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https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/258407659454222337

Just because someone spent a couple of years on capitol hill, just because they have a substantial following on Twitter, and just because they have a writing gig on TV, it does not follow that they know more than the rest of us.

It's October. We are now beyond fundraising, beyond Versailles, beyond pundits. We are now 20 days out from the election. Absentee and early voting has already begun. At this point it really is about the voters. At this point they really are talking to us, hoping to persuade us. Whether we will be permitted to vote, and whether that vote will be counted the way we cast it, or even counted at all is a separate matter. The fact is, at this point, they really are worried about the voters.

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mtngun's picture
Submitted by mtngun on

Pols are set for life -- providing they look after the 1%.

If a corporate pol loses his election, he'll cash in as a lobbyist, serving on a board of directors, writing a book, speaking tours, etc..

Sorry, I can't get this link to display properly for some reason.

www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/its-not-...

Submitted by lambert on

1. I agree with Stoller on the big picture. He's argued very successfully IMNSHO that incentives for members of the political class are not aligned with electoral success (indeed, one my regard elective office as a sort of unpaid internship before the real money).

2. IFF we assume that the major candidates want to "win" the election -- even if, see #1, this is not their primary concern -- now is indeed the time when they would care about voters. This short tiny window of opportunity after "the last fundraiser" and before election day.

Stoller as a Capitol Hill denizen is well equipped to make that argument. DCB being familiar with the ground game is well equipped to make her argument.

Now, the system may be so decayed that even #2 is not true -- that is, politicians don't even get ego satisfaction from "winning" elections. If so, DCB would be wrong. I think finding that out, since it requires psychological insight into persons, is not easy from the outside.

So my assumption is that in the main politicians are not responsive to the electorate at all. But there are brief windows of time where they are -- with the "responsiveness" carefully calibrated to the discourse permitted by the Overton Window.

I realize this is verging on TOE territory....

Submitted by Lex on

Wasn't it Uncle Joe Stalin who quipped about what really matters in an election?

The US has gotten real close to going around the bend with stealing elections as a matter of course, and there's a solid argument that redistricting has made stealing most of them unnecessary.

If the presidential candidates are actually worried about voters, they're worried about a handful of voters in a handful of states. Moreover, what they're worried about is getting the votes. As we've seen, that which a politician promises to get votes is null and void by the Wednesday after election day.

So while the candidates may be talking to the voters right now, they're doing so carefully, so that the money doesn't misinterpret those statements as fact.