Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

INSIDE BASEBALL

I shall continue with my musings about the Humanities and higher education a bit later today, but every so often I like to reflect on the passing political scene. In general, I operate on the premise that people who do something for a living tend to think about it and to behave with regard to it in a recognizably rational fashion. The evidence does not always confirm this assumption, but it does seems to me sensible to suppose, for example, that if I am in the shop of an antique dealer looking for bargains, the shop owner probably is more likely than I am to spot a real bargain lurking among the tschatschkes and reprice it accordingly.

My faith in the rationality of professionals has been tried in recent times by the Republicans. Professional Republican politicians are in the business of winning elections, or so I have always thought. And save when you have a Supreme Court in your pocket, winning elections requires getting more votes than your opponents. So let us see. The Republicans have long since conceded the Black vote, which goes nine to one for the Democrats, even though the Black community tends to be conservative on social issues. The Republicans have done everything in their power to alienate the Hispanic vote, which is the most rapidly expanding demographic segment of the American electorate. They have done nothing at all to win the Asian-American vote, although one would have thought they might have a shot at making some headway there. They have as much as told the LGBT vote to take a hike, and now Peter King has opened Congressional hearings designed to convince the three million American Muslims that they cannot find a home in the GOP fold. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, Republican governors have launched a frontal assault on the union vote, always more likely to vote for the Democrats but not yet so overwhelmingly as the Black vote. And now, having more or less run out of people to alienate, they have decided, in Wisconsin, Florida, and elsewhere, to take on the perennially most popular employment category -- teachers.

Will someone explain to me the deep, subtle, as yet unrevealed rationale for this strategy?

3 comments:

john c. halasz said...

Ignoring the Dixiecrat South, the Republican party was traditionally the nativist, Protestant, "heartland" party, whereas the Democratic party was aligned with the big city machines and the immigrant working-class. That more than any strict ideological boundary was the difference between twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum. And now that the Republicans have taken over the Dixiecrat South...

English Jerk said...

Isn't it possible that the Republican Party doesn't have a plan? It seems easy to explain all of these phenomena in terms of the psychologies of relatively short-sighted and foolish individuals pursuing what they think is their immediate self-interest. The governor of Wisconsin, for example, is just pursuing a privatization plan which is surely motivated by his own business interests and the interests of businesses he owes something to. His aim probably isn't to win an election for its own sake; he probably thinks (rightly) that making money for yourself and your segment of the elite is how you win an election, and the reason to win an election is to make money for yourself and your segment of the elite. Ordinary people are, at best, instrumental to the higher purposes of depraved avarice.

Murfmensch said...

It looks like this is not typical PR-based strategy. The Koch brothers have launched a new ideological campaign.

Conservative intellectuals have mostly left the Tea Party alone. The fact that the Koch brothers are the chief funders of many think tanks might have something to do with this.