“you’ll never get that window open!” say men nailing it shut

Jon Chait and Will Wilkinson got together on some sweet, Democrat-defending neoliberalism, going after poor old Tom Frank with the whole “you don’t know the complicated maths!” routine. Chait, of course, is the Andrew Cuomo of the hippie punching press, holding the Mickey Kaus Endowed Chair of Fake Liberalism and spending most of his time raging that anyone to the left of Zell Miller has a national forum at all. He writes for New York magazine, but he would fit in better if it was called Albany. Chait is the ultimate endorser of Teh Politics, the leader of the club of a political philosophy that takes as its central precept that nothing ever, ever changes in politics, ever, unless those remorseless and all-powerful Republicans decide to colonize another planet like the Borg. Thus any political project that isn’t manifested by a bill currently sitting on the President’s desk ready for signature is never worth starting. Which is useful to comfortable centrist white dudes with lifelong tenure among the Very Serious set.

The notion that all political projects that weren’t started by the Congressional White Caucus are doomed is belied by the entire history of a) American politics, b) America, and c) politics, but that’s of little concern to Chait. Chait so long ago slipped into pure self-parody that he now seems to think that unearned condescension is not only all that’s required to win a political argument but that it’s the universal grammar of all human language. I really don’t think the man is capable of considering someone else’s political position without Googling “how do I make my writing more smirky?” He writes the way Brainy Smurf talks.

Now, where someone like Wilkinson, whose politics have never been part of a meaningful mass movement (unlike, say, Thomas Frank), gets off looking down his nose at the supposed political impossibility of Frank’s preferences, I don’t know. In any event, Wilkinson has a moment of clarity when he writes, “the party that succeeds in pulling the median in its direction gets more of what it wants and is forced to concede less of what it doesn’t. This, I think, is the kernel of truth nestled inside Mr Frank’s fulmination.” This is not a kernel of truth; it is the only meaningful truth. Politics is a fulcrum. The center is defined by extremes. Conservatives have won overwhelmingly in the last half century or more– certainly including in the Obama era– not because of overwhelming demographic advantage (which they don’t have) but because they have ruthlessly and with great discipline moved the center, since the Goldwater days. That’s how you get a Chicago liberal constitutional law scholar community organizer President who gloats about cutting food stamps as a way to prove his seriousness and drones Muslim kids like it’s going out of style. (Jon Chait just suddenly got aroused without knowing why.) Move to the right to win the House? They’ll just move with you, the way they have for the last twenty-odd years. They are so much better at moving to the right than you’ll ever be, Democrats. Clinton’s triangulation looked good for about, oh, 18 months before Gingrich showed him what tacking right actually means.

Things in politics change, but they change through demand. I give you the opening section of Rick Perlstein’s Before the Storm:

… the American right had been rendered a political footnote–perhaps for good. 

The wise men weighed in. Reston of the Times: “He has wrecked his party for a long time to come and is not even likely to control the wreckage.” Rovere of the New Yorker: “The election has finished the Goldwater school of political reaction.” “By every test we have,” declared James McGregor Burns, one of the nation’s most esteemed scholars of the presidency, “this is as surely a liberal epoch as the 19th century was a political one.

The rest, of course, is history. Conservatives won. And they won not despite losses like the Goldwater campaign, but precisely because of them: because they are and have been entirely willing to lose individual elections if it means dragging the fight to the right, and in doing so setting the middle in such a way that even when Democrats win, they lose. Every time some Tea Party candidate defeats an establishment Republican and loses an election, the national media laughs. But the center will have been established, and future Republicans will know that they must move to the right to ward off such primary challenges, and eventually they’ll win, in large measure because terrified Democrats will refuse to make any meaningful attempts to define their party or what it is for. And so when Democrats ride an unprecedented electoral wave, inspired by the most incompetent and corrupt administration in a hundred years, and invest incredible political capital to barely scratch out a legislative win for their health care plan, that health care plan is the one written by Heritage. That’s how conservatives win.

Conservatives do not allow their politicians to say “we can’t push for that, because of Teh Politics.” They make demands, and they enforce those demands through the primary process, and that in turns changes the politics. Democrats preemptively declare defeat on all things, and the Jon Chaits carry their water.

