Monday, October 08, 2007

Realignment and Bush I

There are lots of smart people out there, with lots to say, and sometimes it’s just useful to link together quotes of various things I’ve been reading to limn a train of thoughts. So, I’ll just sit back on this one and let the pros talk, and maybe add a few thoughts at the end (of course):
“Mark Crispin Miller, the author of “The Bush Dyslexicon,” once made a striking observation: all of the famous Bush malapropisms — “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” and so on — have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate.
By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Mr. Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared “zero tolerance of people breaking the law,” even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water they weren’t getting from his administration.” Krugman’s most recent.

From Wikipedia:

"A wealthy industrialist, Hanna [...] believed that government existed primarily to help business. He once told the Ohio attorney general, who sued to dissolve Standard Oil, to drop the suit. 'Come on,' Hanna pronounced, 'you've been in politics long enough to know that no man in public life owes the public anything." Linking Rings: William W. Durbin and the Magic and Mystery of America, James D. Robenalt, Kent State University Press, Ohio, pp. 11-12

Fifty years ago, political scientists developed what is known as realignment theory – the idea that a handful of elections in the nation’s history mattered more than the others because they created “sharp and durable changes in the polity that lasted for decades….” – Joshua Green, The Atlantic, September 2007

Green goes on to sight the elections in: 1800 (Jefferson); 1828 (Jackson); 1860 (Lincoln); 1896 (McKinley); and 1932 (Roosevelt) as consensus choices by historians.