Monday, May 07, 2012

Political Wilderness

This is one of those occasions when Paul Krugman says something, in his blog post today, with which I tend to agree. That’s not as rare as you might think, as sometimes I agree with his premise but still need to point out the fallacy of his purported “proof” of said premise. I am never convinced that the mere fact that two things happened at one time is certain proof that one of them caused the other.

At any rate, he says that the elections in Europe don’t say much about the policy concerns of the European voters, as the results are mostly about the principle that, “voters toss out incumbents and reward insurgents if the economy is bad, never mind the specifics of their platforms.” So, he says, France is not moving to the left but, yes, Greece is really fubar.

I think that’s right, particularly the part about when the economy is bad politicians are wasting their breath talking about policy, because voters are going to throw incumbents the hell out no matter what their policies are.

Political campaigns are also wasting time and energy bloviating about who ate whose dog, or put whose dog on the roof of the car, because voters don’t really give a shit about that either. Voters care about the economy, and they are beginning to realize that big numbers in the stock market do not mean that the economy is recovering.

That should result in a Republican White House and Senate next year and a Democratic House, but it won’t because we aren’t as smart as European voters. Most voters don’t actually vote about what really concerns them at all; they will vote for the incumbent either because it’s the only name they recognize, or because the incumbent has been reminding them of how many federal dollars and favors he has been able to “bring home.”

Which, of course, still makes policy irrelevant.

1 comment:

bruce said...

They prattle about dogs on the menu or the roof because they have nothing better to prattle about. Or at least for the 80% of the time left over after they cover what really matters.

I'm not yet convinced that the White House, Senate or House will change sides. If they do, it will still be a bare majority, similiar to what is there now, just reversed. Whoever wins the White house with not have a "mandate", but that won't stop him/them from crowing about it.

That's one reason that I think the far right are idiots for making the election (or any election) about social issues. Only a small shrill segment cares about those issues. The rest either endorse them or accept them as fait accompli and turn to other more pressing issues.

Let the fans begin to spin - along with the campaigns

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