Now for Chait this is all fine– he doesn’t want things to change. Congressional Republicans for Chait serve the exact same function that New York Republican legislators serve for Cuomo: they are a permanent excuse for stasis. Hey, man. Those Republicans. What are you going to do? And so just as is true for Cuomo, there is no responsibility for Chait to ever fight for anything at all. He has the permanent, powerful, built-in excuse for why we’re not going to make any progress, and so he can concentrate on doing what he really loves, which is telling snide jokes about radical leftists, which in his mind includes, like, Tom Daschle. I imagine that Chait would feel total panic if, for a moment, he spied a genuine left-wing political opportunity. But then, he’s paid not to.

But I’m not sure what’s in it for Wilkinson. He’s recently gotten kind of wishy washy about the whole politics deal, seeming to go back and forth between “maybe I’ll write arch neoliberal brow furrowers about liberals that are ideologically convenient for The Economist” and “maybe I’ll draw another doodle of Henry Rollins.” I like Wilkinson and some of his work, but this is boring stuff, and of no particular use for his own project. How does he get to his groovy, open-borders minarchism by aligning with Jon Chait in seeing nothing but political impossibility around him? I don’t have a clue.

I love this, by the way: “Ezra Klein is an incisive analyst with an extraordinarily detailed grasp of policy and a crisp, bland prose style.” Do you think Wilkinson’s opinion of Klein is connected to the technocratic neoliberal nerdbro style they share? I’m thinking yes! Klein’s greatest strength, beyond modelling eyeglasses, is his recognition that being without principles will always be seen, in Washington, as the highest principle of them all. He is fond of saying that he has no ideology, only empiricism, which is like saying you never get wet because you live underwater. But to the degree that he is associated with a certain Saturday-morning-cartoon moderate liberalism based on NBER data and good vibes, it’s fair to ask: how’s all of that going for him, Will? How’s it going for all of us?

Update: One country, two major political parties, two broad ideological orientations. One side has responded to unprecedented electoral defeat by embracing its passionate base, pulling the center towards that base, treating ideological extremity as healthy and beneficial, and politically punishing members of the party that fail to support the ideological project. The other side has responded to unprecedented electoral defeat by insulting its passionate base, chasing the center as it moves towards the other party, treating ideological extremity as inherently shameful and destructive, and politically punishing members of the party that dare to support the ideological project. The former has had tremendous political success, despite the fact that it was obvious to all serious people, at one point, that the country was against them. The latter tries the same thing again and again and again and is always surprised when it fails to achieve its policy aims.

American politics is Republicans saying “I’m the true conservative” and Democrats saying “Don’t worry, I’m not a liberal.” If you think that the former’s success is written in the stars rather than thanks to that basic political strategy, you’re writing yourself out of politics and calling it maturity.


  1. I’m studying for an American politics comprehensive exam, and I envy the certainty the three of you exhibit in evaluating the relevant literature. The nod to median voter theory as gospel by Wilkinson and Chait is particularly strange. I’m not trying to diminish Keith Krehbiel or Anthony Downs, but there’s a number of competing explanations for legislative behavior — think of Cox and McCubbins and the party cartel model, for instance. There’s also any number of elite driven models of elections, or party activist models, or…etc. One particular oddity re: median voter theorem is how you appeal to the preferences of the median voter when the vast majority of Americans…don’t seem to have consistent preferences.

    Anyway, this is all a lengthy way of making what should be an obvious point: as often as political science gets credited with exposing immutable laws of the political arena, that’s almost never actually the case. It’s a discipline that’s still young, and nothing about politics is immutable — therein, perhaps, lies the attraction.

      1. I’d argue that as political scientists, we can’t get a pass for being that young. We’ve been around since Machiavelli at least. Similarly, you’re right on immutable laws, but we should be able to at least provide a mix of theories and be able to speak meaningfully but humbly about how strong their respective support is.

        I think Freddie has a fair brief against the Chait and to a lesser extent the Wilkinson piece. Cohn’s analysis does a good job of analyzing why Democrats are not going to win the House this election, but he is far weaker at analyzing how minds are changed and how one plays the long game.

        I’d agree that the Overton window model can is reductive, it works in some cases and not in others. That said, there is no reason that political science cannot and should not be applied to the task of understanding how public opinion can be changed and developing strategies for making changes that would benefit all the people. If it’s Overton window, great, if it’s something else, that’s fine, but Cohn didn’t bring nearly the rigor for long-term strategy that he brought to short-term analysis.

