Political Animal


September 04, 2012 1:50 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

I’m going to be a guest on my favorite radio talk show—KCRW’s “To the Point,” hosted by Warren Olney—in just a bit, along with Michael Scherer, Chris LeHayne, and David Brooks. So hope the earlier posts will keep you satisfied for a bit, along with these mid-day news bites:

* Yglesias highlights five dumb ideas in the Democratic platform. I suspect the count was a bit higher for the GOP document.

* Conservatives strangely preoccupied with activities of Occupy protesters in Charlotte, particularly all the sex and drugs.

* Toby Harnden claims, without evidence, that bad weather an “excuse” for possible move of Obama’s acceptance speech to indoor venue, with real reason being lack of attendence. Oh brother.

* Former Democrat, former independent, former Republican Virgil Goode makes the ballot in his native Virginia as presidential candidate of far-right Constitution Party.

* Nate Silver adjudges Romney post-convention bounce as coming it at about 2.7%—bad, except for fact that out-party bounce also low in 2004 and 2008.

And in non-political news:

* Mock abductions of brides from weddings “all the rage” in Romania. “Ransom” usually a few bottles of hootch.

Back after radio.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • davidp on September 04, 2012 2:23 PM:

    Re the sex and drugs: in their minds these people are still fighting against the 60s. I'm surprised they haven't proposed resuming the Vietnam War.

  • JackD on September 04, 2012 2:34 PM:

    Yglesias criticizes 5 planks for the arguments he claims are used to support them not necessarily for the policies themselves. For example, he says we shouldn't hire firemen, policemen, and teachers to help with employment but rather for performing necessary functions. He ignores the fact that we need more for the functions and that hiring them will help with employment. The reasons are not mutually exclusive. I think he's just being a contrarian to get attention. He used to be better than that.

  • Peter C on September 04, 2012 3:11 PM:

    HL Menken defined 'puritanism' as "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

    He could just as easily have defined 'Republicanism' as "The aggreived certainty that somewhere Liberals are getting laid and enjoying it more than they usually do." They hate us for our freedoms.

  • Bobby Goren on September 04, 2012 3:29 PM:

    Thank Goode! Even siphoning off a fer votes on the Right will help the President in VA - No?

  • Gene O'Grady on September 04, 2012 3:33 PM:

    JackD understates the case. The first four points Yglesias, whom I used to defend, makes he's wrong; only the fifth is actually a bad idea.

    I have a new way of evaluating economic proposals -- simply reflect on who will benefit, and if it turns out once more to be guys like Yglesias try something else.

  • Tom Hilton on September 04, 2012 3:49 PM:

    That's really goode news about the Virginia ballot.

    I've had my eye on Virgil Goode for a while now. My prediction for 2016 is that the GOP will move so far to the right that they'll end up with a Constitution Party/GOP fusion ticket: Goode and Pawlenty.

  • Mitt's Magic Underpants on September 04, 2012 4:04 PM:

    Yglesias and Ezra Klein show why Dems don't win -- we spend as much time doing the R's job as we do attacking the other side.

  • Crissa on September 04, 2012 4:39 PM:

    MMU, if we don't examine our own foibles, we can't fix them. We accuse Republicans of not being aware of their own mistakes all the time.

    Ed, maybe we take weather reports more seriously, since if it said 60% chance of rain, let alone thunderstorms, it would mean that sometime during the day the area would get a thunderstorm. It's just a function of our coast that when we do get weather predicted, we take it fairly seriously. In the midwest, tho, they're under such predictions much of the time... And so don't think a few severe thunderstorms are anything to worry about, because what's the odds they'll actually interrupt you?

  • Sam on September 04, 2012 4:39 PM:

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  • Anonymous on September 04, 2012 5:21 PM:

    Crissa, there's a time and place for "examining our own foibles". I think most people would agree that 9 weeks prior to Election Day doesn't fit into that time-window.

  • Doug on September 04, 2012 7:36 PM:

    re stadium: Apparently the British media are getting as bad as ours. There is literally NOTHING in Harnden's entire piece that supports the headline, let alone the first paragraph.
    The headline is "Democrats set to move Obama's big speech from 74,000 seater outdoor stadium to 20,000 seater indoor arena" and is true as far as it goes. Yes, Democrats ARE set to move the speech indoors, but you'll only find out the real reason in paragraph seven: the speech will be given in the larger stadium "rain or shine" EXCEPT in the case of a thunderstorm. Apparently Harnden hasn't experienced a really good made-in-the-USA thunderstorm. Which could be undertandable if he's newly-arrived from the UK. The British Isles get plenty of rain (that's from experience), but an honest-to-FSM thunderstorm, as opposed to the occasional rumble of thunder, is exceedingly rare. Or used to be.
    Oh, and his source that the move to a smaller stadium is because President Obama can't fill the larger one?
    THAT'S in the 13th and 14th paragraphs and consists of unnamed "Democratic convention sources" in the former paragraph and one, also unnamed, "convention worker" in the latter.
    Let me guess, "The Daily Mail" is Rupert Murdoch's attempt to improve his image after the "page three girls" of the "Sun"...