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What Stoller said


The idea that all politicians want to do is get elected, and therefore they are worth despising, is actually untrue. If it were true, then you would find politicians constantly proposing and implementing popular policies, like free universal health care, high taxes on corporations, jail for Wall Street bankers, and higher minimum wages. But they don’t do this. The reason, as I wrote in June of 2011 in Beyond Elections – the Hedging Theory of Political Elites, is that political actors are only interested in winning elections to the extent that strategies for winning don’t jeopardize their place in the political class.

Ding ding ding ding ding!

In a way, the theory -- or, perhaps better, the salesmanship -- of term limits reflects this idea. However, all term limits did was churn elected officials, and now the only institutional memory has been privatized in the lobbyist subclass of the political class.

Note also that "get money out of politics" doesn't work if politics is seen as electoral politics, since elected office is really just a poorly paid internship anyhow, and the real money comes after.

Not sure what to do about this....

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

real regime change, the entire regime, the whole of Versailles needs to be torn down. Don't know how to do this, but it needs to be done.

malagodi's picture
Submitted by malagodi on

I've said as much before :

The reward for [the party] in winning elections is increased cash flow through the contracts of your friends.

The punishment for [the party] in losing elections is not executions or the gulag, it's simply less cash flow through the contracts of your friends.

The only absolute imperative for the political operative is to stay in the game.