        I think Frank does have a diagnosis problem, as he’s mixing up general establishment types with political scientists and their different beasts. Classic Washington Consensus and Neo-liberal policies have stronger backing in bipartisan circles than they do in the political science or economics communities for that reason. There’s also a huge divide between the foreign policy practitioner and theorist community and while I’d say the theorists aren’t left on the balance, they’re notably more skeptical of military interventions in a lot of important ways.

        So I don’t think Frank or deBoer have a straightforward path to victory and we’re going to keep debating and fighting over the best mix of approaches. However, the larger point to get to work on coming up with better options (or for the media finding and reporting on people doing that work) is entirely valid. Empirically, the economic news is terrible and just applying median voter theory isn’t doing the job for turning that around.

        1. I’d argue that the main lesson of the The Prince and Discourses is actually the impossibility of deriving regulative political rules, while emphasizing the necessity of prudential judgment, but I take your point. I was referring to the rise of quantitative political science, which is really only about 60 or so years old.

          I think this is really the point: “he is far weaker at analyzing how minds are changed and how one plays the long game.” I’d argue that that’s a particular weakness that shows up in election modeling and forecasting generally.

          I also agree with this: “That said, there is no reason that political science cannot and should not be applied to the task of understanding how public opinion can be changed and developing strategies for making changes that would benefit all the people.” I mean, of course! The problem is that depending on the kind of model you accept you’ll get radically different answers. If you buy into something like pivotal politics, you accept that the median voter will be decisive, that politicians generally act independent of their party, and, talking about median voter theory in the electorate, that there is a strong enough electoral connection that voters monitor legislative behavior, and that legislators respond to those expectations. I don’t know if I buy all of those assumptions!

          I find myself more convinced by theories that incorporate parties, and right now I’m most convinced by Kathleen Bawn’s et al. (2012) theory of parties that incorporates interest groups and party actors as strategic actors along with politicians. For what it’s worth.

          1. CattusPetas:

            Thanks for the follow-up and fair point regarding the comparative age of quantitative political science. And I found an article about the Bawn piece is published by alma mater, and I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for recommending her.

            Finally, in regards to the update, I think there’s every reason to think that the Republican and are asymmetrical and we can only mirror image to a moderate extent. The Democratic coalition is multi-ethnic, historically looser, more geographical concentrated, etc. More importantly, there’s a real phenomenon of swing to the right in economic hard times which means that a heighten the contradictions strategy can work better for them than it does for us. It’s a lot easier to undermine confidence in the government through obstructionism than it is to build it. That said, there’s a lot of social democratic parties out there, albeit often with different governing systems. I think to the extent that they have been able to use tactics like the ones deBour is arguing for, particularly in countries with similar systems, it strengthens his case.

  2. The basic problem that WW is trying to work out is the following: he’s a libertarian, but he also wants to tell the truth, and the best actually existing political system is the technocratic welfare state.

    The Soviet Union and the British empire were unbelievably evil and murderous, which means that a socialist or laissez-faire advocate has a steep hill of “this time it’ll be different” to climb. On the other hand, a social democrat has a much easier case to make: “Let’s adopt Sweden’s current policies.”

    WW is trying to invent a version of libertarianism which will let him say “Yes, I agree, Sweden is awesome! Here’s how to do even better!” So his version of libertarianism (a) genuinely values the expansion of rights “identity politics” has won (e.g., feminism, gay rights, anti-racism), and (b) genuinely values democracy and democratic consent. This lets him argue to fellow libertarians that the modern welfare state is more libertarian than their usual preferences.

    Where WW differs from a standard-issue social democrat is that he also argues that the democratic process is messy and inherently prone to failure. He does not value democracy as a deliberative process aimed at achieving a shared social understanding. He values it as a way to make political decisions without losers feeling like they have no choice but to turn to the gun. But if the majority believe something false (which happens a lot!) then so too will government policy be off-base.

    So now WW has room to argue for libertarian policies, with the idea that they will happen if he can convince enough people to vote for them. But it also means he really takes seriously the idea that a democracy will not adopt his (or anyone else’s) preferences unless a lot of work of argument, organization and persuasion is done, precisely to convince people to vote for them. So from WW’s perspective, Frank’s corner of the political space is much larger, stronger and well-organized than his own, but instead of putting that strength to work and moving the Overton window left, he’s whining about Ezra Klein describing what the world actually looks like.

