#1 By: Rob Beschizza, October 18th, 2013 10:21
#2 By: Prentiz, October 18th, 2013 10:57
Until the GOP loses its nutcases and remembers the middle ground is where elections are won, they've got no chance of winning the Presidency IMHO. I think people like John McCain are very aware of this...
#3 By: Buddha Buck, October 18th, 2013 11:08
As a result of the 2010 redistricting, my congressional district became less gerrymandered, for which I am grateful, theoretically. Practically, it meant I went from being in a safe Democratic district served by a long-time liberal standard-bearer to a new district which elected one of the 144
Spartans Tea Party economy-crashers.
With luck, he'll be out in 2014.
#4 By: Engineer, October 18th, 2013 11:22
Part of the problem is that we don't elect people who are good at finding solutions or compromises, we elect people who are good at campaigning. When they get into office, campaigning is all they know how to do. Look at how many completely non self-aware statements were made during the shutdown by members of Congress about winning the message war. A large segment of those in charge have no governing skills. Holding office is a non-stop campaign and decisions are made for what they believe can best be spun or turned into a tv ad. Why try to repeal ACA thirty-nine times? So you can have an advertisement that proclaims you voted against "socialist policies" thirty-nine time without mentioning that it was the same policy each time. Same with attack ads against those who voted to keep Obamacare.
There are lots of different reforms that could help combat this but almost all of them collide with the expansive interpretation of the freedom of speech that is the tradition in the US. Rather than go to a more restrictive version of freedom of speech, I hope instead the electorate eventually gets burnt out on the current process and tunes out the campaign garbage. For now however, the insanity seems to mostly work, with the occasional self inflicted wound due to overreach.
#5 By: Boundegar, October 18th, 2013 11:24
Even The Atlantic is stepping back from "both sides do it equally." This is a sea change.
#6 By: IMB, October 18th, 2013 11:31
No disrespect to you, but McCain was one of the first on board the crazy train when he hooked his sails to Palin.
#7 By: Gawain Lavers, October 18th, 2013 11:39
At least we have a better name for them now: The Gross Party.
#8 By: Neil Mcconnell, October 18th, 2013 11:41
Prentiz may have meant that McCain is a good indication that, at a national level, pandering to crazy is not a 100% reliable strategy. S
(unrelated) I am so conflicted about McCain. He quite regularly does things that are good, decent, sane, positive. . . but my goodness am I ever glad he didn't get elected president. The campaign turned him into everything I hate - it was sad to see him turn himself into something horrible to try to get elected.
#9 By: Gawain Lavers, October 18th, 2013 11:44
In fairness to McCain, picking Palin wasn't a supposed to be boarding the crazy train: for all anyone knew she was a moderate and (more remarkably) a non-corrupt Alaska Republican. The fact that he thought, "Hey, I know, let's put a broad on this ticket! That'll get the woman vote!" and then didn't bother to vet her wasn't a sign of insanity, just incompetence.
#10 By: Gawain Lavers, October 18th, 2013 11:46
This has been the way of the Republican Party since Reagan. Dole went through the same humiliating degradation. He didn't spend two decades fawning all over himself for being a "straight talker" first, though.
#11 By: Jeremy Erwin, October 18th, 2013 12:03
The Wall Street Journal said "It's time to wrap up this comedy of political errors." I agreed with their sentiments, but I don't think that washington politics rises to the level of a "comedy of errors".
#12 By: IMB, October 18th, 2013 12:05
I liked that he was advocating for campaign finance reform, at one point, but like all politicians, a principle is only as good as a chance to be elected. If the principle doesn't work for getting elected, it's no longer a principle. Sometimes running on an principle and getting elected means nothing either, it's a ticket to the game whose stub is tossed into the trash and forgotten, or if called on it, the ticket holder blames everyone else for throwing it away.
#13 By: IMB, October 18th, 2013 12:06
And very little regard for the intelligence of women voters, at the same time.
#14 By: rocketpj, October 18th, 2013 12:09
See Clinton, Obama
#15 By: IMB, October 18th, 2013 12:12
I wasn't leaving anyone out. The state of government is so blatantly corrupt, it covers everyone. The level of insanity, however, can be viewed as a continuum, where, right now, the right are at the extreme portion of the spectrum.
#16 By: rocketpj, October 18th, 2013 13:22
Oh I agree. It's just that GWB was unable to disappoint me because I knew what he was from the beginning.
I had higher hopes for Clinton, and much higher for Obama.
A pox on them all.
#17 By: Gregory Bloom, October 18th, 2013 13:43
I know a solution. People are stupid in groups. But we can all probably figure out who the sharpest person in a room of ten people is after just a few minutes of talking with everyone, right? So here's what we do. Instead of big national elections, we have a computer bunch everyone into groups of 10 random people from nearby. You meet your 9 peers and, after a few pots of coffee and discussion of current news, everybody votes to say which person besides themselves is the sharpest crayon in the box. Maybe use some form of cumulative voting to really make it accurate.
Then, the sharpest crayons from the first round are all randomly assigned to groups of 10, and they pick the sharpest among them. This continues for a total of 6 levels, at which point all the remaining sharpest of the sharp have been selected down to a few hundred people. These folks get together and sort themselves into a congress. They also select one of their number to go over the wall and act as president.
This method would assure we end up with people who are judged by increasingly astute people to be pretty much on-the-ball. With congress choosing the president, we'd have less likelihood of a lame-duck administration. With no campaigning and no political parties, it would be difficult for entrenched powers to take root.
Given the results our current system achieves, I think it's worth a shot.
#18 By: bryan, October 18th, 2013 13:52
As a long-time reader of Wonkette, I was already a bit familiar with her when that bombshell was dropped. And while the true extent of her madness wasn’t fully known at that point, it was already known that she was a fundy nutjob with ethics problems.
So no, even before she was picked, many people knew that she was neither a moderate nor that mythical “non-corrupt Alaska Republican”.
#19 By: Jason Andresen, October 18th, 2013 13:55
What the GOP needs to do is push get-out-the-vote campaigns during the primaries so people other than ultra hardliners show up and vote in the craziest candidate of all.
Also, if the party is serious about survival then it needs to start funding primaries for moderate candidates. It's far too easy for some 529 type group to blow into town for a primary like this, spend a relatively modest amount of money, and totally and utterly control the media message for a candidate. And those groups never back moderates.
Once the primary is over, a lot of times the story is done. The seat is so safe that Hitler would be elected as long as he had a (R) next to his name.
#20 By: Charlie, October 18th, 2013 14:17
Well, the machines will elect whoever they are programmed to elect, regardless of which buttons are pushed. And I'm pretty sure there won't be anyone who represents the "middle ground" running from either major party anyway.
next page →