Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The talk show problem

Yglesias mentions a wrinkle I hadn't quite put into words on the topic:
Politics is a practical business, about accomplishing concrete goals and winning elections in an environment in which most people don’t care about politics very much. Becoming a successful cable news or talk radio host is about attracting a relatively small audience of die-hard fans and whipping them into various frenzies.

I think the problem is worse than that for the GOP. Their leaders are positively toxic in terms of unpopularity--conservatives tend to talk about Nancy Pelosi's unpopularity, but John Boehner has roughly the same level of unfavorability and only half the favorables. Their leaders, without exception, come from deep-red enclaves and have only ever had to deal with challenges from the right. It's a party, basically, whose playbook begins and ends with Rovism, and they're running that playbook, step by step.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.