Political Animal


April 01, 2013 5:42 PM Day’s End and Night Watch

By Ed Kilgore

Another week under way, with most of the Beltway talk looking back at the Supremes’ same-sex marriage fiesta, or forward to the gun and immigration melees in Congress after its return. Perhaps we can live in the present someday soon.

Here are some final items of the day:

* Seems Dolly Parton, Pitbull, and Lady Gaga all turned down lucrative offers to perform at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Gaga spurned this bad romance even though it woud have reportedly paid her a cool million.

* Sen. Bob Casey announces support for marriage equality, reducing number of Democratic senators who haven’t done so to eight.

* At Lawyers, Guns & Money, Robert Farley argues timeliness of blogging worth as much to political science as peer-review system for academic quality.

* At Ten Miles Square, John Sides argues fundamentals—which can’t be “rebooted”—main reason for Romney loss in 2012.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer provides what appear to be three April Fool’s stories. In real higher education news from the weekend, he reports on Boston College’s condom distribution ban.

And in non-political news:

* In roundup of baseball park concession prices, it seems the New York Mets’ Citi Field pay the most for your basic hot dog ($6.25), Reds fans the least (a buck).

Think I’ve made it through the day without falling prey to any April Fool’s pranks. If not, well, hope you had a good laugh.

To close the day here’s a song that I used to sing when thinking about certain less-than-cerebral Members of Congress: The Beatles’ “Fool on the Hill.”


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.


  • mudwall jackson on April 01, 2013 5:58 PM:

    "* Seems Dolly Parton, Pitbull, and Lady Gaga all turned down lucrative offers to perform at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Gaga spurned this bad romance even though it woud have reportedly paid her a cool million."

    but, hey, the oddly appropriate taylor hicks was available for the gig and i'm sure at a substantial discount...

  • Crissa on April 01, 2013 5:58 PM:

    Why would they want Lady Gaga?

    Why do they think a million dollars would do it?

    "Not enough beer in the world, Spleen."

  • Just Dropping By on April 01, 2013 6:59 PM:

    Wait, Tim Pawlenty was in charge of the entertainment committee for the convention?


  • Joe Friday on April 01, 2013 8:28 PM:

    Interesting to hear Rick Perry lamenting the state of fear in Texas after yet another prosector (and his wife) were shot dead over the weekend, and offer his concern for public officials that have to deal with "mean and vicious individuals".

    This from the clown that previously issued a death threat to Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve:

    "If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y'all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion. Treason is a capital offense."

  • cmdicely on April 01, 2013 9:48 PM:

    At Lawyers, Guns & Money, Robert Farley argues timeliness of blogging worth as much to political science as peer-review system for academic quality.

    Timeliness isn't relevant to science, political or otherwise. It might be relevant to marketable crafts that depend on scientific results, but then what is time sensitive is usually getting the inputs to feed into the model produced by the science.

    Basically, Farley's making an argument that it is important for funding and for careers of people who want to be called "political scientists" but want to work as public policy consultants for rapid-reactiom, unreviewed blogging to be treated as equal or preferred to peer-reviewed research. On the funding part (particularly, that short-turnaround relevance of political science research to public policy ought to be the basis for NSF grants) its an argument for a ridiculous standard that isn't applied to any other standard. The turnaround time for any other public funded research -- whether its in the physical science, the biological sciences, or any other science -- isn't short-term. Science is slow. There's no reason that political science should hang its hopes for funding on it being somehow different from other sciences in a way which requires abandoning the scientific process. As for the other, if you want to be a policy consultant, there's a whole career path for that -- and its not in any kind of science. That's what the field of "public policy" is about, and there's a reason its a different field than political science.

    Rapid reaction pontification on policy isssues is something that the world has quite enough of -- and plenty of social scientists (economists and political scientists most notably) do it as a sideline. There's no reason that the unreviewed media that make sense as a venue for that kind of thing, though, should displace peer-reviewed science. Both have their place, and if the former is going to be anything but people spewing unsubstantiated gut reactions and opinions, it depends on the continued existence and vitality of the latter -- which means keeping peer-reviewed science the gold standard for science, and letting social commentary remain its own separate thing from social science, dependent on science for its quality, but not replacing science.

    And if academic political (or other social) scientists find out that they'd rather be full-time commentators or policy consultants, they should change careers rather than telling science it should change its standards to accept unreviewed commentary in preference to peer-reviewed research and should organize its priority by what is best to attract consultancy business.

  • emjayay on April 02, 2013 2:40 AM:

    Dolly Parton, Pitbull, and Lady Gaga were simply making a wise business decision. Appearing at the Republican convention would cost them much more than a million in other lost income.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 02, 2013 10:06 AM:

    Re Dolly, Pitbull, & Gaga

    Maybe there's room for interpretation, but were the RNC organizers seriously trying to offer them various reputable and charitable-sounding "tokens" to gloss over the GOP sorry track record? Celebrating Women??? Hispanic Leadership??? A donation to a charity??? Were they really going to do these things or did they just want to tell the entertainers they would do this? Um... sketchy!!!!

    But I think Pitbull's declining to perform had to hurt their GOP pride. But, but, but... his CUBAN AMERICAN!!!!!

  • advocatethis on April 02, 2013 12:10 PM:

    A buck for a hot dog at Reds games? That's amazing. I distinctly remember dogs were 90 cents each at Candlestick when I went with a friend to a Giants game about 30 years ago. Our plan was to eat a dog an inning and use the dimes we got for change to buy a tenth hot dog if the game went into extra innings. The whole scheme was foiled when we succmbed to temptation and bought polish dogs around the fifth inning, prematurely filling us up.

  • Crissa on April 02, 2013 8:23 PM:

    Re: advocatethis on April 02, 2013 12:10 PM:

    Oh, hey, that sounds like a deal. Pay up front for the stuff and then hope that everyone doesn't eat it all. Hehe. Sounds like a business plan to me!