Impact
Posted by aogWednesday, 01 September 2010 at 16:24 TrackBack Ping URL

When someone asks, “how do you expect the Tea Party to have a political impact?”, this is the answer. An out of nowhere opponent latches on to that energy and money and a scion of a powerful political family is deposed. It takes very few of those before most other candidates start shifting their positions.

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Harry Eagar Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 13:35

And then what? I go back to 1980, when people who wanted change were satisfied that John Anderson was it. But if he had been elected president, who would have been the 3,000 people who would have filled the appointed positions a president has to fill? Nobody (but me) asked.

In principle, the approach taken by the Andersonites was no different from those fools who expected Hitler, as chancellor, would have had to surround himself with more moderate people, thereby getting the parts of Hitler’s program that they wanted, without the parts they didn’t want.

Great political institutions, like markets, are not often turned around on a dime or redirected by a man on a white horse.

I note that in the Saturday Republican radio message to the nation, the nation was told that under Reagan taxes were lowered and deficits also. Over at Volokh, there are many, many posts about ‘political ignorance.’ There’s a lot of it going around.

As a scientist, Guy, are you comfortable with all the antiscience craziness that is sticking to TP candidates? Ready to swap rational expectations for lower taxes?

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 15:25

And then what?

I think there will be a big shift toward less spending and less government. Similar to the post-Perot effects, but I think must stronger and longer lasting. Your historic analogy is once more strongly at odds with the actual facts. You pick a singular candidate running for one office, rather than a large scale movement influencing dozens, if not hundreds, of races around the nation. Why don’t you tell me who, this election cycle, is the Anderson analog. I will write in contrast that one reason the Tea Party has been successful despite the recurring smears and outright fabrications promulgated by Old Media is that the standard Alinsky personal demonization attacks don’t have a target. It’s almost the exact opposite of your analogy, which suggests you have at best a very weak understanding of the phenomenon.

I haven’t noticed much antiscience craziness about the Tea Party, much less any that is “sticking” to the candidates. I think you are once again seeing things that only exist in the Old Media cocoon.

Are you comfortable with all the politicized science being actually done by the Democratic Party (see, Global Warmening, exhibit A, anti-nuclear hysteria, exhibit B, support for the Green Party, exhibit C). I find that a lot scarier and far more real.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 23:29

Nope, I’m not satisfied about the politicized science of either Republicans nor Democrats, but since I don’t expect much of them, what of it? You seem to expect good things from the Tea Party, but I don’t see it. We don’t elect sentiments, we elect men or women, and some of those who have inserted themselves at the head of TP movements are pretty goofy.

I tend to think that the mass of the TPers aren’t really getting that part. If you don’t like the comparison to the Anderson year — all I meant that it was a time of disgruntlement looking for a banner and accepting any old thing — then how about the Granger years?

They sent quite a few representatives and even a couple of senators to Congress, elected governors and produced — not much.

The parties are well-entrenched, expert at coopting insurgents. Possibly a long, patient buildup, a grab at taking the helm of one of the existing parties might work, but what I get from the TPers is that they think the Republicans are beyond saving.

But if there are large numbers of voters out there who really do believe that deficits shrank under Reagan, then you may be right: Anybody could be elected.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 23:31

And by what mental gymnastics is a report of the pressure group Southern Poverty Law Center ‘Old Media’?

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 13 September 2010 at 00:12

If you don’t like the comparison to the Anderson year — all I meant that it was a time of disgruntlement looking for a banner and accepting any old thing

No, let’s grab some quotes —

if he had been elected president, who would have been the 3,000 people who would have filled the appointed positions a president has to fill?

the approach taken by the Andersonites was no different from those fools who expected Hitler, as chancellor, would have had to surround himself with more moderate people

a man on a white horse

If you weren’t writing about a singular great leader, why did you write about one? And not mention the whole “time of digruntlement” thing? Whatever.

More significantly, I am still waiting for this “anti-science” stuff you claim is obvious. At least you seem to have given up on the “violent racists” trope, so we’re making progress.

And yes, I think some of the Tea Party candidate are goofy. I think the alternatives are more goofy. Again, you’re judging absolutes in a relative situation.

I tend to think that the mass of the TPers aren’t really getting that part.

