Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Playing the party game

Dave Berri over at the Freakonomics blog has a great post about approval of political actions as a form of party tribalism.

The national debt seems to always trouble the party that isn’t in the White House. When Bush was President (pick your Bush), Democrats were very troubled by the rising national debt. Republicans, though, were relatively quiet. Now that Obama is President, Republicans are extremely worried about the national debt. However, Democrats don’t seem as alarmed.
Berri illustrates this further with an anecdote about how Democrat and Republican voters, as groups, reversed their positions when asked if the president is responsible for high gas prices, when the party in the White House switched.

President Barack Obama himself is guilty of this slight. As a Senator, he was quick to blame President George W. Bush for high gas prices, but now that he's in the oval office, he believes oil prices are determined by the global market

This is unfortunately, part of the human experience and we're all guilty of doing this. Our brains are very good telling us that what we want to believe is the truth, and are skilled at making excuses when a few pesky facts get in the way.


  1. This is the stuff that drives me nuts. It's the reason I don't side with Democrats or Republicans in general. It's part of the reason why I left the Green Party, a group just as guilty of partisan-politics.

  2. Jeremy, that's very interesting. I'd love to hear more about partisanship from members of third parties.

  3. I am rather profoundly un-fond of Obama. His economic policies are the worst combination of failed Keynesian buffoonery since, well, ever. Oh, and that killing and disappearing American citizens thing? Not cool, either.

    However, there's one criticism of him that I think is somewhat unfair -- the one that points out all of the Bush policies that he opposed as a candidate but continued as a politician. Sure, part of it is the whole "power corrupts, and absolute power is actually pretty cool", but I think it's possible that much of it is pure pragmatism. It's possible that, once he was elected, he did see the wisdom in continuing some of Bush's policies.

    That being said, he's still a siphylitic drip-dick, and I can't wait for him to be out of office!