Quick hits (part I)

1) Lee Drutman with a really good review of Larry Bartels’ recent work on the fundamental irrationality of American voters.  Been an open tab too long.  Definitely a good time to share.

2) Not that Republicans needed a lot of help on Tuesday, but a really nice piece on gerrymandering, using NC as an example.

3) Why we really have Daylights Savings (mostly, to annoy DJC).

4) And, given some recent confusion I experienced with a Dutch journalist, I’m totally on-board with dropping time zones and having everybody use a single universal time.

Let us all — wherever and whenever — live on what the world’s timekeepers call Coordinated Universal Time, or U.T.C. (though “earth time” might be less presumptuous). When it’s noon in Greenwich, Britain, let it be 12 everywhere. No more resetting the clocks. No more wondering what time it is in Peoria or Petropavlovsk. Our biological clocks can stay with the sun, as they have from the dawn of history. Only the numerals will change, and they have always been arbitrary.

Some mental adjustment will be necessary at first. Every place will learn a new relationship with the hours. New York (with its longitudinal companions) will be the place where people breakfast at noon, where the sun reaches its zenith around 4 p.m., and where people start dinner close to midnight. (“Midnight” will come to seem a quaint word for the zero hour, where the sun still shines.) In Sydney, the sun will set around 7 a.m., but the Australians can handle it; after all, their winter comes in June.

 

5) Great essay on how Facebook has a responsibility to stop sharing so much fake news.

6) I meant to post this about Trump’s psyche before the election and didn’t.  Valid as ever.

Aboard his gold-plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts, insisting that aides stay up and keep talking to him. He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law.

He requires constant assurance that his candidacy is on track. “Look at that crowd!” he exclaimed a few days ago as he flew across Florida, turning to his young press secretary as a TV tuned to Fox News showed images of what he claimed were thousands of people waiting for him on the ground below.

And he is struggling to suppress his bottomless need for attention.

7) Shockingly, a thorough study uncovers almost no actual voter fraud.

8) The overall polling error will surely be the polling take-away of the election.  Before that, it would have been the issue of differential non-response:

Lauderdale and Rivers’s explanation for why their survey is a ship of stability in an ocean of wild fluctuations is a phenomenon known as differential non-response. Essentially, voters are not changing their minds after major news events—they are just changing their minds about talking to pollsters. After a major news event that is damaging to Donald Trump, such as the first debate, his supporters become depressed and are less likely to talk to pollsters, while Clinton’s supporters become excited and eagerly answer the phone. The reverse happens when Clinton is the subject of a damaging story, such as Comey’s recent letter to Congress about a possible new cache of Clinton-related e-mails. Lauderdale and Rivers argue that, with better polling methodology, it’s possible to erase these “phantom swings.”

9) Nice post on contemporary party polarization from one of my favorite Party ID scholars, Alex Theodoridis.

10) And speaking of posts from smart friends, love this from Matt Shipman in response to the heinous, “rope, tree, journalist” t-shirt.  As the URL says, if you hate journalists, you hate democracy.

11) It’s pretty pointless to ask people why they voted as they did.  Mostly, see #9.  Also because most humans completely suck at introspection (though, probably not as badly as Trump).

12) A pre-election story from WSJ on how hard it is to do good polls know.  Obviously, more relevant than ever.  Highly recommended.

 

13) In case you missed the last SNL Trump/Clinton sketch.  A damn good one.

14) Honestly, I’ve just assumed the filibuster is gone.  Greg Koger gives some reasons maybe not.  I found this one most compelling:

3) Planning to fail: Many Senate Republicans are now in the awkward position of advancing an agenda they may oppose for a president they know is reprehensible. If they refuse to vote for Trump’s agenda, they face a backlash from the Trump base. Sure, they could actually be honest and open about their reservations, but most of them have been cowards up to this point, and it is possible they will continue this course.

Allowing the Democrats to filibuster helps get them out of this bind. A conscientious-objector Republican can bring up a bill to say, build a wall along the Mexican border, let the Democrats block it, and then either give up on the bill or weaken it until it is a fraction of its original form.

15) Gallup’s Frank Newport with 8 things we learned this election.

16) Enjoyed Thomas Mills‘ post-election take:

For Democrats waiting for demographic shifts to make the country blue, just stop. An increasing number of white voters will reject a party they see as embracing identity politics to their detriment. For Republicans cheering Trump’s victory, remember that he tapped into the ugliest sentiment of your base to get elected…

Our job, as a country, should now be to hold him in check. Democrats and Republicans should unite in opposing his most authoritarian instincts, including increased domestic surveillance and police power. We should encourage policies like his infrastructure program to bring back more prosperity to a larger group of citizens. We should resist the instinct to overreact so that when Trump really starts to overstep, we haven’t cried wolf so often that a majority of Americans don’t believe us.

17) I was waiting a long time to finally read a post like this.  Roy Cooper will almost surely be NC’s next governor as provisional ballots almost always favor Democrats.

18) Now Paul Ryan can go after Medicare.  Everybody is so convinced of Ryan’s honesty and rectitude.  Alas, he lies with the best of them.   Chait:

Ryan tells Baier, “Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.” This is false. In fact, it’s the complete opposite of the truth. The Medicare trust fund has been extended 11 years as a result of the passage of Obamacare, whose cost reforms have helped bring health care inflation to historic lows. It is also untrue that repealing Obamacare requires changing traditional Medicare. But Ryan clearly believes he needs to make this claim in order to sell his plan, or probably even to convince fellow Republicans to support it.

19) I particularly liked Dylan Matthew’s “winners and losers” of the election for including losers such as non-white people and planet Earth.

20) Probably the best piece I have read about the white working class and identity politics.  Want to understand where we are in American politics now and how we got here?  Consider this a must read.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

6 Responses to Quick hits (part I)

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    #16 Should Democrats cooperate on an infrastructure program?
    Jared Bernstein on MSNBC this morning explained Trump’s method of paying for this which Trump says won’t cost the taxpayers anything. This because he will sell bonds to rich people and use their money to do what’s necessary. The catch is that the only way the bond holders make any money is by imposing user fees on those using the new infrastructure. As in poll roads. When one buys a bond, one expects some return.
    Now that may not be exactly taxpayer money but it sure does shift the costs to all Americans, a very regressive outcome.

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    This is a long article and covers complex issues. I agree that it is one of the best, if not the best, articles on the white working class. Thanks for telling us about it!

  3. Mika says:

    #1 When people read this: “It’s time to make peace with a simple fact of political life: Rationality is a chimera.” I’d guess most of them think about limitations on voters’ cognitive abilities, Too few think about this: “Can ordinary people, busy with their lives…” Voter aren’t (necessarily) dumb, they are too busy.

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