5 posts tagged with beltway. (View popular tags)
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Welcome to the new incarnation of the “think tank” world, over which Jim DeMint—its ideal-type avatar—now presides. Instead of letting scholars of various shades of true believership study what interests them without predetermined conclusions, think tanks are now expected to formulate new ways to echo one or another approved ideological dogma—and then marshal lawmakers, none too subtly, to march in lockstep behind it. ... In other words, to consider DeMint’s legacy simply because he’s exiting the Senate after eight years is silly, when he’s just beginning to craft it, finally, from a position of actual power.[more inside]
With its emphasis on the empirical, conspiracism is uncomfortably similar to the technocratic mindset of mainstream political discourse. Technocratic pundits — typified by the likes of Ezra Klein, a journalist and blogger who runs the Washington Post's Wonkblog — are likewise driven almost exclusively by data sets and empirical studies. As Bhaskar Sunkara suggested in this piece for In These Times, such pundits operate under the assumption that the facts are so powerful that they might lead people of all ideologies to embrace a particular array of ideology-free policies.[more inside]
The original point of the sequester was that it would be terrible and “inflexible,” which would force Congress to choose a less terrible path, but obviously trusting Congress to not pick the most terrible of all available options was something of a gamble. So yes, sure, “flexibility,” but also maybe just “let’s not do this.” Unfortunately, “let’s just not do this” never comes up as an option on any of the shows, which all presented the argument as, on one side, “flexibility,” and on the other side, “a balanced approach,” which means a shitload of unnecessary cuts plus a bit more tax revenue, which sound nice but is still pointless contractionary policy.Alex Pareene watched the sunday morning shows so you don't have to.