Monday, January 25, 2010

Some 2010 optimism

I don't think that the Democrats are going to do very well in this year's elections, but I'll be damned if Daniel Larison hasn't been doing his best to keep me optimistic (by being pessimistic about his fellow conservatives' chances). And he's doing very well! In these posts, he explains why the GOP isn't terribly likely to reclaim the House or the Senate, using reason, historical parallels, and electoral realities to weave a pretty simple argument: that Obama isn't too unpopular outside the South, that there simply aren't too many seats actually in play, and that the GOP isn't well positioned to sell themselves as the nation's economic saviors. I think that Democrats have done an exceedingly poor job of keeping the focus on how much the Republicans suck and have let them advance their narrative inch by inch over the past year (no doubt due to some combination of fear, timidity, and uncertainty about the value of their contributions), but the Dems' best asset is that, no matter how unimpressive they are, the Republicans are worse. And that the unlikelihood of a Republican takeover will likely lead to disappointment and disillusionment among conservatives this year when the GOP doesn't win. In the long-term, Democrats need to figure out a way to replace their current complement of not-too-impressive seatholders with smart, accomplished leaders, but in the short-term, an improving economy and an energized White House will go a long way toward stalling the GOP's temporary advantages.

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.