Compulsive Centrist Disorder

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Compulsive Centrist Disorder

The New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler waxes philosophical over the divide in education policy, using the recent dismissal of NYC Chancellor of Schools Cathleen Black, to offer up Compulsive Centrist Disorder-inspired banalities about education: As is often the case with morally charged policy issues — remember welfare reform? — false dichotomies seem to have replaced…

The NY Times’ Matt Bai writes a predictable article about the Gifford shooting: Within minutes of the first reports Saturday that Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and a score of people with her had been shot in Tucson, pages began disappearing from the Web. One was Sarah Palin’s infamous “cross hairs” map from last…

So maybe NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t a centrist? ‘Centrists’, who seem to be beloved by the Washington political press corpse and few others, typically style themselves to be common-sense people who just solve problems–consider them the up-scale version of the “jus’ folks” flapdoodle purveyed by America’s Party. Well, Mayor and presidential aspirant Bloomberg didn’t…

Obama Is a Centrist Ideologue

Someone tell me how Ian Welsh’s assessment of Obama is incorrect (italics mine): Nor is he a Nixonian or Eisenhower Republican, that would put him massively to the left of where he is and to the left of the majority of the Democratic party. Instead his a Reaganite, something he told people repeatedly…. That isn’t…

Lessons from How Rome Fell

A while ago, I finished reading Adrian Goldsworthy’s How Rome Fell. While there are far too many inane comparisons between the Late Roman Empire and the U.S., this summary of Goldsworthy’s thesis seems appropriate (italics mine): That is not to say that the latter emperors were more selfish, but simply that they could never be…

Because that’s what it seems they’re claiming. I’ll get to that in a bit. Rolling Stone invited Matt Taibbi, David Gergen, and Gary Hart to discuss political events of the day. The subject of the Tea Party came up, at which point Taibbi said: To me, the main thing about the Tea Party is that…

What I find most disturbing about the Simpson-Bowles report, among many disturbing things, including a number fetish, is that our political discourse, which is usually mostly irrelevant, has become even more so. Why? Because we’re focusing on the wrong deficit. While this deficit proposal is obviously an attempt to shift the debate rightward by proposing…

A while ago, in discussing deficit ‘hawk’ conservative Democrat Kent Conrad, I wrote this about so-called moderation: Stupidly, Democrats have never pushed back against the idea that a hard-line deficit reduction hawk is a ‘moderate’, which I think might be what leads an astute political observer like Steve Benen to describe Senator (D-ND) Kent Conrad…

David Brooks Gets Obama Wrong

Quelle surprise. David Brook’s recent burbling, “Getting Obama Right“, seems to have garnered a lot of attention, to the point where several people sent it to me (approvingly, which is puzzling). Basically, Brooks makes the argument that Obama is “a center-left pragmatic reformer.” As John Aravosis notes, if that’s the case, then, given his shift…

…make sure you know what the hell you’re talking about. Jacob Weisberg had a recent post at Slate, “Down With the People: Blame the childish, ignorant American public–not politicians–for our political and economic crisis“, which argues, well, what the title says. Now, we do have a longstanding tradition of calling idiots fucking morons in this…