Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last Call For Going It Alone

Steve M on the hand-wringing in the Village Media about Millennials not trusting institutions:

Under Obama, millennials can't get jobs and can't pay off student loans, and their parents have been struggling financially for years -- but millennials didn't exactly see their elders thrive even during the supposedly better days of the Bush presidency, when the only way a non-rich person could get an extra sliver of the pie was by tapping into what turned out to be hyperinflated home equity. America's military might was more or less useless under Bush, and it's not much use under Obama. Churches, then and now, were overpoliticized and scandal-plagued. D.C. has been reduced to permanent dysfunction by a cabal of nihilists -- we know they're Republicans, though most millennials probably assume, because they're constantly told this, that "both sides do it."

Maybe millennials think institutions suck because institutions suck.

Guy has a point.  Hell, Chris Hayes wrote an entire book about said point.

Ross Douthat however just thinks we're leaving the door open to fascism because, hey, the Internet.

You don’t have to see a fascist or Communist revival on the horizon (I certainly don’t) to see this argument’s potential relevance for our apparently individualistic future. You only have to look at the place where millennials — and indeed, most of us — are clearly seeking new forms of community today.

That place is the online realm, which offers a fascinating variation on Nisbet’s theme. Like modernity writ large, it promises emancipation and offers new forms of community that transcend the particular and local. But it requires a price, in terms of privacy surrendered, that past tyrannies could have only dreamed of exacting from their subjects.

This surrender could prove to be benign. But it’s still noteworthy that today’s vaguely totalitarian arguments don’t usually come from political demagogues. They come from enthusiasts for the online Panopticon, the uploaded world where everyone will be transparent to everyone else.

That kind of future is far from inevitable. But as Nisbet would argue, and as the rising generation of Americans may yet need to learn, it probably cannot be successfully resisted by individualism alone.

To recap, the Glibertarian is worried that without enough religion and/or government regulation in our lives(!), we'll all become victims of digital totalitarianism because when given the freedom to operate away from the failed institutions that bind us, human nature isn't all about the online utopia, but Orwellian control.  It's almost like we need a certain amount of baseline societal norms in order to operate without becoming alpha male dickweeds.  Call them "rules of the road" even.

Mull on that point for a second.

Well If Karl Rove Thinks So...

Good news, Democrats!  Looks like we might be off the hook in November, because Karl Rove sees the GOP taking back the Senate, and Karl Rove hasn't been right about anything in 6 years.

"With 14 seats in play on the Democratic side and a couple of seats in play potentially on the Republican side, I think it's highly likely that Republicans pick up the majority,” he said on "Fox News Sunday."

Rove identified seven potential pickup opportunities for the GOP in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, where Democratic senators are retiring, and in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, where Democratic incumbents face serious challenges. The Republicans need a net gain of six seats to retake the Senate.

He dismissed worries that tea party candidates might cost the GOP winnable races, as in 2012, when Republican Senate hopeful Todd Akin's numbers tanked after he said victims of "legitimate rape" rarely become pregnant.

"I think it's going very well. First of all, it's not about beating the tea party candidate, it's about keeping us from having Todd Akins," Rove said, adding, "So we've got to avoid situations like that, and if you take a look at the Republican candidates ... we have a very good cast of characters that are running."

Fourteen Democratic seats aren't "in play" first of all.  The number is really the seven he listed there, and Republicans would have to effectively run the table.  Remember, in 2012 the Democrats were "doomed to lose the Senate" and ended up gaining seats because of how awful their individual Tea Party candidates were.

The simple fact of the matter is if Democrats show up to the polls, we win.  If we stay home like in 2010, the Republicans will.  Period.  Senate races are 100% about turnout.

The Huckster Never Changes

Headlines like "Huckabee: Abortion is a winning issue for GOP" will never change, folks.  Neither will the GOP.

Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke out against abortion on Wednesday, but he said the issue can help Republicans win elections.

If we teach the generation coming after us that it’s okay to terminate a human life because it represents a financial hardship or social disruption, what are we telling them?” Huckabee said at a gala put on by Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, according to Politico. Huckabee also reportedly suggested that the same justification that is used to terminate a pregnancy could be applied to end-of-life decisions about the elderly.

Liberal abortionists are going to Death Panel(tm) Grandma!  We got 2014 sewn up for sure!

Huckabee – who has hinted that he may run for president in 2016 and who has shown some promise in polls – urged Republicans to focus on abortion during the midterm elections.

“This is not an issue that we should abandon,” he said, according to the Hill, adding that opposing abortion is a way the GOP can “win elections.”

Actually, the only way the GOP wins elections is if Democrats don't show up to the polls.  But the GOP has that covered, too by going after voting laws in 2012 swing states:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) wants a voter ID law in place in his state “before the next election,” even if his state’s supreme court strikes down the specific voter ID law that he signed in 2011. Walker will also be a candidate for reelection in the next election, so he has a personal stake in whether such a law is in place this November. In 2012, numbers guru Nate Silver estimated that a strict voter ID law could “reduce President Obama’s margin against Mitt Romney by a net of 1.2 percentage points.”

Do that in enough swing states, and suddenly they aren't swing states anymore, but red ones.
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