I think the exact opposite. Do you not recall the election of now Senator Scott Brown? The Tea Party has, for an insurgent movement, demonstrated an almost phenomenal tactical sense and willingness to get half a loaf instead of none.

Possibly a long, patient buildup, a grab at taking the helm of one of the existing parties might work, but what I get from the TPers is that they think the Republicans are beyond saving.

You really are out of the loop. Taking over the GOP is one of the hottest topics I read about from the Tea Party activists. Do you read nothing but clips from the Tea Party’s political opponents?

But it’s quite possible the Tea Party will fail as so many other have. But what’s the alternative to trying, accepting failure and decline?

P.S. With regard to the SPLC, I consider them a story generator for Old Media. But if you don’t like that, just pick one from this list.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 13 September 2010 at 23:42

I think there will be a big shift toward less spending and less government.

While I’d like to see all of the Tea Party candidates be elected, just to produce maximum agitation within the two major parties, I am certain that even if such were so, your desired outcome wouldn’t occur.

Now, if somehow the Tea Party could sustain itself and elect radicals for several election cycles, then maybe.

But against the headwinds of the Boomer retirements and the coming higher interest rates, I forsee a future, no more than five years off, in which we have less spending and both higher taxes and a more intrusive gov’t - the worst of all worlds. (OK, not the worst, but well within the lowest quartile of possible futures.)

About the only positive development that I can see averting such a scenario is a massive increase in productivity.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 14:43

What evidence of antiscience? Will YEC do? Sheesh.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 15:01

No, as I have not the slightest idea what “YEC” is. “Yes, Eagar Confabulates”?

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 01:55

young Earth Creationism

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 09:17

I haven’t seen any YEC sticking to any Tea Party candidates. Certainly it’s been flung about quite a bit by Old Media desperate to advance their political goals. Frankly, after the completely fake accusations of YEC against Palin, I utterly discount claims against others. Old Media and the MAL poisoned that well, which is why no one except the hard core seem to care any more.

Beyond that, I wouldn’t be much concerned with YEC by candidates even if true. It seems to be this deeply frightening prospect to MALists because … I don’t know. I don’t see any negative practical consequences — it’s not like they’re going to shut down biological research. It’s just an eccentricity. On the other hand, the equally (to me) kooky and unrealistic belief in utopia through regulation, is far scarier because it results in real legislation and policies that directly impact me and the nation. POR-Care being exhibit 1. Why don’t you tell me some YEC inspired legislation that is even remotely as damaging. Then maybe I will care.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 13:25

POR-Care being exhibit 1.

POR-Care isn’t a manifestation of MALism only - the desire for such spans most of the sociopolitical spectrum, of which the MAL is a vocal but minor fraction. Although that particular iteration of socialized medicine isn’t very popular, if a solid majority of voters truly rejected the concept, then for instance Medicare Parts A, B and D would consist of catastrophic coverage only.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 13:59

You can’t scare me with that, I support universal care.

As for YEC, check O’Donnell.

The problem with YECism is that it correlates almost perfectly with a refusal to acknowledge Article VI.

Bret Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 14:50

Article VI? Which part?

Bret Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 14:52

Rough wrote: “…if a solid majority of voters truly rejected the concept, then for instance Medicare Parts A, B and D would consist of catastrophic coverage only.

Maybe so. An alternate explanation is that once upon a time it wasn’t known just how catastrophic Medicare was going to be, but now that it’s known, it wouldn’t get passed. But oops, too late.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 15:29

Bret;

Presumably Eagar means the “no religious test for office”. I haven’t seen the correlation myself, but then I have rarely at best encountered any actual YEC proponents. One might note, however, that if the actual problem is lack of support for Article VI, then perhaps one might state that outright. But Eagar seems to find straight forward statements of principle very difficult, and almost always prefers vague and hard to follow circumlocutions, as exemplified here.

As for Medicare, I was going to write something similar. It used to be debatable about how sustainable and effective such plans were. History has now rendered a verdict of “Fail”.

Mr. Eagar;

You can’t scare me with that, I support universal care.

Two points —

First, I obviously didn’t intend to scare you. We were discussing why I didn’t find the Tea Party kooks scary.

