Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crazy in the GOP Nomination Process

What Michele Bachmann says about the debt limit may not be a gaffe, but it's a bigger deal than a gaffe. That's what I said over at Greg's place today. Greg, meanwhile, is focusing on her minimum wage remarks. He and I were just chatting on the phone...what I said to him, which I figure I might as well recycle into a quick post, is that I expect this kind of thing to happen again and again throughout the next six or seven or eight months, until the GOP nomination is settled. There are two things going on. First, all the incentives on the Republican side right now are pushing candidates to the right. And, second, the ever-popular epistemic closure argument: at this point, it's fairly likely that both candidates and staff are losing track of which rhetoric, and which positions, really sound totally nuts to people outside that bubble (which, remember, is most of the American people, and especially most swing voters). 

What's important to note are the dogs not barking: you're not going to see any Republican candidate come out and say that of course it's a bad idea for the United States Government to default, or that the minimum wage is a settled issue (whether or not the minimum wage is a good idea, it's been a solid consensus opinion for decades; indeed, usually increasing it is highly popular). 

I said this a while back, but I'll repeat it: I continue to think that the odds of a crazy nominee are low, but the odds that someone will be nominated who has said crazy things keeps going up.

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