Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Native Michigander Jon Chait makes some funny digs at Ohio here, but I think this is a far more damning indictment against the Buckeye State:
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll in Ohio shows Rob Portman (R) leading Lee Fisher (D) by 13 points in the race for U.S. Senate among likely voters, 50% to 37%.

"The poll found a majority of Ohio voters brushed aside Democratic charges that Portman would represent a return to the failed economic policies of Bush, with 60 percent saying his work with Bush made no difference in their vote."
He didn't just work for Dubya, he was Bush 43's budget director, which is essentially the budgetary equivalent to being the navigator on the HMS Titanic. Before that, he was Bush's Trade Rep, passing bad free trade agreements that Ohioans usually dislike. (Full disclosure: I am a free trader, but there's a way to do it that prevents exploitation and environmental degredation and a way to do it that CEOs like. Bush's agreements tended toward the latter.)

As for the underlying attitude...I guess I just can't understand. I'd like to think I tend less toward despondency than most of the liberal writers I read. I'm as frustrated with the GOP's resurgency as any of them, but I view it philosophically: my short fuse post from a few months ago seems ever more correct to me, as I think voters are more just desperate than anything else. I actually do believe most of the Republicans' ideas will hurt the economy, and do you really think the GOP will be able to topple Obama if the economy gets significantly worse after a government shutdown next year? Democrats will probably wind up with even bigger majorities than they have now should that happen, as I believe it would. I still want the Dems to hold the House so that the GOP doesn't get to screw with agency budgets and what not, so I wouldn't say I'm halfway hoping they get the House, but maybe quarterway hoping, sure.

But I do have to admit that the aforementioned desperation really is pretty depressing to me. I get that most voters are low-information but seriously, how easy is it to get voters to ignore your entire record? Just saying that it doesn't count? This guy manned the Trade Rep's office and the OMB chair during Bush's term, two key policy positions that helped shape economic policy during the Bush years, and voters are actually buying the whole transformation act based on nothing but words? Hardly encouraging. I know that the Republicans won't succeed in their quests to demolish HCR and so forth, and that failure will harm them even more than they already are harmed. That doesn't make it any easier to take when complete frauds barely even have to try to make it into office.

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.