Wednesday, November 07, 2012


So it looks like we may have elected the very Republican-like Democrat instead of the very Democrat-like Republican; we'll have four years of continued Democrat-like expansion of Presidential power rather than four years of new Republican-like expansion of Presidential power. Now that nothing's changed we can see if President Obama will actually get around to that Change thing we kept hearing about.

Of course, officially the President hasn't actually been elected yet: the actual Presidential election is the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, and that in turn has to be given a certified count by Congress in January. Election Day is the beginning of the official constitutional process, not the end. But since states tie their choice of Electors to party performance in the state popular vote, the numbers are more or less set, allowing for occasional deviations of Electors.


  1. Crude5:26 PM

    The very Republican-like Democrat? Good Lord.

  2. branemrys5:26 PM

    Republicans usually don't see it, of course, but it's been noticed by a wide variety of Democrats and independents. To get around this one has to focus on very specific issues. They happen to be issues that get pushed hard in elections, for the obvious reason that both Republicans and Democrats have systemic incentives for insisting that they are presenting "two fundamentally different visions," as Obama kept saying. When you ask Republicans what makes Obama so un-Republican-like you get the same small set of issues repeated over and over again, and not all of them are all that un-Republican.

    The whole notion of the sharp distinction founders on the false assumption that the President is more creative than he actually is. One of the things that comes out very clearly when one compares Bush and Obama, for instance, is that Bush was an innovator: he did not simply follow Clinton's way of doing things, but radically changed things all over the place. Obama on the other hand, is not an innovator, despite the fact he seems to consider himself such; in many ways he leaves things as they were under Bush and merely adapts them here and there to his political tastes, patchwork modifications.

  3. Crude5:30 PM

    When you ask Republicans what makes Obama so un-Republican-like you get the same small set of issues repeated over and over again, and not all of them are all that un-Republican.

    And when you ask Democrats what makes Obama so Republican-like, you also get a few particular issues that basically add up to "he could be far more left-wing than he is on some issues, even though it's politically impractical or even impossible to be so."

    But hey, by all means, spell it out. I will absolutely grant that Obama ended up quite happily continuing or even expanding a variety of policies his predecessor was hated for - I remember when the Patriot Act was this horrible thing, to give one example. I can even see the claim that both parties tend to ultimately fall in line in some issues. At that point, 'party' has very little to do with it, and it's more that he's a very typical politician. In terms of platform, philosophy and otherwise, superficially said parties are far apart.

  4. Actually, skip this. You probably meant similarities in terms of exactly what I just mentioned.

    I think it's clear Obama is far from 'Republican' on points of some considerable importance. That said, I think it's clear Romney either was too, or possibly was. Hard to tell.


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