I’ve spent the morning reading various endorsements of Mitt Romney for president, and they all say the same thing: Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s strategy worked.Ezra Klein • In a new post on WonkBlog, commenting on a number of Romney endorsements that surprised him — most notably the Des Moines Register’s decision to endorse Mitt Romney, after endorsing the Democratic candidate in the previous five races. In his piece, Klein challenges the paper’s suggestion that President Obama was ineffective when dealing with Congress. He stops short of giving President Obama an endorsement, and recognizes the leadership abilities of Romney, but Klein is not unclear about his feelings on this particular line of logic. “There are good reasons to endorse Mitt Romney for president,” said Klein, adding, “But if you want the political system to work more smoothly, endorsing McConnell and Boehner’s strategy over the last four years is folly.”
Contrary to what many believe, the central effect of such negative advertising isn’t to move voters from supporting another candidate to backing yours, as Mitt Romney and his allies have discovered during this primary season. The main effect is not even to move undecided voters into your column. No, the real effect of negative advertising is to energize and solidify support among your ideological base while turning everyone else off to the other candidate, the campaign and the entire electoral process. Negative advertising isn’t about changing minds; it’s about altering the composition of the voter pool on Election Day by turning moderate voters into non-voters.The Washington Post’s Stephen Pearlstein • Offering a counterpoint to Ezra Klein’s point from the other night; Pearlstein suggests politicians want people to turn off from the political process, because it helps them stabilize the electoral pool come election time. Which is how we get stuff like Obama eating dog food on an Etch A Sketch with Mitt Romney’s face drawn on it, or something like that.
Can I ask a dumb Tumblr question? Is there the equivalent of a newsfeed for Tumblr, where I can see the posts of everyone I’m following threaded chronologically? And if not, what’s the point of following people?
Update: Ah. The dashboard. Got it. Told you it was a dumb question.
Did you know, Ezra, that in some circles you’re considered to be fawnworthy? And you just stepped in one? Just warning you, bro.
…though it came close to happening, the ‘grand bargain’ ultimately fell apart. Twice. The collapse of that deal taught them two things: Boehner doesn’t have the internal support in his caucus to strike a grand bargain with them, and the American people don’t give points for effort.Ezra Klein • Breaking down the President’s new debt reduction deal, which he views as an admission by the Obama administration that their bargain-first instincts have been misguided. Not to say that such a strategy is suddenly unpleasant to Obama — his willingness to field GOP ideas has been a staple of his presidency to date. However, Klein’s example of the debt-ceiling “grand bargain” that wasn’t is quite apt; polling did indeed indicate that voters viewed Obama as the more reasonable negotiator, but that can be cold comfort when considering the presidency, a position that demands the highest level of leadership. As a result, Obama’s new deficit plan is less conciliatory, as he didn’t propose raising Medicare’s eligibility age, and has said he’ll veto any bill that cuts Medicare benefits while preserving the status-quo for America’s richest citizens. source (via • follow)
Whatever the explanation, there appears to be more life in the Obama brand than the pundits might think, and than the Republicans might hope.Policy superdude Ezra Klein • Reacting to a recent poll which suggests that Obama has stronger post-midterm stock than his two predecessors. While people trusted the other party to solve problems more than the president after the unsuccessful midterms for both Clinton (in 1994) and Bush (in 2006), Obama still has a little bit of an advantage over the GOP this time around. “There’s been a lot of criticism of Obama’s communication skills lately,” Klein notes, “but if you look at the polls, he’s doing a far better job than his predecessors did preserving his brand within an unfriendly political environment.” source (via • follow)
A procedural failsafe that’s theoretically meant to protect the rights of minorities was just used to restrict the rights of minorities.Ezra Klein • Regarding Democrats’ failure to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell today in the Senate. Klein is, of course, referring to the filibuster, which allows 41/100 Senators to block any legislation from passing. Note: According to Klein, this quote (or the spirit of it) originated from his ace intern, Dylan Matthews. source (via • follow)
This is not the government making a major new commitment to the recovery. It’s the government not getting in the way, and maybe doing a bit to help, the horribly slow recovery that’s happening anyway.Policy wonk Ezra Klein • Regarding the tax cut deal struck today by The White House and the GOP. Klein likes the thirteen-month extension of unemployment benefits; on the bad side, he cites the effect the deal will have on the deficit. “It’s a lot better than I would’ve told you the White House was going to get if you’d asked me a week ago,” he admits, but still not quite enough to substantially stimulate the economy. source (via • follow)