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January 04, 2008



Fundamental attribution theory. You are not doing well in life you have to blame some external force. The repugs provide a better narrative than the dems at the moment. It is interesting to consider how class warfare was a good left wing narrative but lost traction after the fall of communism.


George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon were more competent than George Bush Jr. and Jimmy Carter. Competency belongs more to individuals than to parties.

The case of Richard Nixon illustrates most clearly that technical competence is not enough -- principles are required. Perhaps the goal of avoiding another Nixon is why the Republicans have attached themselves to the character issue.

It isn't reasonable to expect average voters to understand the Federal Reserve the way Professor Brad deLong does, or the military the way General General David Petraeus does. So they emphasize character and party affiliation and other semi-mystical (or subconscious) signifiers of quality. They're as rational as they're able to be. So are you and I.

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