Monday, April 23, 2012

Dividist Doubles Down on Divided Government for Six Year Blogiversary

The Dividist let several auspicious dates float by without comment over the last week, including Earth Day, 4-20 Day and Tax Day.  The latter is responsible for us missing the former. One date that we cannot let slip by is the six year blogiversary of The Dividist Papers (aka Divided We Stand United We Fall).  We celebrate by reflecting on the journey as we paraphrase previous posts, plagiarize ourselves, and update some familiar themes and favorite topics.

Six years ago today, the Dividist started this blog by asking the question "Is this blog for you?" As no one else was reading the blog at the time, the Dividist answered his own query saying "Probably not."

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Doctrine of False Non-Equivalence
- or -
Why the left whining about "False Equivalence" is equivalent to the right whining about "Liberal Media Bias"

It's all in the framing
image from [F]oxymoron

The President’s comments at the Associated Press luncheon on Tuesday received a great deal of media attention. Much of the punditocracy was focused on the President’s preemptive strike at the Supreme Court and apparent attempt to direct judicial decisions from the oval office. The political grandstanding by the President precipitated a grandstand volley between the judiciary and the DOJ, as well as predictable partisan posturing from both the right and left.

Frankly I am at a loss to understand what Obama hopes to gain from this kind of rhetoric. Sure it will fire up his base, but it also fires up the GOP base to a degree that the presumed Republican nominee could never hope to achieve. I also don’t see how it helps Obama with centrists and independents. When both a former mentor and student think he got it wrong, it is no surprise that his press secretary was on the defensive.

The President also tried to make hay with the oft-repeated point that the individual mandate was supported by Republicans before they were against it. Avik Roy and Ilya Somin point out the converse is also true, with many Democrats (including candidate Obama) opposing the individual mandate before they supported it.

We once again see partisan hackery, hypocrisy, and cynical opportunism from partisans and politicos on both the right and left. Nothing new there.

But is it true equivalent hypocrisy? Or is it false equivalence?

Monday, April 02, 2012

Meta-Infographic on Infographics

Snark-infused infographic hacked from original work by Zabisco.
I've generally found the Infographic deluge to be no more than a minor irritant in the panoply of indignities, insults to intelligence and affronts to common decency that are part and parcel of any casual excursion into the political blogosphere. In many ways, a political Infographic is not vastly different than a blog post. There is usually an agenda, cherry-picked factoids selected to support the agenda, and a sensationalist misleading headline intended to attract attention and links.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Carnival of Divided Government LII
Duo et Quînquâgintâ
Special April Fools Edition

Welcome to the 52nd edition of the Carnival of Divided Government - Special April Fools Day Edition.

April Fool's Day - The Dividist can think of nothing more foolish than permitting either major party to govern and legislate without the moderating effect and enhanced oversight found only within the constraints of divided government.

With over 80% of our fellow citizens voting along pure party lines in federal elections (regardless of what they tell you, what they tell pollsters. or even what they tell themselves), asking the few true Independents to cast their vote based on the situational partisan landscape in any given election may indeed be a fool's errand.  No matter.  The Dividist embraces the iconography of the "The Fool" Card in the Tarot Deck:
"Think of The Fool not so much as naive as open-minded and optimistic. The Fool is hopeful and positive, and he's doing his best to shine a light on new beliefs, innovative and shocking ideas and the unpredictability of life."

As explained in earlier editions, we have adopted Latin ordinal numeration to impart a patina of gravitas reflecting the historical importance of the series. In this the Carnival of Divided Government LII (Duo et Quînquâgintâ), as in all of the CODGOV editions, we select volunteers and draftees from the blogosphere and main stream media writing on the single topic of government divided between the major parties (leaving it to the reader to sort out volunteers from draftees).

Consistent with this topic, the primary criteria for acceptance in the carnival is to explicitly use the words and/or concept of "divided government" in submitted posts. A criteria that, to our endless befuddlement, is ignored by many of the bloggers submitting posts, which sadly results in The Dividist reluctantly ignoring their fine submissions. Among the on-topic posts, essays and articles we choose our favorites for commentary and consideration. We hope you enjoy these selections, and without further foolishness, we submit for your consideration  this month's selections (actually published on April 2nd - gotcha!) .