Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FHQ Reading Room (9/23/09)

Is it too early to be talking about 2010 congressional predictions?

Tom Holbrook says yes (based on the data).

...and Charlie Cook responds that they aren't predictions; they're warnings.

FHQ's take: I love arguments based on semantics. Seriously though, who doesn't take what Cook is writing as a prediction? The bigger question is whether those reading it take them literally or of their own volition add the caveat that conditions may change between now and November 2010.

Is race an underlying factor in the opposition to Obama's health care reform agenda?

There has been an interesting (political science-based) discussion of this stemming from Jimmy Carter's recent comments.

John Sides weighs in here. And Seth Masket here and here. All are well worth reading.

FHQ's take: As spurious relationships go, this one is the spurious-est. Just because there is a high correlation between ice cream sales and swimming pool drownings doesn't mean that one is driving the other. Both are driven by rising prices. Obama was correct in saying that race wasn't the "overriding" factor and Bill Clinton (as Seth points out) said it even better by mentioning that those opposing Obama would oppose him if he was a white Democrat too.

Who tweets more? Congressional Democrats or Republicans?

Apparently it's Republicans. Additionally, here's a great site that aggregates the tweets of all members of Congress.

FHQ's take: Bookmark Tweet Congress.

What are you waiting for?

Bookmark it now. Go on.

The Dos and Don'ts of Vice Presidential Selection: A Guide for Presidential Nominees

John Edwards' continuing story got Andrew Gelman thinking which, in turn, got Jonathan Bernstein thinking.

FHQ's take: The result is a pretty good guide to VP selection. There has been a certain amount of chatter out there in terms of Republicans selecting the "none of the above option" in terms of those prospective candidates being polled with 2012 in mind. Makes you wonder if Huckabee or Romney would be potential running mates for someone like Palin or Pawlenty (I mean, if the Republican primary voters opt to go in a different direction in 2012 and both Romney and Huckabee still have political careers after all is said and done.).

Recent Posts:
State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (9/22/09)

Arizona in 2012? Still Red.

Expectations and the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination


Robert said...

Charlie Cook usually produces respected political analysis, but he seems to be very anti-Democrat ever since the Obama election. Either he is on to something or he has developed an anti-Democrat bias. As I stated in my previous comment, I think that it is way too early to make predictions for 2010. The Republicans have gained much on the anti-health care, rough economic times and unemployment. If their claims are validated by the conditions in summer 2010, they will make large gains. If they are wrong, the Democrats may even pick up seats. It is too early.

On the racial thing, David Brooks agrees with you:
I see a great deal of racism, more than I have seen since the 60s. It may be true as Bill Clinton said that "While it is true that some of the most extreme opponents of President Obama may also still have racial prejudice, I believe that 100% of those who are opposing him now would be against him if he were a white Democrat." Carter may have exaggerated, but I still think that there is a strong
racial element in all of this. The town hall meetings are reminiscent of the anti-war protests in the 60s. I deplored the tactics then and deplore them now. I am also reminded of the Sore Loserman signs in Florida in November and December of 2000. There are many more sore loserman racists out there than sore loserman Democrats in 2000.

Robert said...

Apparently nobody wants to respond to my rants. Morning Edition on NPR had two stories that I found relevant to this discussion I am having with myself. Today they talked about race and health care

and yesterday about Bob Inglis

If anyone is reading this or cares, I propose a diagnostic test to see if there is a racial response based on the three recent confrontations:

Wilson confronts Obama
Serena confronts the line judge
Conyae confronts Taylor Swift

All have a racial element.

Sympathies with:

Wilson, Serena and Conyae (confrontational)

Obama, the line judge and Swift (civility)

Wilson, the line judge and Swift (racial)

Obama, Serena and Conyae (racial)

Inglis, Clijsters and Beyonce' (post-racial)

Other combinations or lack of sympathy (inconclusive)

Josh Putnam said...

Alright, Rob. I won't make you talk amongst yourself...

Where is everybody?

Rants? What rants? You had far better during the campaign last year. Is race out there as an issue? Yes. Is it the motivating factor in this instance? No, but there is a convenient overlap of factors here.

Here is that Brooks piece.

Here is the NPR story.

And here is the Inglis one.

Your test is an interesting one. In all three is a nice little case study that neatly encapsulates some of what has been taking place in this debate. Are there racial elements there? Yes, and they'd very likely elicit racial/racist responses.

Here is a post that Andrew Gelman did (that precedes the other two) on one study that was done recently. The results are worth looking at. Interesting.

Robert said...

Thanks I feel better.