Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Bernie Williams, 65. Yes, 65; no, not that Bernie Williams. This one was an OFer for the Phoenix Giants when I used to go see them all the time.

Plenty of good stuff:

1. Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy take a closer look at some of the shutdown polling.

2. Matt Yglesias is right about Medicare Part D and ACA.

3. I largely agree with Chris Cillizza's myths about the House GOP. I suspect he's right that the dozen or 20 or 30 or 60 or 80 radicals who have put us where we are are a lot less coordinated than one might think from some of the coverage. Good point.

4. Molly Ball reminds us that a substantial chunk of Republicans really don't approve of compromise.

5. C-SPAN ratings? Huh. I guess it's true that some people will watch anything. Brian Stelter reports. (And you all know my view: Brian Lamb is a true Hero of the Republic).

6. Seth Masket on parties and the shutdown.

7. And Ed Kilgore pushes back some against my TAP column. I should be clear about what I think. I absolutely believe that the press should cover the substance of political battles, whether they are legislative or electoral. As a matter of fact, I also absolutely believe that the press should cover the ephemera. What I don't think the press should do -- or that pundits should do -- is make claims that can't be sustained. The press shouldn't tell us that something will affect elections when it won't. They shouldn't tell us that something will affect pubic opinion when it won't. Or public policy, when it won't. That may sound terribly obvious, but in fact those principles are violated all the time.


  1. Molly Ball points out that Republican voters prefer political leaders who don't compromise, but that doesn't explain why the Republicans keep claiming that they're the ones who are compromising.

  2. I agree that the press should not tell us something WILL affect public opinion or policy, period. They don't know. Neither do I and neither do you. Speculation that it MAY should identify itself as such, and arguments presented to back up the speculation. That's the kind of journalism I learned, that's the way I edited and that's the kind we need if we are going to effectively govern ourselves.


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