Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Most Dangerous Charts in America

Vote View helpfully tells Liberals what we already know.

In a post entitled "An Update on Political Polarization through the 112th Congress", Vote View published these two very clear

and concise

charts showing the "asymmetric polarization" of our national politics --
We have previously written about asymmetric polarization, arguing that the primary driver of contemporary partisan polarization has been the steady movement of congressional Republicans to the right. This trend appears to have continued through the 112th congress. House Republicans – despite a large majority earned in the 2010 midterm elections – have continued their rightward drift, adding more conservative members than moderate members. Senate Republicans also became a more conservative group in the 112th Congress, while Senate Democrats remained mostly ideologically static. Some of this phenomenon is attributable to the fact that Democrats – particularly northern Democrats – were already holding liberal policy positions in the 1960s. The “Great Society” programs enacted during the 1960s have appeared to represent the leftward edge of what is practically achievable in American public policy (for example, from an ideological standpoint, “Obamacare” is not more liberal than Medicare, enacted in 1965). Congressional Democrats have staked out this position and have mostly maintained it in recent American history. Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, continue to pioneer new ideological territory along on the rightward edge of American public policy. It remains unclear whether and how long this pattern can persist.
-- and which I regard as the two most dangerous charts currently being bruited about in American political geek circles.

I will get to the "why" in a minute, but first (because I lack the proper reticence that, say, a graduate of a Yale course in Humility probably possesses) the longtime reader will forgive me for noting the remarkable similarity between Vote View's fancy pants scientific charts and yours truly's own

seat-of-the-pants efforts from April of last year:

Note the similar inflection point -- the early to mid 1970s -- at which both Vote View's statistics and my own subjective recollections tell me that the Right began really rocketing into Crazytown while the Left began shifting to rear-guard/holding actions or began drifting to the Right.

We each used different data sets -- Vote View used congressional voting records to arrive at its conclusions, while I measured the negligible or regressive ideological distance between the Democratic Party platform at the 1972 apex of High Liberalism and the Democratic Party platform of 2012  and the radical, gargantuan ideological distance between the policy positions of the Republican President in 1972 and the Republican Party today -- but we both reached the same conclusion:  that not only is there no evidence whatsoever to support "Both Sides Do It" fantasy, but that all available evidence points in exactly the opposite direction.

And that is what makes Vote View's charts the most dangerous in America.  

... it is this gargantuan gap between the Actual Left and the Imaginary Left -- between reality and the Big Lie of Centrism -- that terrifies our Beltway Media.  Scares them so bad that none of them will debate or even discuss the matter in a public forum, or within shouting distance of a Beltway camera and microphone.

The Big Lie of Centrism is the Magic Lie.  The Philosopher's Stone of lies which has  transmuted dozens of mediocre hacks into Very Wealthy and Serious Persons, and hundreds of the smaller lies our political media tells every day into the common wisdom of our Imperial Media.

The Big Lie of Centrism is also incredibly fragile, which is why so much effort must be devoted to its constant maintenance and protection.  

The Maginot Line of the Beltway Media can withstand any assault as long the Big Lie of Centrism remains intact.

But once it falls, the world will change. 


Anonymous said...

Truth. I'm glad that other's can see that this emperior has no pants.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Big Lie of Centrism is the Magic Lie.

And who better to tell it (over and over) than The War Criminal Post?

"So far Mr. Obama seems to be assembling a team of Washington insiders who are personally close to him — and thoroughly in sync with his left-of-center views and those of the Democratic Party’s base."

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

To paraphrase you from a few podcasts ago, "Remember that chart from 10 years ago? That was a great, f*cking chart." :)

clem said...

perhaps you should consider taking that yale course in humility. i hear the instructor has much to be humble about, so i assume he must know the subject well.