Analyzing Growth: Lecture Support for Econ 113 S2018

Must-Read: Very late to the party, these two. Did the party begin with McConnell-Boehner-Ryan's "root and branch opposition to everything proposed by the Negro: he isn't our president—never mind that his health policy is Mitt Romney's, his climate policy is John McCain's, and his foreign policy is George H.W. Bush's"? Did the party start with Newt Gingrich's demonization strategy—that facts should not be allowed to get in the way, ever—and its synergy with Rupert Murdoch's desire to terrify old white people so that their eyeballs would stay glued to the screen and they could be sold overpriced gold funds and fake diabetes cures? Did the party start with the Reagan-Atwater nudge-nudge-wink-wink trip to Philadelphia, MS, where the point was to ostentatiously not mention the places association with civil rights martyrs? Did the party start with the embrace of Richard Nixon's repudiation of Republican special concern with the well-being of African-Americans? Did the party start with Barry Goldwater's belief that states' rights trumped civil rights whenever they came into conflict? Did the party start with Taft's decision that Joe McCarthy was a very useful guy to have around? The argument that Trump marks a sharp break is belied by McConnell-Ryan's wholehearted support for him—and by Gingrich. I would be happier—and would give Rauch and Wittes more of my mindshare—if they would say they are rethinking their past decision to "strenuously avoid... partisanship". They don't: Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes: Wittes and Rauch: Boycott the Republican Party: "If conservatives want to save the GOP from itself, they need to vote mindlessly and mechanically against its nominees...

...A few days after the Democratic electoral sweep this past November... a marketing executive named Toren Beasley, replied that his calculus was simply to refuse to calculate:

It could have been Dr. Seuss or the Berenstain Bears on the ballot and I would have voted for them if they were a Democrat. I might do more analyses in other years. But in this case, no. No one else gets any consideration because what’s going on with the Republicans—I’m talking about Trump and his cast of characters—is stupid, stupid, stupid. I can’t say stupid enough times...

Count us in, Mr. Beasley.... No one could be more surprised that we’re saying this than we are. We have both spent our professional careers strenuously avoiding partisanship... not merely nonpartisans but antipartisans.... This, then, is the article we thought we would never write: a frank statement that a certain form of partisanship is now a moral necessity. The Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy. The problem is not just Donald Trump; it’s the larger political apparatus that made a conscious decision to enable him. In a two-party system, nonpartisanship works only if both parties are consistent democratic actors. If one of them is not predictably so, the space for nonpartisans evaporates. We’re thus driven to believe that the best hope of defending the country from Trump’s Republican enablers, and of saving the Republican Party from itself, is to do as Toren Beasley did: vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes (very preferably the former)...

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