The Political Scene
By Arnold Kling
1. I was on a panel at the American Action Network today. My talk got a lot of laughs. At some point, there may be C-span video, but they might not have covered the panels.* There were a number of center-right Republican politicians there. Some of what they were laughing at were my suggestions to cut pay for state and local government workers and for getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction and the corporate income tax. For their part, they said some things about energy independence and such that made me bite my tongue. My personna on the panel was “cheerful extremist,” which contrasts with the times when my blog posts are more on the “bitter extremist” end of things. In keeping with the cheerful mode, I will say that the audience was very warm and that there are plenty of ways in which my views overlap with those of the center-righters. But if you think of this as my audition to be a policy wonk, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for callbacks.
*If the video does turn up, I would plan to fast-forward through the speech by the Virginia governor. He could have used better focus, in my opinion.
2. Ross Douthat has a really important post on the Republican resurgence. He cites an analysis suggesting that the big political swing in Republicans’ favor the past year has not been in the youth vote (which is typically most volatile) but among senior citizens. Experts are predicting a Republican victory in the House this fall, in which case I will lose the Worst Bet I Ever Made (I’m hoping Bryan will forget, so keep this on the down-low). But if the one-party state gets deferred because seniors are in rebellion over Medicare, I will feel shafted. Republicans winning by becoming Medicare demagogues is even worse than a one-party state.
3. A Canadian pol comes to the U.S. for an operation, and when questioned, offers this priceless response:
It’s my health, it’s my choice.
4. The health care piece that Nick and I wrote got picked up by a real newspaper.