Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Arizona again

DougJ of Balloon Juice: "You tell me: who is more likely to be a one issue voter on the Arizona immigration law, a Glenn Beck listener living in white suburb or a Latino American who was just forced to show his papers to the police?" Of course, he's right and the DC establishment is wrong. Their particular flaw here is in assuming that voters give equal weight to major issues, when in fact this is not the case. There are, after all, quite a few pro-choice Republicans (~25-30% in most polls). That the Arizona law might command (extremely slim) majority support and still be a huge boon for Democrats are not at all contradictory. I would have put it a little differently, as in the Latino vs. someone who reads some quick headlines on Google News, but this premise is about right.

I'm beginning to wonder if the GOP isn't seriously overplaying its hand with stuff like this. They have a decent hand to play, of course: the economy isn't good, Obama isn't as popular as he was a year ago, and midterm elections are usually more about blowing off steam than anything else, which helps the out-of-power party. The average voter doesn't follow politics too closely and probably won't notice all the craziness going on, but poisoning the well of a gettable group of swing voters like this isn't helping them. The GOP didn't exactly do well with Hispanics last time around, but they did get about a third of their votes, and not having those supporters turn out leaves a pretty significant hole that would presumably have to be filled by more white voters. Their assumption of many Scott Brown moments this year strikes me as something they should plan for as a best-case scenario, not a median-case scenario, which is the only way this makes sense. That seems to be how they're acting, anyway. Taking votes for granted usually winds up ending tragically, as President Tom Dewey can tell you.

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.