Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just once...

Just once I'd like to see a little less hubris and a little more introspection from people who assume voters are irrational. Maybe that's not the best way to put it, but I'm not sure of a better way. It's not the voter irrationality thing I have a problem with. We all have behavioral tics, people are uninformed and the informed can be unreflective. I'm not denying that.

What I take issue with is when every piece of news - good or bad - confirms your position and never shakes it. Maybe, Judge Napolitano, you have no clue what you're talking about when it comes to the administration's economic policy. Have you considered the possibility that you're wrong and the voters' evaluation of policy and counterfactuals is more sophisticated than "gee the unemployment rate is still high". Where is the sense that you could be wrong?

Oh and by the way, this [UPDATE: i.e. - most policy-relevant discussions of the economy by libertarians] is one of those areas where I honestly have a hard time telling the difference between Republicans and libertarians. Libertarians often seem to think it's Democrats and Republicans that are no different from each other. They often seem completely oblivious as to why so many people see conservatives and libertarians as one and the same. If you put Rush Limbaugh's name at the top of this Napolitano piece, I would have a hard time telling the difference. [UPDATE: see discussion below. This is really wrong of me to say. There's plenty in the Napolitano article Limbaugh wouldnt' claim. Over the last month libertarians have sincerely sounded more like the GOP than they have in the past, but it's certainly not a universal rule]. Libertarian obliviousness to this is not going to help you guys out. It's not random that people associate you with Republicans. This does not happen in a vaccuum.

I think is coming off my feed. That's not just a libertarian gripe. Firedoglake is coming down today too. I used to have them there because they bring interesting tidbits of news you don't get anywhere else, but lately they've just been clogging my feed up with a lot of crap. Maybe that's just the election cycle, but since the partisan bickering isn't going to end in the near future I doubt that kind of blogging will either.


  1. Daniel, when I read your outrageous boast that the Judge's article could have been written by Rush Limbaugh, I thought to myself, "It will take me 5 seconds to find a statement Rush would never have written." And I did:

    "Only in America can a president who kills Americans overseas who have never been charged or convicted of a crime get re-elected. "

    Really Daniel, some of us actually care about civil liberties, and don't like the US government killing foreigners in our name. That's not a smokescreen because "really" we just want lower taxes.

    It is hilarious that you are lecturing us on why we are indistinguishable from Republicans, when a sentence like the above didn't jar you as something no Republican except Ron Paul would say.

    1. No - you are exactly right. That's my bad. I started that third paragraph specifically referencing the Judge, and then decided to generalize it because of things he wrote further down in the article. And it looks like I slipped back into it pretty quickly.

      Changing it now in a second.

      I really do find a lot of the stuff more partisan and politics oriented than interesting. And I really do think the Judge's case against Obama is a bad one (and the beginning especially lacking in introspection). But that third paragraph should not be citing him in particular.

      Again - apologies.

    2. Well I appreciate that. Also, fwiw, that was actually one of the few sentences in his piece that was indeed not Rush-friendly. I had guessed there would be more.

      I am not criticizing the Judge, just saying that actually, this was a piece by him that was pretty Limbaugh-friendly, compared to the universe of Judge articles.

  2. My take on Reason is different. They are completely obsessed with politics-as-self-image. Most are culturally left but pro-drugs and too hip to be democrats. Some are pro-market. Napolitano is a bit of an outlier.


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