Friday, March 26, 2010

Henry Farrell bait

See the Monkey Cage for the explanation.  And the miscreant is (via a nice post from Yglesias)... from Brookings, Isabell Sawhill:
With this as background, I am waiting for a leader who is able to articulate the need for more sensible and pragmatic solutions. Such a leader would start a movement of like-minded citizens that eventually culminates in a third party win of the presidency. I realize that the history of successful third parties is not encouraging, but the most potent political force in this country right now is a public that is completely disillusioned and angry about the way Washington works and less extreme in its view than its representatives in Congress. Thus, the times are ripe for greater success than in the past. (Emphasis added).
Really?  I don't know what "most potent political force" means, but lots of people like Obama and the Democrats -- they aren't part of this force she's talking about -- and of those who don't, a fair number of them are Tea Party types, who bring the crazy, not the moderation.  As Henry Farrell puts it, "Me, the People."

Not that she actually explains what is less "sensible and pragmatic" about the agenda that Obama and the Democratic Congress are busy passing. 

I do recommend the pieces by Tom Mann and Henry Aaron, also available at the above link (oh, I'll give it again).  There's also a piece by Jonathan Rauch, who I generally think is very good in addition to being a proud member of the Jonathan club, which oddly claims that "the best way of inducing Republicans to behave responsibly is to give them responsibility."  Not only do Mann and Aaron make the point that rewarding the GOP for being irresponsible in 2008-2009 would be unlikely to encourage different behavior, and that at any rate the Republicans will have plenty of incentive to continue opposing the president regardless of whether they're in the majority -- but I think more to the point is that the last time the Republicans did have responsibility we got the Bush tax cut, the other Bush tax cut, two unfunded wars, and one unfunded Medicare expansion.  Meanwhile, the Democrats are not waiting for Republican support to be willing to reduce the deficit and tackle the long-term medical entitlements problem: they just did it!   Republicans, meanwhile, are not running on the Paul Ryan deficit-reduction platform; they're running on an "explode the deficit" platform.  If what you want is deficit reduction, it's hard to see why you would want the  party pledging to never cut Medicare, especially Medicare advantage while also never raising taxes.


  1. I tell you, what THE PEOPLE are hungry for is for Cal State Fullerton to give its assistant professors early tenure without them having to ask for it, and for that tenure to come with a large pay raise.

    Yep, that's it.
    The polls clearly indicate that's really what the people want.

  2. I have a hard time believing that people who don't follow politics and don't participate are somehow the most potent political force in the country.

    That said, what the people clearly want is for me to have a burger and a Guinness right now.

  3. I suppose that moderate people who want to vote Republican are pretty frustrated right now, because they only have maniacs to vote for.

    I'm a moderate, and I am fine voting for Democrats, and I will keep doing so as long as the Republicans remain uninterested in good governance.

    Am I angry? Not at all. Stupid wars seemingly winding down, depression averted, Democrats in power who at least try to let a little wonkery in with the hackery...

    I would be pretty alienated if Sarah Palin was vice prsident.

  4. Matt and Seth are nuts. What the people want is for someone to come in and do my Passover cleaning for me.

  5. The Brookings Institute has been drifting towards AEI-dom for a while now, hasn't it? I also imagine that a bunch of 'scholars' from the Bush administration have found homes there.


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