    As an aside, Freddie, I think you are misreading Klein. He’s a liberal, but his rhetoric is intended precisely to cast social-democratic preferences as mere empiricism, with the idea of making those to his right look like irrational ideologues. It irritates you because it also implies you’re an irrational ideologue for being to Klein’s left, but to the extent that his shtick actually works, it’s actually good for your politics — there are a lot more voters to Klein’s right than his left.

  3. A quick counter-point, Fredrik…Political Scientists have actually been tearing their hair out trying to convince their fellow liberals to stand up for their social values. Why? Because Republicans are not as nearly as successful here as Frank (and you I guess) say.

    You can see one version of this argument here. In short, the meme that R’s benefited in 2004 from their anti-gay demagoguery is a myth:


    So fast forward to the Obama era and we have the repeal DADT and end of DOMA. This is in-linw with what Politcal Scientists have been telling us.

    But where’s Frank here? His most famous argument is that Republicans successfully lured White Working Class voters away from Dems by trumping Econ with divisive social issues.

    I would think he’d be shouting from the rooftops in glee. But he seems down.

    1. I think that’s true to an extent, but ultimately, we haven’t done a great job of moving the ball on economic issues. The Affordable Care Act is huge, but the Dems were fighting for that directly and it preceded the dam really breaking on same-sex marriage.

      None of this isn’t to say that Frank’s strategy worked, as I understand it his demographic analysis doesn’t really hold up. But I think his lament that we don’t have a solid next step on economics and that this is a really big problem is entirely solid, even if we are making progress on social issues.

  4. What an insightful piece, Freddie. It is exactly these cross-dressing Democrats or neo-(in with the “con”) liberals that have so self-servingly moved the left literally off the right margins defined page. Essentially, the most basic American freedoms have been trespassed upon and rewritten by those who claim they are there to protect that freedom, well, at least their freedom to join in with the new aristocracy of the right-middle right. And then fight for the continuance of that “elite aristocracy” with all the shared arrogance aristocracies always believe underlines their right to continue their control of others.

    My very favorite part of this dead-on piece is the end, calling out the “meaninglessness” of those who claim their political non-leanings are based entirely on the “data” as per Ezra Klein: (w/ a small correction for what I thought you meant by NBER?)

    “He is fond of saying that he has no ideology, only empiricism, which is like saying you never get wet because you live underwater. But to the degree that he is associated with a certain Saturday-morning-cartoon moderate liberalism based on UBER data and good vibes, it’s fair to ask: how’s all of that going for him, Will? How’s it going for all of us?”

    Not well, would be my response. Nor meaningfully in any of the ways the value systems that underlie the ideology of the left, was meant to inform this ideology — about people and society above oneself. Yeah….that might be the (self)-centeredness of this very weak pretense of ideology on which these faux left liberals are mostly…centered on; works great for their membership on the fringe of these “elites”. They get to play “aristocracy” too, while pretending they once cared for anyone else’s plight.

    Despite what the actual “data” of people’s lives in the US, really shows.

  5. Props on this one:

    “He is fond of saying that he has no ideology, only empiricism, which is like saying you never get wet because you live underwater.”

  6. Cue the LGM trolls to descend at some point, because Lemieux and Co. subscribe to the same inspiring Nothing Is Possible In This Best Of All Worlds! credo that Chait subscribes to. Plus, they hate Thomas Frank with the same burning passion they reserve for Ralph Nader and maybe Satan, I dunno.

  7. Optimism of the will is fine when attached either to optimism or pessimism of the intellect. But optimism of the will combined with denial of the intellect is not a terribly effective rhetorical pose.

    You do realize that your arguments would be stronger if you had, like, actual *quotes* from Jonathan Chait saying things you think are wrong? And, like, actual *explanations* of why you think what Chait writes is wrong? Joining Tom Frank, Sally Quinn, and company in their War on Ezra Klein and Nate Silver really looks like a career-limiting move to me…

    1. Well, no one can accuse this piece of overwrought condescension of being “career-limiting.”

      Chait’s positions and tone are well-established. Criticizing him generally without providing examples does not indicate a “denial of the intellect.”

  8. “Conservatives won.”

