Aug
15
2013

Quote of the Day, @SeanTrende’s Bucking The Conventional Wisdom Again edition.

I guarantee that people are going to push back on this observation by Sean Trende:

…there’s something to be said for makeover efforts, at least as they relate to the occasional election where the parties really are evenly matched. What we need to avoid is what has become a biennial explosion of frantic analyses examining how the losing party needs to fundamentally remake itself or face extinction. If the Democrats can win a supermajority in the House less than a decade after the Civil War ended, or Republicans can win the popular vote in the House a decade after the Great Depression bottomed out, then neither party is going extinct any time soon.

It has been my experience that many political partisans – and note that I am a political partisan* – tend to assume that things do not regress to the mean over the long term.  If their faction is doing well, it will do so throughout eternity (it won’t) and their opponents will never regroup (they will), if only certain policy positions are followed scrupulously (except that nobody agrees on what positions must be followed).  If their faction is doing badly, it is the End Of All Things (it’s not) because the party faithful will stay away from the polls (they won’t) unless certain policy positions are followed scrupulously (except that nobody agrees on what positions must be followed).  Oh, and voters are either stupid, or they’ve finally come to their senses.

I don’t really want to lecture on this; well, that’s a lie.  But I don’t want to do a long lecture on this: I just figure that people should know that I take the position that a variant of every sort of apocalyptic/triumphalist rhetoric that we’ve heard lately has been uttered in every single election in American history after Washington’s.  And I’m not certain that people weren’t muttering that the Republic was doomed, even then.

Moe Lane

*Partisan hack, to be precise.

6 Comments

  • acat says:

    Picture. Thousand words. Munroe.
    .
    http://www.xkcd.com/1127/
    .
    Mew

  • Darin_H says:

    So the lesson is… push the advantage when you have it, because you don’t know when (not if) you are going to lose it. Aka the Obamacare Passage rule. If we had used this, we would have privatized SS in 2005 and lost the Senate/House anyways in 2006? I guarantee the Democrats don’t regret losing the House in passing Obamacare. Getting stuff passed when you can is much more enviable then playing for some ethereal “permanent” majority.

    • acat says:

      Political capital has an expiration date.
      .
      Yes, if Bush was serious about leaving a *domestic* agenda, he should have moved on SS in 2005.
      .
      IIRC, there were plenty of GOP imbeciles who didn’t want to touch “the third rail” ..
      .
      Mew

  • Luke says:

    Then I eagerly await the time a majority of the populace wants to return to a limited federal government that holds 8 specific supreme powers, another 20-some concurrently with the states, and absolutely nothing else.
    Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.
    .
    The cockroaches that are the political parties will survive.
    Pardon me if that doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    • earlgrey says:

      Well that case has to be made to the public, and no one has been doing it. Unfortunately it is up to Joe Six-pack to do that. The RNC and DNC will always seek more power. It is up to us to say no, and since our schools don’t teach limited government we have to find another way.

      Check out: http://www.tncsg.org/

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