Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, October 17, 2013 8:39 pm

The center cannot hold because there isn’t one

A poll conducted by Esquire magazine and NBC purports to identify and take the measure of what it calls “The New American Center” among American voters.

I am not a polling expert, but I have enough polling experience and experience in both quantitative and qualitative research to grasp that this conceit is crap. (Thus no link.)

Americans are more culturally divided than they have been since the eve of the Civil War, and there’s a wealth of more rigorous polling at to substantiate that claim. Moreover, rigorous polling on policy ideas that simply presents the ideas in context without labeling them as conservative or liberal, Republican or Democratic, shows that Americans actually prefer liberal policies in general, not moderate or conservative ones. They want to soak hell out of the rich, just for starters.

Since this garbage first appeared on Esquire’s politics blog, I’ve been awaiting the input of that blog’s primary writer, Charlie Pierce. I hoped that he wouldn’t be muzzled on this subject. And it seems, to my delight, either that he hasn’t been or that he doesn’t care:

There are three kinds of people who claim to be centrists in this country today. There are embarrassed Republicans. There are lazy people. And there are liars. There is no fourth alternative. We have seen vividly the intellectual exhaustion of self-proclaimed centrists in the laughable attempts to blame both sides for the reign of the morons. We have seen vividly the intellectual dishonesty of self-proclaimed centrists demonstrated by the No Labels and Fix The Debt scams, both of which involve little more than selling out the social safety-net. We even seen the intellectual vacuity of self-proclaimed centrists in the results of this poll, in which we see some vague mumbling about the deficit that will eat us in our beds, but a strong desire to raise taxes on the very wealthiest among us, which I guarantee you none of the people who proclaim their centrism the loudest believes is a centrist position.

So to the list of yellow lines and dead armadillos that you can find in the middle of the road, you may add embarrassed Republicans, lazy people and liars. That’s it, although I might soften Charlie’s position a bit and rephrase “lazy” as “low-information” people in some cases, because it takes time and effort to get informed. Some people don’t bother, and “lazy” fits them. But plenty of others are working multiple jobs, raising kids and just trying to get by and can’t get informed. Them, I don’t blame so much.

But I sure as hell blame the mainstream media that too often are their only sources of information. And while Esquire’s political reporting generally has been far better than this, NBC, perhaps with the exception of Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, has been as egregious an offender as exists out there. I’m sure David Gregory considers himself a centrist. He’s not. He’s a conservative moron.

Read more: Response To New American Center – I Hate Centrism – Esquire
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  1. I would also add the high DQ population. DQ standing for dupable quotient, and yest I know it is not a word, I just made it up for effect. The High DQ population may not be lazy, they may not be “low-information” people, but they may just be easily persuaded through lies and scare tactics such as the easily hypnotized. Just a note; DQ is the negative relationship to the IQ in most cases as an aggregate measure or anecdotal measure and is not a direct inverse correlation for any individual. It is also a great predictor that a low IQ will predict a High DQ and is scientifically significant to disprove the null hypothesis.

    Comment by thehvacguy — Friday, October 18, 2013 2:01 am @ 2:01 am

  2. David Gregory is a left wing, Obama luving, suck up hack. Rachel Maddow is a Matrxist-Socialist with ratings lower than whale dung..

    Youtr steady stream of Charlie Pierce has made resurrect this gem:

    In a profile of Ted Kennedy , Pierce wrote ” “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age”. Gag-Barf.

    It seems that all your heros drive on the English side of the road..

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, October 18, 2013 7:51 pm @ 7:51 pm

  3. If you think David Gregory is a “left wing, Obama luving, suck up hack,” I want some of whatever it is you’re drinking. Gregory is an absorber and generator of DC conventional wisdom, which is that the only people worth talking to are “serious people,” which generally means GOP or GOP-leaning, regardless of how wrong they’ve been in the past. He makes a habit of hippy-punching, no matter how right the DFHs were in the past.

    Rush gets higher ratings than Maddow, but Maddow begins from a basis of facts. Ratings don’t make right — never have, never will. And inasmuch as I have never heard her advocate for government owning the means of production, I’m not sure where the Marxist-Socialist part comes from.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, October 18, 2013 9:34 pm @ 9:34 pm

  4. Your steady stream of Charlie Pierce has made me resurrect this gem:

    In a profile of Ted Kennedy , Pierce wrote ” “If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age”. Gag-Barf

    REAL TOUCHING !!! Huh ?

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, October 21, 2013 12:53 pm @ 12:53 pm

  5. Every columnist posts a clunker once in a while. Pierce is spot-on far more frequently than Brooks, Douthat, NRO, Clown Hall or the Ratfckers Inhabiting the Corpse of Breitbart.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, October 21, 2013 3:23 pm @ 3:23 pm

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