    Really? They seem to think the country has gone to hell. And from their point of view they’re right. Since 1964 we have (i) a significant net expansion of the welfare state (Social Security Act of 1965, which created fucking medicare and medicaid!), reduced somewhat with the Clinton welfare initiative but that reduction is outweighed by subsequent expansions in medicare, medicaid, the Affordable Care Act; (ii) expansions in the regulatory state, including the EPA, the Clear Air and Water Acts; (iii) tremendous, albeit sadly incomplete, improvements in the rights of women (Title IX, etc.), racial minorities (e.g., Voting Rights Act of 1965, Civil Rights Act of 1968), religious minorities, and queer folks. Goldwater’s MASSIVE failure in 1964 led to all of this. But, hey, the Goldwater dumpster fire helped create a movement that makes a lot of noise, get favorable press, and will occassionally (and stupidly, of course) cut the top tax rates. (Leaving foreign policy out of this for now.) So bully for them. But the lesson is that losing elections, especially in a blowout, means losing on policy. And sometimes losing BIG TIME. And you can’t bank on recovering those losses in a generation or more by moving the overton window or heightening the contradictions or whatever. So thank god for Barry Goldwater.

    1. “(Leaving foreign policy out of this for now.)”

      Yeah, just a minor omission there.

      The right’s other successes since Goldwater far exceed “occasional” tax cuts, too.

      Decimated unions, a low point in workplace rights, welfare “reform”, deregulation, corporate media consolidation, wage stagnation, global warming — and, yes, right-wing tax policies that have helped create record income inequality.

      The right didn’t let Goldwater’s loss keep them from achieving their goals. In fact, their constant efforts have turned many into bipartisan consensus. The Democratic Party has now embraced the authoritarian, elitist governance once assumed to be only what right-wingers wanted. Obama spies on the people and declares war, Hillary gives every indication of doing the same, and no Democrat will challenge them.

      Likewise, maybe the lesson to take from your list of liberal accomplishments — most of them from way back in the 60s and early 70s — is that liberals, too, can win, but in order to do so, they have to play the long game, and fight for what they believe in.

      1. “The right didn’t let Goldwater’s loss keep them from achieving their goals.”

        Bullshit. What goals have they achieved that can compare to the devastating policy losses as a result of the Goldwater ass kicking? Seriously, the creation of medicare and medicaid (which a mainstream republican president would have vetoed, if it even could have passed Congress absent the Goldwater debacle) was one of the one or two most important pieces of progressive legislation in the 20th century. Goldwater, and the movement conservatives that followed him over the cliff, are partially responsible for that and all the other liberal policies enacted in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the vast majority of which remain intact or have been expanded. You think conservatives would do the same thing in ’64 if they got a mulligan? No chance.

        The issue here for radicals (a term I use descriptively and not pejoratively) is to acknowledge the very real costs of losing elections and, thus, forcing their party too far beyond the median voter. And that’s just in terms of legislation and not considering judicial appointments. Even outside of elections, radicalism in governance is not a great strategy for short term change. But for ideological purity on the right on the issue of revenue, the Republicans could have negotiated for real cuts in entitlements. But the radicals on the right made the perfect the enemy of the good (from their perspective) and so have achieved nothing more than gridlock recently. They are a party that cannot govern.

        Radicals should by all means agitate. They should try to change minds and push sympathetic moderates to advocate to change minds. All of that is necessary from a “now make me do it” point of view. They should tried to change the terms of the debate with the goal of effecting real change in the medium and long term. But when radicals intentionally or recklessly undermine moderate candidates and demoralize voters or push candidates to take positions that damage their prospects for winning elections in the short term or ignore the real short term limitations on what is politically possible, they are being irresponsible. And Goldwater is Exhibit A. Any other story is revisionist nonsense. Losing elections is always bad.

        1. “Bullshit. What goals have they achieved that can compare to the devastating policy losses as a result of the Goldwater ass kicking?”

          You’re one to accuse others of bullshit and revisionism. And if you can genuinely ask that question, I don’t think you’re simply missing the point of Freddie’s post. You’re willfully ignoring it. Thus you’re probably not interested in reading the comment below by Heliopause, who does better than me at summarizing the right’s considerable successes.

          Anyone who cares about liberalism needs to acknowledge the ground we’ve lost, not fool ourselves with fantasies — let alone turn a 50-year-old election into perverse broadsides against “radicalism.”

          Incidentally, you do a great injustice to the hard-working liberal politicians and activists who fought for liberal policy in the 60s and 70s. Goldwater did not single-handedly make it happen.

