its policies (outside of supporting immigration reform, maybe). Instead they will be focusing on marketing the message "better." I've noticed that this week potential GOP contenders for the White House, Bobby Jindal comes to mind, and public intellectuals have jumped on the "don't change the policy" bandwagon. Which probably makes any major shift in economic policy unlikely in the near future. I really like Kilgore's post on it, especially where Josh Barro says the awful (in my opinion at least) truth while rebutting an argument made by Ramesh Ponnuru:

    "That is the problem with Ramesh’s prescription that Republicans should find “a way to apply conservative principles in ways that offer tangible benefits to most voters.” Any conceivable agenda that is likely to be effective in getting health care, jobs and higher wages in the hands of the American masses will be unconservative, at least on the terms by which most American conservatives define conservatism."

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_11/peeling_the_onion_of_conservat041261.php

    Oh yes and Gaza/Israel stuff certainly matters.

    ReplyDelete
  12. No more Hostess Twinkies! More seriously, recent reports regarding Hostess, Walmart, Papa John's, Denny's, and others (along with Romney's statements) are undercutting GOP desires to ignore public support for higher taxes on the wealthy, and instead to favor of austerity measures. the GOP position right now would be helped by a lack of negative news regarding CEO and Wall Street actions and labor conditions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A medical marijuana grower faces an 80 year mandatory minimum sentence for his crime of helping sick people (7 minutes):

    http://youtu.be/wZCWHxmph80

    ReplyDelete
  14. President Obama getting and answering a policy question on the climate crisis at his press conference. It matters as a (no pun intended) ice breaker, if nothing else. It clarifies his current approach and intentions. It matters as a signal that this is going to be revived for discussion and action in his second term.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, The President's trip to Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Burma

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Who links to my website?