Republicans a regional party?

Really interesting post by Joshua Tucker over at the Monkey Cage, based on recent poll that finds absolutely amazing regional differences in attitudes towards Obama:

I found the following somewhat stunning graph on Steve Benen’s Political Animal blog at the Washington Monthly; Benen created the graph from data from the Daily Kos Weekly State of the Nation Poll, which can be found here.


I have no a priori knowledge about the reliability of the
Daily Kos poll, but even if it had a generally left or right wing bias,
that still shouldn’t affect the variation across regions. While I am
not surprised that the Republican party is more popular in the South
than other regions, the starkness of this distinction is beyond what I
had expected. Moreover, while I would have expected the Republican
party to be unpopular in the Northeast, I did not expect such similar
numbers from the West and Midwest.

And, here's the part I love:

Quite seriously, if I saw this type
of regional distribution of support for a political party in a country
like Slovakia, I would assume the party represented an ethnic minority.
For comparison’s sake, here is the vote share received by the Hungarian
Coalition – an ethnic minority party – by region in the 2006 Slovak parliamentary election:



Gotta love it: Republican party = Hungarian coalition in Slovakia.

Manager in Afghanistan

The situation in Afghanistan is far from my area of expertise, but I loved this take on things from Ezra Klein and Nicholas Beaudrot.  Short version, Army generals, like managers of all stripes, always want more resources.  In the Army, that's generally troops.  I really cannot speak to the wisdom of a troop increase, but it would be almost surprising if the general in charge didn't want one.  Ezra and Neil:

Gen. Stanley McChrystal wants more troops for Afghanistan. And of
course he does: He's the general in charge of Afghanistan. Which is to
say, he's a person in charge of something. Neil Sinhababu explains:

It's generally hard to know what to make of military
commanders' requests for more resources. On one hand, they're very
close to the situation at hand and thus have a very good knowledge of
it. This fact gives them a great deal of credibility in public debate.
On the other hand, they're managers, and managers always request more
resources whether they need them or not.

This second fact isn't that well appreciated in media coverage
of their requests, but it's something that anybody who works in a big
organization is very familiar with. If you went to Sor-Hoon Tan, my
department chair, and asked her if she'd like to have funds to hire two
more philosophy professors, she'd say yes. As would the chair of just
about every department in the country. Nobody ever says, "Well, we're
making great use of what we have, and while we could do more work with
more resources, these positions would really be put to better use in
Sociology, so why don't you give this money to them." When something is
your job, you focus on doing it, whether it's building the NUS
philosophy department or rooting out the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Whether the resources you're requesting could be put to better use
elsewhere is far from your mind.

 A useful, and sadly generally ignored, caveat, when thinking about these matters.

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