Friday, June 7, 2013

Read Stuff, You Should (Plus Housekeeping)

Happy Birthday to Ken Osmond, 70.

And some good stuff:

1. "The people have taken over American politics, and they hate it." Ezra Klein reads Fiorina.

2. Brad DeLong on "normalization."

3. Scott Bland on the DCCC taking sides and getting away with it. Very interesting.

And I'm on the road through Tuesday...I'll almost certainly put up the normal weekend posts, but don't expect much more than that over the next few days.


  1. Re: #1
    It seems like Obama has been a relatively successful politician because he intuits this fact better than any other major US politician. They all do this bit of dissembling trying to transform their particular politics into a consensus drained of "politics," but no one does the whole "post-partisan" "this isn't about politics," "I have no actual ideology" thing better than Obama. Americans (and most people in general) like the idea of democracy, but not the actual experience of it, which is ineluctably "political."

  2. Journolist1 doesn't ask the obvious question: "what do the Swiss/whoever else think of their highly voter-driven societies?"

    Kennedy Schooler Robert Putnam agonized over whether he should release his work on civic engagement and trust in government. What he found was that ethnic and racial diversity degrade trust in government. This may surprise readers of a blog that sees no problem with citizens voting strictly on race/ethnicity. Well, the US has been diversifying a lot as it's become easier for citizens to get political.

    1. I wonder how Dr Bernstein feels about hosting your white supremacist comments.

    2. He seems to be open to reading different viewpoints. Smart people like me are disgustedly abandoning liberalism and orthodox libertarianism (in my case and that of several bloggers, both) because of the overwhelming evidence. It might be useful to see which way some insanely smart people are headed and I link to those people. If you think I'm a troll, just ignore me. I don't hold it against you that you're name-calling because nobody wants to get Richwined.

    3. Diversity degrades trust in government not because minorities are bad but because there's enough racism (or classism, or whatever other ism) in the majority. "They" are trying are trying to "steal" "my" stuff.

      Blaming minorities for this is like blaming blacks for slavery and the civil war instead of blaming slave owners. Yes, if blacks didn't exist then those bad things wouldn't have happened, but blacks weren't the wrongdoers.

    4. Anonymous,

      Who's saying that minorities are "bad?"

      Not Robert Putnam.
      Not Steve Sailer.
      Not me.

      I think that you're jumping to the oppressor/oppressed model of framing political questions. It will leave you perpetually confused about the world if you can't think outside this prog box.

      You didn't actually make a relevant argument or cite any facts because you think that telling me what your frame is is enough. Newsflash: everyone is taught to use this frame, including people like me (who are ALL ex-progs.)

  3. The interesting thing about the DCCC story is that I don't really think local party organizations could get away with such public support for candidates in primaries. At least in this part of the country, that is expressly forbidden in their by-laws.

    That doesn't stop allied groups from being party proxies, of course, but still.

    And the DCCC has been doing things like this for quite some time, anyway.

  4. Your recent posts and columns about the people's and the media's fixation on the presidency is playing itself out as we speak. Even among well-informed, high-information liberals, libertarians, and cultural elites like mainstream journalists, most of the ire about the NSA policies seem to be directed at the president, not the legislature, which has just as much of a role in this. Most "over-reach" by the executive is usually consciously enabled by "under-reach" by the legislature.


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