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Ken Houghton

Romney's two big advantages this time are (1) he's the heir apparent (see Brad DeLong) and (2) RomneyCare is so often discussed that everyone ignores the cf that is "The Big Dig." So unless people get killed again there, we get to pretend that someone whose Major Infrastructure Idea was a Complete Disaster is the first- or second-best choice to lead a country in dire need of Infrastructure Repair and employment.


I take some issue with the perception of liberal journalists, of which you cite this, among other perceptions:They don’t believe that a significant portion of the Republican base, including the Right Wing Christians, are Right Wing yahoos and reactionaries, ignorant, angry, and sincerely and seriously racist.

I'm not sure that these columnists and opinionators believe that so much as they believe the more radical elements will be reined in before we go over the precipice.

Which American history seems to indicate just doesn't happen, else what's the Civil War about?


Back when I wuz a young-un, I read a lot of military history and so happened to run across a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte and stared reading it. Well, it wasn't about his military activities so much as it was about him and his first queen Josephine. Well, Josephine had a rather active sex life outside of her marriage, so when it came time for Napoleon to look at marriage laws for France, he and Josephine were married to each other and thereby shared a lot of each others lives, but they had opposed interests in marriage laws. He wanted marriages to be rather weak and easily broken up, Josephine wanted them to be very strong and divorce pretty much impossible. It was a very good lesson for me to get at a very young age, that interests in an issue can be very different, even for people who are very intimate with each other.
Oh, and I did an analysis of Marcus' column here. I've always enjoyed Miss Manners' warnings against "mind-reading." Proper people simply don't do such a thing!


Thoughtful as always, Lance, thanks. I keep pondering these dynamics. A few years back, I posited that the Beltway gang were best understood in anthropological terms – for them, wisdom and even factual truth are socially rather than empirically determined. There's little thought or reflection there, and most of them hate to look at actual policy and its likely or established consequences. I do think reporters tend to be socially liberal, and because of that, many do view themselves as liberal. However, their employers, which are large corporations, are economically very conservative, and often plutocratic. The chattering class are mostly courtiers for a ruling class with whom they identify, and as Josh Marshall's said, they're wired for Republican rule. They assume (and desire) that politicians, who in a sense they view as the hired help, won't disrupt their happy existing power structure. After all, they have health care, and jobs, or connections and money. Media discussions of the Affordable Care Act almost always ignored the cheaper and better systems abroad, and would obsess about raising taxes on the rich. (Charlie Gibson kept asking about capital gains taxes.)

As I wrote over at carpenter's on Will and the Republicans, on the one hand, the karmic payback is well-deserved. On the other, it's sad that one of our major political party considers these public rejections of reality, on so many subjects, a prerequisite for higher office. It accomplished two key goals - helping their donors' profit margins, and pissing off liberals - but it's made competent governing impossible. Ah, hubris. The GOP, and the chattering class, are alarmed because things weren't supposed to go this way – not that they've changed their approaches.

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