Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Miscellaneous

Monday Miscellaneous

It's Sarah Palin week and while far too many bytes have been wasted here's a couple takes worth reading:

  • Jon Meacham at Newsweek seems to see Palin as the spiritual godmother to teabaggerism: "Her political celebrity is so powerful that it has reduced a large part of the Republican Party to irrationality and civic incoherence. According to Gallup, Republicans are more likely to say they would seriously consider voting for Palin for president (65 percent) than to say she is qualified for the job (58 percent)."

  • In the same publication, the unpredictable but always interesting Christopher Hitchens is harsher:
    The problem with populism is not just that it stirs prejudice against the "big cities" where most Americans actually live, or against the academies where many of them would like to send their children. No, the difficulty with populism is that it exploits the very "people" to whose grievances it claims to give vent...

    The Palin problem, then, might be that she cynically incites a crowd that she has no real intention of pleasing. If she were ever to get herself to the nation's capital, the teabaggers would be just as much on the outside as they are now, and would simply have been the instruments that helped get her elected. In my own not-all-that-humble opinion, duping the hicks is a degree or two worse than condescending to them.

    Much like Reagan, or closer to home in that same era our own resrugent Terry Branstad.

  • Branstad, of course, may have his own problems; the consensus conventional wisdom emerging from the weekend Register poll is that it undercuts his electability argument and that Republicans will look at it and want to go for the whole schmeet with Vander Plaats. (My thought is that the still largely undefined BVP has nowhere to go but down, hopefully after clinching a nasty nomination.)

  • Geek Alert: Andrew Gelman at FiveThirtyEight explains "Why Compact, Contiguous Districts are Bad for the Democrats".

  • Geek Alert 2: Weird Al lists his "9 Most Underrated Funny Songs" (other than his own). What kind of ice cream do the Martians like?
  • No comments: