All the kvetching about the Presidency is one thing, but until we strip mine the professional grifters out of Congress, ain’t nothin’ gonna change, bro. In The Business Of Giving You The Business
In the modern era, it doesn’t make sense for a candidate to trek all over the country in a bus. If I may be blunt, citizens who change their political views after shaking hands with a candidate, or seeing him eat grits in a diner, probably shouldn’t be voting. Scott Adams: What If Government Were More Like an iPod?
What we are now seeing is not a showdown between the vast non-ideological middle-class and some rising Acai-swilling, assortatively-mating bobo aristocracy, but a standoff between rival elites. The tea party is a movement of relatively well-to-do, relatively religious citizens aroused by the conservative identity politics of a handful of elite right-wing opinion-makers who seek to unseat their liberal counterparts. It is a neat trick. Conservative elites pretend to be part of a marginalised cultural force while at the same time orchestrating an electoral bloodbath led by America’s least marginalised people. The fact that this is working so well tells us a lot about who the elites really are and where the power really lies. The tea party’s suspect populism: A war of elites
But the much bigger, long-term danger is economic rather than political. This ideological state of affairs advantages the policy preferences of poorer, less innovative states over wealthier, more innovative, and productive ones. American politics is increasingly disconnected from its economic engine. And this deepening political divide has become perhaps the biggest bottleneck on the road to long-run prosperity. The Conservative States of America
[The Presidency] seems to be a job that requires almost superhuman stamina. But maybe Americans find it hard to balance work and life not only due to changing economic realities and technology, but because our politics and culture are both shaped by the folks for whom the rat race worked best. We pretend otherwise, telling ourselves that what we need is a regular American as president — the kind of person who prefers a beer with the guys or family weekends at the lake to hobnobbing with elites in Davos or Washington, D.C. But folks who actually prefer that life are living it, not running for president — and if they filed the appropriate paperwork, do you know what would happen? We’d totally ignore them in favor of stories on Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and other high achieving political celebrities. I am not just talking about what the press would do. I am talking about the public too. Web traffic and presidential polls don’t lie. What American voters demand are hyper-career driven people who pretend to be normal. Thus politicians like Pawlenty play up their nostalgia for a life that they could have had but rejected. Perhaps if we accept that we’re going to be governed by abnormal people who often put career ahead of family, friends, religion, and/or leisure, we can be more attuned to the actual world view of elected officials, and better compensate for their blind spots. Tim Pawlenty: Working Class Stalwart or Typical Careerist?