Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for the ‘Politics in General’ Category

Recognizing the limitations

Posted by Greg on March 18, 2009

Yglesias on why a progressive majority will always be transitory:

I would go stronger than that, actually, and posit that American politics in the future will mostly be dominated by a center-right political coalition just as it always has. This is just how things work. A political coalition grounded in the social mores of the ethno-sectarian majority and the ideas of the business class has overwhelming intrinsic advantages against contrary movements grounded in the complaints of minority groups and the economic claims of the lower orders. It’s a little bit hard to even know what a permanent progressive governing majority would mean, and harder to know how you would sustain it.

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Empty bipartisanship

Posted by Greg on February 5, 2009

MyDD asks some hard questions about what’s up with the Gregg nomination.

Posted in Obama Administration, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »

Feeling blue

Posted by Greg on January 29, 2009

Are there only five red states left as Nate Silver would suggest?

That’s right: just five states, collectively containing about 2 percent of the American population, have statistically significant pluralities of adults identifying themselves as Republicans. These are the “Mormon Belt” states of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, plus Nebraska, plus Alaska. By contrast, 35 states are plurality Democratic, and 10 states are too close to call.

Overstates the case somewhat, but by less than you’d expect.  How much of it is real and how much of it is the bitter aftertaste of Bush in one’s mouth?  Time will tell.

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Blast from the past

Posted by Greg on January 21, 2009

FDR’s first inauguration address

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Clever democrats?

Posted by Greg on January 14, 2009

When did that happen, and why can’t it happen more often?  Wonkette has the goods:

AMAZING! Acting in a clandestine pact, the 49 Democrats in Tennessee’s House shocked Nashville just one hour ago by nominating and then voting en masse for Kent Williams (a moderate Republican from Elizabethton in Carter County) for Speaker to lead the 99-member chamber. The official Republican nominee, Jason Mumpower (a wingnut from Bristol in Sullivan County) was left speechless, clutching the family bible that he had brought in preparation for taking the Speaker’s oath of office.

This is HUGE! The R’s had promised bans on gay adoption and fostering, new concealed weapons laws, new constitutional limits on abortion, new anti-immigrant legislation, and mandating the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools. Because the Tennessee House operates under a strict committee system and the Speaker appoints all committee chairs, though, it is unclear whether Republicans will be able to get any of these measures to the floor of the House. In addition, the re-election prospects for the long-serving and widely-respected Comptroller and Treasurer (both Democrats) is now much more promising; the General Assembly votes for these constitutional offices tomorrow.

THIS is bipartisanship you can believe in.


Hat tip to John Cole for this video:

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Idiots of 2008?

Posted by Greg on January 12, 2009

Buffalo Beast lists some candidates for the 50 most loathsome people of 2008.  Some interesting, even surprising selections.

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Political predictions

Posted by Greg on January 5, 2009

What’s going to happen in 2009 politically?  Perhaps I should get my head examined, because Carville is making sense to me.

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Divine rights

Posted by Greg on December 16, 2008

I’m sure Caroline Kennedy is a good person with talents and abilities.  But she’s lived a deliberately private life outside of politics.  How that qualifies her for office over those who have busted their asses for the length of their professional careers I’m not certain.


I find the whole unfolding Caroline Kennedy saga to be rather depressing. Not just that she’s being considered (in the press if not elsewhere), but that she’s running a public campaign which involves reaching out to elites. The whole thing is just weird and feeds into the politics as personality soap opera that the press loves to focus on.


It’s clear that a significant contingent on this site believes that Caroline Kennedy should be senator because her last name is “Kennedy”, and because they “like her”. It is unseemly that she’s being considered for the seat simply because of her family lineage and her ability to pick up the phone and ring the governor, but pointing that out is “bashing Caroline”. It’s all ridiculous, and yes, depressing.

Because as much as people on this site and others fight for a more small “d” democratic political system, one that isn’t so tilted in favor of the rich, famous, and connected, there will always be a significant majority that is desperate for an American monarchy and will discard notions of meritocracy to reward their favorite political dynasty.

Indeed.  It should probably be pointed out that there’s nothing in the Constitution that actually requires a Kennedy in government at all times.

Posted in Congress, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »

Forrest Gump on the bailouts

Posted by Greg on December 15, 2008

From a friend:

Forrest Gump might size-up the current fiscal crisis this way:

  • Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates.
  • Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds.
  • Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to hungry investors who, without even tasting them, repacked them and sold them again and again and again.
  • Eventually, somebody got hungry bit into a turd and discovered that his box of chocolates was filled them. Suddenly, nobody trusted American chocolates anymore worldwide.
  • Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal or until the price of fertilizer goes up.
  • Meanwhile, Hank’s buddies (the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates) are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted.
  • Mama always said: “Sniff the chocolates first, Forrest.”

The bailout, a different perspective: Back in 1990, the government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion. As required by law, the government tried to run it. The government failed and the ranch was closed. So, remind me again why we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nitwits who couldn’t get drunks laid in a whore house?

Posted in Economics, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Bye bye base

Posted by Greg on November 19, 2008

The GOP Base, that is.

Posted in Culture War, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »

The blueing of America

Posted by Greg on November 19, 2008

Not that Utah’s electoral votes were ever in question, but it’s still amazing that Salt Lake County voted for Obama.

Salt Lake County just turned a shade bluer. After completing the final canvass of votes cast in the general election Nov. 4, President-elect Barack Obama can claim another battleground victory — he out-polled Sen. John McCain in Salt Lake County by a margin of 296 votes.

Fifty state strategy anyone?

Posted in Election 2008, Politics in General, Progressive Agenda, Utah | Leave a Comment »

A conservative nation.

Posted by Greg on November 18, 2008

Even our friends at Hoover are starting to accept the reality that the nation is trending center left, not center right.

Here’s the stark reality: It is now harder for the Republican presidential candidate to get to 50.1 percent than for the Democrat. My Hoover Institution colleague David Brady and Douglas Rivers of the research firm YouGovPolimetrix have been analyzing data from online interviews with 12,000 people in both 2004 and 2008. It shows an overall shift to the Democrats of six percentage points. As they write in the forthcoming edition of Policy Review, “The decline of Republican strength occurs by having strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans becoming independents, and independents leaning more Democratic or even becoming Democrats.” This is a portrait of an electorate moving from center-right to center-left.

Yep.  But all things are relative – at a certain level drawing lines in the sand are artificial, as NRO’s Ramesh Ponnuru observes.

Tod Lindberg argues that conservatives are fooling themselves if they think that the U.S. is a “center-right nation.” Me, I’m not sure what it would mean for the country to be either “center-right” or “center-left.” I can see the point of saying that the country is “center right” if the point is that we are, compared to most developed countries, a bit more religious, free-market, and nationalistic in orientation. If that’s all it means to say “center right,” though, we could probably go through a long period of political domination by liberals and still qualify. And I’m not sure what else the phrase could mean.

Ezra Klein has a good discussion.  The US Political system in general is not parliamentary like many countries and the process itself is conservative, meaning it is engineered to prevent a lot of quick, dramatic action.  And our expectations should reflect this.  Read his comments in full.

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Good Udall ad

Posted by Greg on October 16, 2008

Or as John Cole observes, elections have consequences.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »

Kudlow the socialist

Posted by Greg on September 25, 2008

Bernie Sanders calls him out on it.

Posted in Economics, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »

When will Whitehouse run for the Whitehouse?

Posted by Greg on September 15, 2008

Gotta love his zinger here.

A bit of showboating, but very effective.  And true.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Energy, Politics in General | Leave a Comment »