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April 29, 2009


OCSteve, for all your reflexive and defensive "the Democrats did/are doing it, too!" above, you may want to reflect on the fact that, even if true, the Democratic Party is growing, while the Republican Party is not just shrinking, but collapsing on itself like a black hole.

Perhaps considering the reasons why that is rather than sputtering, "But Chu believes in global warming!" might be more productive?

Re: "fringe" - take creationism, as mentioned above. In one sense, creationism (I'm talking old-school biblically literal young-earth creationism and its children/political strategies) - isn't fringy at all, depressingly - polls pretty consistently show it as the plurality view, with theistic evolution coming in fairly close behind. In another, it's fringier than a buckskin jacket, except with none of the comfort and durability. Either way, the GOP owns this issue (to the extent either party does), and while a whole 38% of Democrats and 40% of independents (a bit less than the national average of 44%) go for 'God created people 10K years ago as is', a whopping 60% of Republican voters do. (For fairly obvious reasons).

Now, by definition, any party/political identification/etc. that's not frighteningly lockstep is going to have a fringe, and certainly the Democrats do; given the shifting political currents, it seem as if a lot of it involves certain moderate/somewhat liberal positions of 40 years ago. But objectively speaking, what's the Democratic equivalent of creationism in terms of unhinged-from-reality-ness? OCS suggests AGW 'alarmism'. Well, Democrats are about as 'AGWist' (58%) as Republicans are creationist (and Republicans are even less AGWist (27%) than Democrats are creationist). (Both positions veer away from the national average of 47%, though once again, Democrats are closer, Independents even more so at 50%).

In terms of their relation to modern science/reality-basedness, though there's no comparison; the Democrats are much closer (again) to the current scientific view (and by a similar margin, if you combine theistic and naturalistic evolution). Yes, yes, Gore slightly overstepped on a handful of claims, but given that certain GOP politicians seem a bit shaky on causation and basic temporal directionality these days . . .

The most likely candidate would be antivaccination-ism, which does seem to lean left - at least, there's a bunch of it at HuffPo - although I haven't found any polls looking at political affiliation; indeed, there doesn't seem to be much professional poll data around at all, although what we have does suggest that hardcore antivax positions are pretty fringy, 19% (vaccines cause autism) - 24% (don't get your kids vaccinated, risk too high), although there is a big uncertain chunk. I didn't get the impression that antivaxers have even 'some control', but if I've missed something . . .

(Also, what Warren Terra said (8:14, 4/29) - fwiw, I've often disagreed upon reading OCSteve, but I seem to remember feeling that he was mostly arguing from the same general reality I was familiar with, if going different places with it. But lately . . . {shrugs}

Today’s flip further vindicates Clinton’s decision to fight it out to the bitter end in last year’s primary. Looking back, nothing but positives came out of that contest. As I’ve explained before, the primary had an “anti-Tasmanian Devil” effect – rather than chaos, it left stronger party organization and big increases of registered voters in its wake.

Baloney. It was Hillary's vanity that kept her going. The only thing positive was Obama's characteristic decision to forgive (but not forget) for the greater good. People would have registerd anyway for the general. This is just what Hillary groupies tell themselves.

Hillary said Obama was "too inexperienced" and selling false hope, meanwhile 100 days in he's taking names and kicking ass.

Has anyone commented on the fact that Chris "Count" Chocola is a perfect example of how the Club for Growth's strategy will pay off? He was certainly ideologically pure and it cost him the his seat.

John Miller: Shall we discuss Bayh or Nelson or other Dem politicians who have talked about being against certain items on the agenda? That would be just a start. I don't agree with them, necessarily, but I have seen an awful lot of demonizing from the left.

Here are some facts about Evan Bayh: The financial/insurance/real estate sector has given him $4 million over his Senate career, $1 million in the 2003-8 cycles. Just in the current cycle, Goldman Sachs (his leading all-time donor) has given him $123K. (His wife also gets $837K a year for sitting on a collection of corporate boards, several of which have business before his committees. I'd call that corruption or conflict of interest, unless that's too much "demonizing".)

I'm sure Indiana has its share of troubled mortgages, threatened foreclosures, and homeowners going into bankruptcy. But Evan Bayh is blocking a provision supported by the Obama administration (which carried Indiana) and the overwhelming majority of Democrats -- the ability of bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of mortgages (in the way they've been able to do for a long time for other big loans). For whom is Bayh doing this, then?

Ben Nelson, representing red Nebraska, likes to talk about fiscal responsibility and decries as socialism governments giving money to businesses that couldn't or wouldn't exist without that money (unless, of course, they're farms). Yet he opposes Obama's plan to cut out the parasitic, taxpayer-funds-sucking middleman in the student loan business.

Those two are far from the only corporate or finance tools in the Democratic caucus of either house (not to mention the White House and Treasury), but they're two that talk like Republicans about economic issues. More and more regularly they seek to torpedo Democratic initiatives that might help working- and middle-class people if they come at the expense of financial megacorps.

I'm prepared to deal with genuine arguments for moderation on issues where I'd like to see more radical restructuring, but this kind of behavior is just screwing the non-rich for the benefit of the FIRE corps. There's nothing "moderate" about it.

"Hillary said Obama was 'too inexperienced' and selling false hope, meanwhile 100 days in he's taking names and kicking ass."

Get over it, Spaz. Obama and Hillary certainly did -- to the point where Obama is off to the best 100-day start in memory. Nevertheless, I must have missed the "taking names and kicking ass" part; perhaps I was asleep while the torture prosecutions began.

Who's the groupie?

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