Second, this is a true classic of why I mock your support for regulation and economic centralization. No matter how horrible, ill-written, destructive, counter-productive, and unpopular some regulatory centralization is, you are indifferent. You write that you support smart, effective regulation but you frequently demonstrate, as here, that you are fine with stupid and ineffective regulation as well. It is not unreasonable to presume that it’s the regulation, not its putative benefits, that you truly support.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 13:33

Oh, I find all sorts of regulation ill-conceived or ineffective. I have mentioned a few examples.

What I seldom find is a regulation passed just for the pure pleasure of having a new regulation, Most regulations are inspired by abuses that markets do not address.

Some social problems are so intractable, or result from cultural concepts that are so deeply entrained, that they probably are unfixable, period. I can think of an example of regulation that has been progressively relaxed under big government until it is virtually extinct, largely because it proved unenforceable.

Presumably many TPers would like to bring this regulation back in its most draconian form: We know that the latest heroine of the movement does.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 15:21

Most regulations are inspired by abuses that markets do not address.

Most patent medicines were inspired by diseases that medicine didn’t address. Does your reasoning apply there as well?

Presumably many TPers

There’s that whole presumption thing again. Perhaps if you don’t know, you shouldn’t presume.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 21:48

I was describing marriage, so I doubt my presumption is that much of a stretch. an d I guess if the patent medicine is produced by NIH, I suppose it might apply. (And, considering, CAM, you’re getting warm.)

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 22:15

I was describing marriage

Whatever. I fail to see how your withholding information invalidates my point. Further, I would note that your statement makes sense only about one aspect of marriage regulation. Other aspects have become far more draconian, as exemplified in the “Violence Against Women Act”.

I suppose it might apply

Either it is valid reasoning, or it is not. Once you say “it depends …” you’ve admitted you were just blowing rhetorical smoke.

Harry Eagar Friday, 17 September 2010 at 18:44

It might apply depending upon what else was going on. I gave you the hint, CAM, which infects but so far does not define national governmental medical policy. Private insurers have rushed to embrace patent medicine (I presume on the cynical calculation that if their customers die prematurely, the coverage payments will be lower).

Government has been more wary, although not enough more for my taste.

The VAWAct is blind to the existence of marriage, so I am not getting your point.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 17 September 2010 at 20:04

“It depends”. Exactly.

I gave you the hint, CAM

Whatever. I am not here to do treasure hunts on the InterTubes for you. If it’s not important enough for you to write out, it’s not important enough for me to care about it.

The VAWAct is blind to the existence of marriage, so I am not getting your point.

Your view is that legislation about domestic violence has no effect on marriage? My opinion is that it has a very strong effect and de facto regulations marriage, and the VAWA creates very draconian legislation in this area.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 16:21

CAM is complementary and alternative medicine; quackery. There’s a division for it at NIH now, although, as I say, most government medicine is not devoted to medieval superstition.

What effect are you detecting from the Violence against Women act on marriage? It doesn’t just apply to married people.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 20:33

most government medicine is not devoted to medieval superstition

Unlike most government regulation, which is based on utopian delusions. If you think about how you feel about the CAM in NIH, that’s how Brett and I feel about what passes for government regulation these days. No evidence, no results, no facts are relevant. Only the need to do something, precisely as you stated above, the same thing that motivates so much of CAM and is taken advantage of by the same sort who end up writing regulations.

What effect are you detecting from the Violence against Women act on marriage? It doesn’t just apply to married people.

To take the second point, are you seriously suggesting that if a law doesn’t apply to only group with property X, it can’t have any effect on them? E.g., tax law doesn’t apply to only businesses, therefore it has no effect on business?

To the first point, one example would be restraining orders (which are now very easy to get via VAWA) have a profound effect on divorce settlements and child custody, both of which are generally associated with marriage.

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 00:42

First in the door gets the restraining order. Men can play that game as easily as women do.

Since in my state Family court is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, whether restraining orders have any effect on custody decisions would be speculative. Perhaps you have data from some state where family court decisions are in the open.

The way it works in Hawaii, it is easy to get a temporary restraining order, no real evidence is required; but to make one permanent is difficult, often beyond the means of ordinary people and so not often done.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 20 September 2010 at 10:21

Men can play that game as easily as women do.

