Thursday, November 13, 2008

2012 and the Republican Party Blind Spot

Henry of The Monkey Cage.

Even if party politicians are (as Bawn et al. argue they are) uncertain of exactly where the edges of the blind spot lie, one can make some predictions about their behavior. First, “Politicians will systematically give more weight to the risks of extremism, i.e., the risks of straying outside the blind spot, thereby guaranteeing electoral defeat.” Second, party politicians will ‘obfuscate’ (by hiding the details of deal making) and ‘bamboozle’ (by sequencing votes in ways that allow them to appear to support measures they oppose and vice-versa) so as to expand the effective limits of the electorate’s blind spot. Third, parties will occasionally test the limits of voter tolerance by proposing ‘extreme’ candidates to see whether they can win despite the party’s expectation (which would suggest that the blind spot is bigger than they previously believed). Fourth, when this doesn’t work, they will be likely to choose a more moderate candidate the next time around to increase their chances of winning.
My bet is this is the opposite of what happens. Not that I mind.

The article is also interesting in a less partisan take, arguing that parties are the new "populists" of political movements, and special interest groups will have the say. (Back to a partisan take: what does this say about the future of the GOP if they hang on to the evangelical religious right?). Check it out.

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