Category Archives: Politics

Word Salad – the term for the times

I heard the closing moments of the Kennedy Nixon debates on Radio Free Bernstein a few weeks ago and was struck by how novel it seemed. – they both seemed genuinely smart, and off the cuff, not rehearsed.  The most striking thing was that there were almost no pauses for emphasis, which meant that the listener has to actually listen (any modern speech you can do the auditory equivalent of skimming, thanks to the pauses).

Word Salad seems to be the most apt phrase for modern political speech.

The notion of privilege

I think much talk of “privilege” is actually false modesty on the part of the speaker – probably 90% of it actually.  However, Arnold Kling has a list of other factors, particularly

  • being tall
  • having attractive features (or at least not being extremely unattractive)
  • being naturally outgoing (extroverted)
  • not having mental disorders, such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia
  • not having debilitating physical ailments or physical handicaps
  • growing up with your biological father (particularly if you are male).
  • having artistic gifts

There is no political advantage to either side for these so no one ever talks about them…

The 2012 Circus: My problems with Gingrich

Problem 1: His magnificent faith in government. Whether it be moon colonies or a costless war with Iran, his optimism towards every government act would embarass most Democrats.

Problem 2: low moral character. Say what you will about the institution of marriage, but the rules are clear. As we’re living in a sluggish police state I would prefer a chief executive who is not talented at rationalization and comfortable living with contradictions. Divorce is acceptable in a candidate, but since his platform is based on making the government bigger and bolder then his adultery disqualifies him.

The 2012 Circus: My problems with Santorum

Problem 1: his primary focus is social issues, and he seems to have no problem running on a “like Sharia, but Catholic” platform.

Problem 2: He lost his election, and then stayed in DC, which is an appalling lack of loyalty to his constituency. Perhaps my mental model of a senator is flawed, but shouldn’t they be their state’s biggest fans? And with enough affection for their home state to return after they’re done instead of cashing in?

The GOP biological problem

There has been much hubub about Arlen Specter’s switch to the democrats, saying they’re losing the “Moderate” wing. My theory: The GOP’s primary impediment is not ideological, it’s biological. They’re stuck with their corrupt deadwood, made even more rotted by their brief period in control of the legislative and executive branch. They have no credible voice on the current spending orgy because they haven’t been in the credibility business in any form for quite some time.

By getting rid of the old guard (albeit not intentionally) they would seem to be solving the problem.