No, not at all. The VAWA creates very strong gender biases. That is, after all, the very point of the law. Here’s an article full of cites of anecdotal evidence of that kind you seem to find compelling. Here’s another with better cites and some of the statistics you asked for.

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 14:28

I read the link. Apparently, a person (not necessarily a married or even a cohabiting person, it could be a parent) should retain a lawyer, apply to the courts, wait some weeks or months for a space on the calendar and then expect succor from the state.

I guess I can see why a minarchist would prefer that approach.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 20 September 2010 at 14:45

That’s so bizarrely off point that I am unable to respond. You asked for statistics. I provided links to both anecdotes (which you seem to prefer) and statistics. I made no recommendations and stated no preference.

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 21:38

Those were mighty freefrom statistics, with no, you know, context. So what if the split is 85-15? What’s the split among malefactors? More, less, about the same?

However, I assumed that the authors of that study were proposing some other policy. And the one I summarized would eliminate most of the things they find objectionable about the present system.

And while you might or might not agree with them, I can see why a minarchist would be attracted to it. Get the gummint out of the violence-suppression business!

Or, oops, wasn’t that almost the only thing gummint was supposed to be there for?

It’s so hard to follow the bouncing ball, especially when one and the same policy makes government bigger and accomplishes the ‘only legitimate purpose’ of gummint.

Everytime there’s a publicly violent act among members of a household around here, Women Helping Women holds a candlelight vigil on the street. As it happens, the only 2 murders of family members around here this year have been of men by girlfriends. Women Helping Women lit candles for them, too.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 21 September 2010 at 07:49

I hesitate to interrupt while you’re having such an intense conversation with yourself, but since you seem to be defending the draconian and gender biased nature of that law, I will presume those points are taken.

P.S. I thought you’d like the first article in particular, since it seems just your style, as exemplified by your just previous comment of context-free anecdotes.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 21 September 2010 at 15:52

I am opposed to beating up women, if that’s what you mean.

What’s your idea?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 21 September 2010 at 17:13

No, that’s not even close to what I mean.

But to answer your completely off topic question, my idea is that I am opposed to beating up people.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 20:02

You remind me of my favorite joke. I don’t think I’ve told it here.

A man had a favorite restaurant, where he always ordered the same dish, rabbit stew. When the war started, meat was rationed and after a time he began to suspect that the rabbit stew had been adulterated.

He spoke to the owner. ‘You can tell me. You’ve done something to the stew. What is it?’

And the owner said, ‘I tell you only because you are my best customer and I know you won’t tell anybody else. It’s true. I have had to use some horsement in the stew. But I keep it 50-50. One horse to one rabbit.’

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 20:49

Whatever. I wouldn’t want you to cut yourself on an actual point.

Harry Eagar Friday, 24 September 2010 at 14:28

I thought it was a more gentle way of saying there isn’t a lot of demand around the country for shelters for battered men.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 24 September 2010 at 16:04

Others may have different opinions but once again, that’s not at all relevant to my point. Let’s stipulate, for the comment string, that you’re correct. Therefore … ?

Hey Skipper Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 16:58

Back to the original post.

Lisa Moosakookski, who, in a perfectly repellant instance of nepotism, was appointed to the Senate by her father, lost the primary.

In plain language, Lisa, that means you are fired.

Apparently unable to take that on board, she is mounting a write-in campaign.

For Pete’s sake, what does it take to make a politician go away?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 17:26

Let’s not fail to note that it’s the Tea Party candidates who are being good members of the GOP, stepping aside if they lose, and it’s the “establishment” types who are behaving like spoiled children. Which side is the mature, pragmatic one and which is the loony disloyal uncooperative one again?

Bret Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 17:38

They’re not loony. They’re doing their best to look out for their own interests. That’s what politicians do. Especially establishment politicians. The whole Tea Party things seems to me to be even more disconcerting to the Republican establishment than the Democratic establishment.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 19:41

Is that better? I do think it makes the “Republican In Name Only” label valid, once they’ve abandoned any semblance of party loyalty.

