Monday, September 13, 2010

Do we win when moderates win?

Matt Yglesias:
A lot of people I know are excited about O’Donnell’s surge since it gives Coons—who’s much more progressive than either—the best shot. My view is that that kind of partisan view is a little short-sighted. Both parties are destined to govern approximately half of the time and what matters most is the strength of progressive ideas in either party. The increasingly rigid conservatism of the GOP is a huge impediment to progressive causes and Castle’s problems reflect that.
This doesn't make much sense to me. Castle is 71 years old and has health issues, so he'd only likely serve a term or two in the Senate and would unlikely to accumulate the seniority necessary to really become a force in the institution. But the other issue is that Castle highly resembles the Senate's current two Republican moderates, Sue Collins and Olympia Snowe, who have almost no influence among other Republicans and little vision on where to take their party. It's not like the guy is Nelson Rockefeller--like Collins and Snowe, he's a smart, professional officeholder who is constrained by the Republican base. This is terribly significant.

As for the larger point...I don't really have a clue. If the GOP runs people like O'Donnell and Sharron Angle and doesn't capture Congress, Rush and Hannity won't be able to say it was because their candidates weren't conservative enough. Or will they? In any event, one would hope that they wouldn't be believed as much, but you never know.

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.