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3

Party Foul

The miserable Democrats

5
terms
1
notes

, n. (2017). Party Foul. n+1, 28, pp. 3-10

(noun) a literary term coined by Alexander Pope to describe to describe amusingly failed attempts at sublimity (an effect of anticlimax created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous); adj is "bathetic"

3

Yes, a majority of Democratic senators voted to invade Iraq, later indulging in bathetic recantations as they transferred their animus to Russia

ugh i love it

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, a majority of Democratic senators voted to invade Iraq, later indulging in bathetic recantations as they transferred their animus to Russia

ugh i love it

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

(noun) a complete or impressive collection of things; (historically) a complete set of arms or suit of armor

3

They’re the closest thing we have to a party. Yes, they represent a panoply of powerful business interests who write the bills.

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

They’re the closest thing we have to a party. Yes, they represent a panoply of powerful business interests who write the bills.

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

the partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object

3

Four thousand new analyses appear at once, trailing a penumbra of several million tweets

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

Four thousand new analyses appear at once, trailing a penumbra of several million tweets

—p.3 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago
4

The “investment theory of party competition,” advanced by political scientist Thomas Ferguson, holds that investors exert influence through monetary contributions but also through organizations [...]

[...] The strength of the New Deal, he argues, came from the alliance between labor and the bloc of “capital-intensive industries, investment banks, and internationally oriented commercial banks” that had emerged in the early 20th century. Because these businesses were less labor-intensive than their predecessors, and their profit margins thus less affected by rises in wages, they could “afford” to have a coalition with organized labor as long as they could still advance their goals on trade. This isn’t to say that labor didn’t have a role to play — but wealthy investors played an equal if not bigger role, helping convert FDR and the Democrats to internationalism and free trade. What made the New Deal coalition viable for a time was the uneasy harmony of this bloc.

Ferguson also explains how this bloc dissolved. Conventional arguments tend to point to the failure of organized labor to incorporate “new social movements” into its ranks, or to argue that those social movements were responsible for pushing the party toward “identity politics,” leaving economic justice by the wayside. Centrist Democrats’ preferred explanation for the realignment of the party holds that Americans simply became more conservative during the Carter years, as the working classes fractured over issues like busing and welfare. But this doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. According to polling data, from the time and since, most Americans haven’t moved right at all: for the most part, they supported (and still support) the types of programs advanced by the New Deal.

Investors, however, did not. By the early 1970s, military spending on the Vietnam War had strained the budget, leading to inflation, while growing competition from other strong economies, like Germany and Japan, was putting pressure on American manufacturing. The American economic picture was already profoundly uncertain before the decade’s oil crises struck. The 1973–75 recession — at the time, the worst since the Depression — prompted business leaders to temper wage increases (which meant attacking organized labor) and oppose any tax increases to pay for existing social programs (which would mean reduced spending power for already cash-strapped consumers). The Republican Party was historically the party of balanced budgets, and it was divided on issues of trade. With the rise of Ronald Reagan, however, the party gradually moved toward the magical solution of low taxes and drastically expanded military spending, combined with greater internationalism on trade — this latter move helping to siphon off the free trade bloc that had backed the New Deal. The 1980 Reagan campaign, Ferguson and Rogers write, thus “opened the way for virtually all of American business to mass behind its candidate.”

The Democrats panicked, and left their constituents behind. Over the next decade, they would decide again and again that the only response to the business friendliness of Reaganism was more business friendliness. [...]

—p.4 by n+1 2 years, 8 months ago

The “investment theory of party competition,” advanced by political scientist Thomas Ferguson, holds that investors exert influence through monetary contributions but also through organizations [...]

[...] The strength of the New Deal, he argues, came from the alliance between labor and the bloc of “capital-intensive industries, investment banks, and internationally oriented commercial banks” that had emerged in the early 20th century. Because these businesses were less labor-intensive than their predecessors, and their profit margins thus less affected by rises in wages, they could “afford” to have a coalition with organized labor as long as they could still advance their goals on trade. This isn’t to say that labor didn’t have a role to play — but wealthy investors played an equal if not bigger role, helping convert FDR and the Democrats to internationalism and free trade. What made the New Deal coalition viable for a time was the uneasy harmony of this bloc.

Ferguson also explains how this bloc dissolved. Conventional arguments tend to point to the failure of organized labor to incorporate “new social movements” into its ranks, or to argue that those social movements were responsible for pushing the party toward “identity politics,” leaving economic justice by the wayside. Centrist Democrats’ preferred explanation for the realignment of the party holds that Americans simply became more conservative during the Carter years, as the working classes fractured over issues like busing and welfare. But this doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. According to polling data, from the time and since, most Americans haven’t moved right at all: for the most part, they supported (and still support) the types of programs advanced by the New Deal.

Investors, however, did not. By the early 1970s, military spending on the Vietnam War had strained the budget, leading to inflation, while growing competition from other strong economies, like Germany and Japan, was putting pressure on American manufacturing. The American economic picture was already profoundly uncertain before the decade’s oil crises struck. The 1973–75 recession — at the time, the worst since the Depression — prompted business leaders to temper wage increases (which meant attacking organized labor) and oppose any tax increases to pay for existing social programs (which would mean reduced spending power for already cash-strapped consumers). The Republican Party was historically the party of balanced budgets, and it was divided on issues of trade. With the rise of Ronald Reagan, however, the party gradually moved toward the magical solution of low taxes and drastically expanded military spending, combined with greater internationalism on trade — this latter move helping to siphon off the free trade bloc that had backed the New Deal. The 1980 Reagan campaign, Ferguson and Rogers write, thus “opened the way for virtually all of American business to mass behind its candidate.”

The Democrats panicked, and left their constituents behind. Over the next decade, they would decide again and again that the only response to the business friendliness of Reaganism was more business friendliness. [...]

—p.4 by n+1 2 years, 8 months ago

(noun) a rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order, in the same or a modified form; e.g. ‘Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.’.

4

Yes, they seem to have a teeth-grinding fondness for the rhetorical figure of chiasmus (“We can build on the strength of our diversity, and the diversity of our strengths”).

—p.4 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

Yes, they seem to have a teeth-grinding fondness for the rhetorical figure of chiasmus (“We can build on the strength of our diversity, and the diversity of our strengths”).

—p.4 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

(adjective) complacently or inanely foolish; silly

7

TRUMP’S CLAIMS to independence based on his private stash of billions were, of course, fatuous

—p.7 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago

TRUMP’S CLAIMS to independence based on his private stash of billions were, of course, fatuous

—p.7 by n+1
notable
2 years, 8 months ago