Friday, August 12, 2016

Cognitive Madisonianism, splitting tickets, the 2016 Senate race, and why American voters are smarter than pundits and political scientists.

UPDATED: 1-Nov-2016 
The Dividist's new favorite phrase is "Cognitive Madisonianism." It's just another way of saying that American voters, in their collective wisdom, prefer and vote for divided government.

Based on election results in the modern era, the assertion would seem to be unassailable. Since the end of WWII there have been 34 federal elections in the United States. In 22 of those elections, Americans elected a divided government. We chose divided government for 44 of the intervening 71 years or 62% of the time. We are currently in the 6th consecutive year of our most recent iteration with indicators pointing to divided government extending it's winning streak for at least two and probably four more years.

Wait. Do We Do That On Purpose?
That is the question. It's a simple fact that we vote for divided government far more often than not. It's that "cognitive" part that political scientists and pundits have a hard time swallowing.  They just can't believe we are doing this deliberately.

Monday, August 08, 2016

♫ Daisy, Daisy give me your answer sure... ♫
♫ Trump's half crayzeee... ♫
♫ That's why I'm voting for her... ♫

 I fixed the 'Daisy Ad" for the Clinton campaign. You're welcome, John Podesta  
Our last post outlined some of the geopolitical policy ramifications of  an American president being "unpredictable" with nuclear weapons - as was suggested by presidential nominee Donald Trump. Spoiler Alert: It's bad policy. Really, really bad. Not quite as important, but just as interesting, are the political ramifications of Trump's loose nuclear talk in this election.

This is not the first time the American voting public is being asked to consider the suitability of a Presidential candidate to have access to nuclear weapons. Probably the single most influential political TV ad in history was the infamous "Daisy Ad" run by the LBJ campaign against Goldwater in 1964:

Friday, August 05, 2016

Trump Deals "The Nuclear Card" -
On The Table or Off The Table?

 Metaphor for the Trump campaign? 
On Wednesday MSNBC broadcast a Morning Joe interview with retired general Michael Hayden. In the course of the interview Joe Scarborough related a second hand anecdote from an unattributed international affairs adviser's presumably private conversation with Donald Trump four months earlier:

Scarborough's story set the twitterverse a-twitter, which is weird, given that Donald Trump said exactly the same thing in a very public televised MSNBC Townhall with Chris Mathews on March 30: