Showing posts tagged with “american politics”

Why Americans Are So Polarized: Education and Evolution

[O]ver the past 40 years, Americans have been sorting themselves into communities where people increasingly live, think, and vote like their neighbors. In 1976, for example, just more than a quarter of Americans resided in counties where presidential candidates won the election by a margin of 20 percent or more; but by the year 2004, nearly half of Americans lived in these more politically homogeneous counties.

Ask Americans about gun control or Washington in abstract terms, and you’ll hear kneejerk skepticism. People reach for the ideologically correct answer: Big government is bad. But the more you burrow into the weeds of specific programs, the less reflexively anti-government Americans become. Should insurance companies be able to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions? Suddenly, it’s not clear what the ideologically correct answer is, so Americans fall back on common sense—and often favor reasonable regulation. They start sounding less like Ayn Rand, and more like Canadians.

Americans: Republicans in General, Democrats in Particular

atheologist:

callingoutbigotry:

tastywhitetears:

eastafriqueen:

historicporn:

Man uses American flag to assault civil rights activist.1976.

huh.

Well now…

this is like something a political cartoonist would draw as a heavy-handed metaphor for race relations in the US
EXCEPT IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

I think it’s really important to note, too, that this picture was taken in my hometown of Boston. It’s not just southern cities with histories (and continuing legacies) of racism. Boston continues to be a very racially and socioeconomically segregated city.

atheologist:

callingoutbigotry:

tastywhitetears:

eastafriqueen:

historicporn:

Man uses American flag to assault civil rights activist.

1976.

huh.

Well now…

this is like something a political cartoonist would draw as a heavy-handed metaphor for race relations in the US

EXCEPT IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

I think it’s really important to note, too, that this picture was taken in my hometown of Boston. It’s not just southern cities with histories (and continuing legacies) of racism. Boston continues to be a very racially and socioeconomically segregated city.

It’s well-established at this point that, while both parties have gotten more ideological in recent years, the Republicans have gone way further off the deep end than Democrats. This “asymmetric polarization,” an aftershock of the post-civil rights political realignment of the South, means that Republicans are significantly more likely to nominate “extreme” candidates than Democrats are. Hall’s research suggests that this could ultimately erode the Republican advantage in the House.

Are Republicans Throwing Away Their House Majority?

This all follows with the literature on polarization, but here’s the key to why political polarization will continue to be troublesome.

…gerrymandering creates a glut of “safe” Republican districts, then Hall’s extremism penalty won’t end up being much of a penalty at all.

Republicans don’t compromise because sticking to core values appeals to their voter base, but Democrats value compromise. Republicans are able to hold Congress hostage in many ways - and one might be that Democrats, in looking for compromise, allow them to. 

Republicans don’t compromise because sticking to core values appeals to their voter base, but Democrats value compromise. Republicans are able to hold Congress hostage in many ways - and one might be that Democrats, in looking for compromise, allow them to. 

I shouldn’t have to offer [the Republicans] anything. They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.

—President Obama to NPR’s Steve Inskeep  [full transcript here]

Default is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Rebels Without a Clue

Paul Krugman, killing it as usual. Is it bad that I’m more fascinated by the partisan machinations behind political wrangling than the actual potential default itself?

The House’s action all but assured that large parts of the government would be shuttered as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. More than 800,000 federal workers deemed nonessential faced furloughs; millions more could be working without paychecks.

House Leaves U.S. on Brink of Shutdown

image

While some on the Right are expressing fears that if Zimmerman is acquitted, blacks will riot, a greater concern should be that if Zimmerman is acquitted whites and those who pass as white will continue to have legal sanction to murder African-Americans with impunity.

George Zimmerman and the Benefits of White Privilege”

U.S. Acknowledges Killing 4 Americans in Drone Strikes

One day before President Obama is due to deliver a major speech on national security, his administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged that the United States had killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

Because American lives are worth so much more. No one reports deaths of civilians.