Monday, May 08, 2006

Our Vainglorious Revolution


(Just one more quickie before Eric gets over his jetlag).

Twenty-five years is long enough. It's no longer cute, nor novel, nor vanguard, nor 'feisty', nor even reliably righteous indignation-producing: it's just stupid and weird. I would hope that our Opposition Party would acknowledge - first to themselves - that they have a once-in-a-generation chance to chart a new course for the country. In a way, it's actually easier to mount a counter-'revolution' than it is to make small gains within the status quo, most particularly when the operative verities are crumbling. Let's hope this sinks in in the coming years.

Political Economy

Or, I'm a Libertarian and I Worship Lightning; I Vote for Lightning Bug Because At Least He Has the Word 'Lightning' in His Name.

Via Brad DeLong:

Niskanen recently analyzed data from 1981 to 2005 and found... "no sign that deficits have ever acted as a constraint on spending." To the contrary: judging by the last twenty-five years (plenty of time for a fair test), a tax cut of 1 percent of the GDP increases the rate of spending growth by about 0.15 percent of the GDP a year. A comparable tax hike reduces spending growth by the same amount....

Niskanen, the chairman of Cato, goes on to say 'I'd love to be wrong..'. I'll bet.

Frank Luntz' Insolent Pouting Rictus...

....uncomfortably close to your ear. Blow some my way, Frank. A queef from 'Washington Whispers' (via Taegan):

"GOP political guru Frank Luntz thinks 2008 could be the year for a third-party success, but only if the presidential candidate is a big name. The ideal guy: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who isn't interested. Why Mike? Luntz says he's frugal with the city budget, socially liberal, and rich enough to buy the advertising it takes to win the election. Two others: Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Colin Powell."

When you've lost even Frank Luntz, that's pretty bad. It's bad not because he's become disenchanted with the party; amoral actors aren't enchanted in the first place, which is the reason this matters: he's a market indicator. The Bush brand is, commercially-speaking, lapsed.

Cox, Bollocks

Acting old beyond her - or anyone's - years, Ana Cox insists that attention must be paid:

Comedy can have a political point but it is not political action, and what Colbert said on the stage of the Washington Hilton — funny or not — means far less than what the ardent posters at would like it to.

Comedy is not political action? Rhetoric isn't? Satire isn't? That is such an obtuse thing to say that I find myself wondering if I really understand her meaning. Surely she knows that people thanking Colbert in some comment window know that they aren't literally voting in an election. I'd also note that Yahoo cites an increase in Colbert searches of "5,625% this week and picking up speed. Trajectories for "Colbert speech" and "colbert video" are racing off the chart." They say there's a "boulder-coming-at-Indiana Jones quality to the story now."

Kleinman, in a pretty contradictory, 'yes, but, yes, but, yes, but' kind of post, basically 'gets' the Colbert event, but defends Cox for sniffing at the raucous glee of Left Blogostan (whatever that is). Yes, some people in the largely inchoate LB can be boorish, reductive, stupid, and - yes - even humorless (while some, on the other hand, quote Shelley). Your point is....?

Sorry, but there is no point, other than: I am trenchant, thoughtful and well-spoken; you are rabble. So what if you just witnessed a surrealistic coup? Simmer down.

Colbert pee'd in the punch bowl last weekend. Cox must counter-pee. It's a reflex.

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