  9. I think Chait and Wilkinson are fantastic political commentators — as is deBoer. It’s true that Chait in particular is frequently guilty of a certain smirky smugness, but I’m not sure that can be called out as a vice from within a post that is itself so heavily dismissive and ad hominem.
    In any case, I disagree with the analysis at the core of this post. It’s true that conservatives have succeeded in dragging the Overton window much further rightward than centrist critics thought possible. And I do agree that the Goldwater defeat and modern Tea Party primary attacks are strategically powerful even in defeat. What’s missing, to my mind, from the analysis above is the centrality of demographics and identity politics. Goldwater, his heir Reagan, and the Tea Party all owe their political viability to a base composed of older, middle-class, white, Christians. That is a huge, relatively homogeneous demographic. There is no analogue to it on the left. The left can’t match the the policy purity of Tea Party fervor, because the left is, out of political necessity, a more heterogeneous coalition with fewer points of policy consensus.

    1. “out of political necessity, a more heterogeneous coalition with fewer points of policy consensus.”

      Meaning it includes a large swath of non-liberals? Or that liberals don’t agree on things the way conservatives do, meaning some people are actual liberals while others are faux liberals?

      Freddie’s point as I take it is that when Chait at all tsk tsk lefties for being political naïve, it really arises from actual differences of opinion on policy, not on the means to achieve that policy. So Chait says don’t expect X, Y, and Z because that’s unrealistic, but really this refrain is just masking the fact that he just doesn’t care about X, Y, and Z.

  10. Chait et all punch so hard because it’s easier than facing the truth; the catastrophic failure of liberalism since roughly the mid-70s.

    In the arena of economic development and justice — that is, by far the most important one, as it profoundly affects everyone — things are worse now than they were in 1980 in almost every measurable way. Jobs are stagnant or disappearing, and the ones that remain are getting shittier. Unions may as well not exist anymore. Wealth and opportunity are concentrating in the elite classes at the expense of everyone else.

    The “Defense”/Security State is at least as bad as ever, in some ways worse. This affects everybody in the world, not just in this country.

    Issues affecting the tens of millions of women of childbearing age are not progressing, and in some ways, astonishingly, getting worse. Access to comprehensive reproductive health care is roughly the same as when I was a young adult several decades ago, a little better in some ways, a little worse in others. Child care doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Needless to say, in a non-insane, 21st century, post-industrial society all of this would be provided for free with no argument, but there we are.

    Education is rapidly being neoliberalized. The cost of higher education is skyrocketing, throwing millions into debt peonage. Needless to say, in a non-insane, 21st century, post-industrial society…

    The U.S. is world’s greatest prison state. I trust no further comment is needed.

    But, hey, at least we now have openly gay marines.

    That famous scene from “The Third Man” comes to mind here.

  11. Freddie, I just wanted to add that this is one of your best posts. It’s not the kind of thing yellow dogs want to read, but the rest of us appreciate your smarts and your clarity.

  12. Set aside Chait and Wilkinson for a moment (the latter of whom shouldn’t even enter into intra-Left squabbles). Klein’s original article was about how political science has grown increasingly influential in political journalism. Frank responds with a screed about how Klein is the root of all evil in Leftist politics. If what we see here is one part of a Leftist coalition policing the discourse and trying to drive out another part of the Leftist coalition, it certainly originates with Frank.

    From where I sit, I don’t see Ezra Klein (or Matt Yglesias, or Dylan Matthews) spending a lot of time picking fights with the Thomas Franks (and Freddie deBoers) of the world. I’d venture to guess that they seem them more as allies than adversaries. I do see an awful lot of invective hurled at them from the Jacobin crowd. To extend your fulcrum metaphor, it’s difficult to get the beam to tip in your direction if you’re constantly trying to kick off people who want to stand on your side of it.

  13. Not only have Republicans been more successful at the “long game,” as Freddie notes, but I often think they’re better at short-term political games too. (Just today the House voted to adjourn until after Nov. 4th — a smart way to bury the fact, for a low-information electorate, that Boehner’s party has no intention of offering a popular policy agenda). This may have something to do with their ideological cohesion.

    Also worth noting that demographics and the unbearable whiteness of the Republican party is no promise of their demise; they fully realize their limited coalition and are doing everything possible to stop people outside it from voting. Simple as that.

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