Bret Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 20:53

Certainly not better for everybody else.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 15:58

It is amusing to see a dyed-in-the-wool Republican find an entitlement she is willing to fight for.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 19:04

I think Mutancowky’s actions after the primary demonstrate that of all things she is, “dyed-in-the-wool Republican” is not one.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 15:53

Also great amusement in some quarters that the liberal MSM went after wacko, racist TPer Paladino, except that it was . . . the Post.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 16:16

Yes, I am sure Paladino can’t wait to bring back Kristallnacht and probably calls African Americans mongrels.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

No because it’s so standard. Non-MAList candidate has a chance of winning? Call him a wacko racist extremist. It’s the Old Media group think. Given how you participate in that, despite how pathetically your previous “wacko, racist” epithets have proven upon examination to be obviously bogus smears, why do you keep on doing so?

erp Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 16:50

Except the lunatic left didn’t go after Paladino, they went after his 10 year daughter who’s fair game by their standards. I hope he files suit against all involved — taking the house numbers off the mailbox to photograph them??? Aren’t there laws against tampering with the mail.

We know that trespassing is okay when done by lefties, so a major media photographer entering the property and taking pictures through the windows is perfectly okay.

Harry Eagar Friday, 01 October 2010 at 14:24

erp, the Post is Murdoch’s paper. Y’know, the guy who’s given $2 million to the Republicans; Glenn Beck’s boss. I don’t think he’s a leftist.

I think removing mail is a federal offense, but so far, aside from an allegation from Paladino’s mouthpiece, there’s no evidence it happened.

Paladino’s racism is established beyond doubt. He even admitted to it, he just said it wasn’t a big deal in his circle, no doubt true.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 01 October 2010 at 16:13

Paladino’s racism is established beyond doubt. He even admitted to it

I am not going to take the paraphrasing word of someone who thinks worrying about felons committing voter fraud is a racist dog whistle. As far as I can tell, if Paladino did that, the above quote is precisely how you would describe him.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 15:15

Worrying about an imaginary cabal to permit voter fraud weeks after the facts of the case showing differently were readily available is different from worrying about voter fraud in the abstract.

People who — to take a very common example — continue to excuse Joe McCarthy decades after his violations were exposed (I am thinking of W.F. Buckley,for example) — can rightly be suspected of having hidden agendas.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 16:11

Worrying about an imaginary cabal to permit voter fraud weeks after the facts of the case showing differently were readily available is different from worrying about voter fraud in the abstract.

Who did that? According to you the facts were yet to be determined, that it was a serious matter, but we shouldn’t look in to it because of the “dog whistle”.

I can’t wait to see what your next non-sequitur will be — by my count you’ve used at least three in this comment string alone.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 03 October 2010 at 15:08

Not ‘did.’ ‘Does.’

Like the furor over the ‘mosque at ground zero,’ which wasn’t at ground zero but was ginned up after the event by people not known for scrupulous attention to, you know, evidence, the furor over the so-called voter fraud was ginned up after it had been adjudicated.

You might have liked to make it a capital case, but in fact it was never ignored, and the idea that it was is mythical.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 03 October 2010 at 17:38

Not ‘did.’ ‘Does.’

OK, you’re half way there — the “when”. Now, see if you can get to the “who” part of the question. I know you can do it if you really try.

You might have liked to make it a capital case

Now you’re just making things up again. My repeated mentions have been about your, Harry Eagar’s, reaction to the original case. The case itself it not of any major significance and I frankly haven’t cared enough to check back on it. It is your statement, your blasé dismissal, that continues to fascinate me.

Harry Eagar Monday, 04 October 2010 at 14:53

Ah, it turns out we have been thinking of different alleged voter fraud cases.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 06:55

Now that Lisa Murkowski apparently has won the general election as a write-in candidate, does not that invalidate any objections to her based on nepotism, her purported “firing”, or lack of party loyalty?

Given the inconvenience involved, it’s clear that the Alaskan general electorate wasn’t just voting for her Daddy’s name, and it was also a stinging repudiation of the judgment and firing authority of Alaskan GOP primary voters.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 20 November 2010 at 09:26

I think it weakens the nepotism charge, although incumbency is a powerful asset which she got from her dad.

I am not sure what you mean by her “firing”, unless you mean losing the primary. As far as I know, that’s still the case.

As for party loyalty, I think beating the official party nominee is a clear demonstration of the lack thereof. Certainly her behavior during the campaign is good evidence in the same direction. Not to mention that Murkowski’s first act is to defy the GOP leadership ally with the Democratic Party. Just not reading that as “loyal”.

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