Thursday, January 29, 2009

Solving the myseries of life, one doo doo analogy at a time.

Nate Silver wonders why precisely zero Republicans voted for the stimulus bill in the house. His best theory:
The House does not cast a secret ballot. It seems plausible that there were a dozen or so Republicans who were on the fence, waiting to see how their colleagues would vote --- and when those votes started to come in unanimously against the bill, nobody wanted to be the ugly ducking.
In other words, there was a lot of normative pressure not to, perhaps even some pluralistic ignorance by which the congrescritters all assumed they were the only one who didn't object... But you do sometimes get small numbers of Republicans voting against their party. As Nate himself points out, a few days ago 3 of 178 Republicans voted for the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

I saw a Republican congress guy on teevee last night when I was at the gym, and his claim was that the house R leadership told a bunch of their members to vote for the old TARP bank bailout, and were roundly ignored. This time the leadership just took their cue from anti-stimulus sentiment of the general membership, and agreed to say 'no'.

My guess is that the Republicans have had a creeping awareness for some time now that their brand was in serious doo doo, and when the doo doo hit the fan during the last election, they realized that they are up to their necks in it, and their world is a big frightening smelly place. They are now desperately huddling together, clinging white-knuckled to whatever vestiges of ideology they think might have any legs whatsoever with the general public, and "fiscal conservative" is all they've got. And so they are going to pull it out from under all the doo doo, and place it on their personal alter of political expediency and pray to it, with all the weak-kneed fervour they can muster. And the first item of business for them to pray for is that nobody notices the horrible slurping sound that comes from anything so well buried being pulled out from under that much doo doo, because if people realize that "fiscal conservatism" is something the republicans only really care about when the Dems are in power, then the doo doo might close in completely over their heads.


Of course, one of Nate's commentors has a wittier take:

Groucho Marx: From the 1932 movie "Horse Feathers"

"I'm Against it"

Music and Lyrics By: Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby

Song Lyrics:
[Groucho]
I don't know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway,
Whatever it is, I'm against it.
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it.

Your proposition may be good,
But let's have one thing understood,
Whatever it is, I'm against it.
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it.

I'm opposed to it,
On general principle, I'm opposed to it.

[chorus] He's opposed to it.
In fact, indeed, that he's opposed to it!

[Groucho]
For months before my son was born,
I used to yell from night to morn,
Whatever it is, I'm against it.
And I've kept yelling since I first commenced it,
I'm against it!

--

UPDATE: It seems someone at ObWi is thinking down the same lines as me. Thought they do so with a total absence of scatological analogy. Disturbing, no?

1 comment:

steve said...

It wasn't really an analogy, though, was it? More of a metaphor.