Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Mattered This Week?

Oh, the Eurozone.

More primaries this week, plus a new Member of the House from AZ-8. Nothing particularly earth-shattering, but I'll certainly include it.

Let's see...the new quasi-Dream policy. Does it matter? I'm really not sure. Substantively, it depends on implementation, and that appears uncertain from what I can tell. Electorally, I sort of doubt almost certainly doesn't change votes, and I'd have to be convinced that it will make a real difference to Latino enthusiasm (and therefore turnout) down the line. It also might signal change in the future -- or not. So maybe.

I haven't written anything about the showdown between Justice and Issa. Does that matter?

What I also haven't been writing about but does matter, at least on some levels, are the legal fights in Florida, Texas, and other states over restrictions on voting.

And, hey, it matters to me: Matt Cain pitched a perfect game.

What else? What do you think mattered this week?


  1. Romney stating that he thinks insurance companies should be able to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions? of course it matters what the supreme court decides and which party is in control of congress before it matters where romney stands on one of many moving parts in health care policy. but I think it matters, a little.

  2. The thing I'd say about DREAMexecpolicyshift is that the most trusted (I'm told) voice at Univision has been turned up to 11 in raving and praising the move.
    I think we may not know the full political/voter impact until the GOP line settles. If they go with the John Yoo/Alberto Gonzalez stuff, then meh. If the Steve King winger freakout sets the tone, we may see more peeling off of moderate-right hispanics. Even if it's just to get them to stay home. We won't know the electoral impact for a bit.
    Meanwhile, for us libs, it continues to point out how darn dysfunctional Congress is (ahem, Republicans).

  3. According to Chris Hayes, Obama's quasi-Dream executive order gives the Republicans an opportunity to trash what is essentially Marco Rubio's alternative to the Dream Act.

  4. Quasi-dream matters because it sets a precedent for enacting controversial policy by executive order rather than by law. I have little doubt that the next Republican President will do the same thing and Republicans will defend him or her by reminding us that Obama started it. Heck, I've already heard Democrats defend Obama by saying this move is philosophically equivalent to Bush's signing statements.

  5. In 6 hours of trading tonight, S&P futures have been up slightly with little volatility, in spite of the popular press arguing that the future of the world hung with today's Greek election (which, from the market's perspective, ostensibly went quite well).

    Nothing in Greece or the Euro matters, which is what makes that crisis so terrifying. Compare the slow-motion train wreck of Europe with an acute crisis like the Cuban Missile one. I suspect that in his dotage Khruschev regretted blinking; he surely regretted taking Kennedy's deal of American nukes out of Turkey in exchange for his ships turning around. If Khruschev had to do it over, he plausibly would have pushed the world closer to nuclear war in an attempt to pry American missiles out of Europe.

    Realistically, though, there was no chance to do it over. Sure, he could have announced that the Soviets got a bad deal and sent his warships steaming back to the Caribbean. But communist dictatorships don't message that way. Getting back to the Euro mess, what is the comparable "now-or-never" moment?

    There isn't one. There's no election, no structured settlement, no banking facility that ends this. The media is looking for one, since that's a very marketable meme. But no such definitive moment is on the horizon, which may explain why the markets are (for now) essentially yawning over the latest 'now-or-never' event mostly going our way.

  6. I would argue that the immigration effort punctuated Obama's strategy of running a tactical rather than strategic reelection bid. He's focusing on sustaining as little harm to himself in whatever he does without taking many risks. This means that either way the GOP wins the election. If Romney wins the Congress will almost certainly be Republican controlled and the GOP will have won. If Obama wins even if the Democrats retain control of the Senate they will not have run on much other than how bad the other party is. I think if you are a rejectionist party like the GOP, not a giant loss. But if you are for the government doing certain things then you need some energy behind what that government should do to address issues. Clearly the Obama team is not concerned with policy after they get him reelected if they do.


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