David Broder Wrong Again

The late David Broder was wrong so consistently that pointing out he was wrong yet again may seem like a pointless exercise, but I think Paul Krugman's column today on Broder being wrong about British Prime Minister David Cameron's "expansionary austerity" (talk about an oxymoron) is important:

[I]n October 2010 David Broder, who virtually embodied conventional wisdom, praised Mr. Cameron for his boldness, and in particular for “brushing aside the warnings of economists that the sudden, severe medicine could cut short Britain’s economic recovery and throw the nation back into recession.” He then called on President Obama to “do a Cameron” and pursue “a radical rollback of the welfare state now.”

Strange to say, however, those warnings from economists proved all too accurate. And we’re quite fortunate that Mr. Obama did not, in fact, do a Cameron.

Sadly, High Broderism, with its combination of ignorance, lack of intelligence and misplaced confidence, lives on. We are ruled by idiots.

Speaking for me only

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    Was there much David Broder, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:38:30 AM EST
    may he rest in peace, was ever right about?  

    But, hey, reading the Krugman piece, I note that he goes on to say,

    All is not well with US policy.
      No kidding.  And while we have avoided what Krugman terms "all-out austerity," I don't think that has much to do with lack of will or lack of interest in continuing to pursue policies of austerity as much as it has to do with this being an election year.  

    And I can't help but think that when Krugman says,

    Half a century ago, any economist -- or for that matter any undergraduate who had read Paul Samuelson's textbook "Economics" -- could have told you that austerity in the face of depression was a very bad idea. But policy makers, pundits and, I'm sorry to say, many economists decided, largely for political reasons, to forget what they used to know.
    he was looking at most of the Obama economic team - both former and current - as he wrote that (I'm somewhat disappointed that he didn't name any names, though - he can call out a dead man, but not those who may still be involved in policy?  That's a little bit cowardly in my book).  

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I am not convinced that Obama's given up on the ideas generated by various commissions and coalitions that will, if carried out, kill whatever little bit of momentum and improvement we've seen in some areas of the economy.

    And since we know any Republican in the WH, and/or a stronger GOP presence in the Congress, would no doubt plunge off that cliff, it's sometimes hard not to feel that we're damned either way.

    i like very much (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:47:08 AM EST
    your distinction between "ignorance" & "lack of intelligence" - they are indeed two separate phenomena, & ignorance is so often willful

    it was in my neighborhood (none / 0) (#9)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:42:57 AM EST
    or at least in my personal territory, since the whole area around the lake is very much on my daily rounds

    this afternoon i will get together with a Meetup crew to continue cleaning up (again) after the anarchist a-holes who have taken over Occupy Oakland


    Molokai always seemed the most (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:47:23 AM EST
    interesting island....

    Disagreed though that there was some sort (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:16:18 AM EST
    of willful amnesia.  When the time came for investors to have to take haircuts on really bad investments, it was decided to avoid that at all costs.  Someone has to pay for something around here though, and since big wheel TBTF can't or that particular system will experience an immediate self overhaul or what used to be called a correction (and even though that system does not work for anybody anymore but the big boys) it will now be the rest of us paying somehow.

    I never thought I would live to see bailouts using my money for insane gambling at 100 cents on the dollar.  If you did something like this in your immediate family with your family's pathological gambler any competent counselor might just be in your face screaming at you.

    The rest of us will pay though because shadow banking must deleverage (but they aren't deleveraging...not one little bit), we must not experience haircuts, the ethics of the market must not correct.

    Disagree. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Addison on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:27:24 AM EST
    Broder wasn't ignorant, didn't lack intelligence, and had a very solid basis for his confidence.

    His job wasn't to be correct. He probably would have been fired very early on if he'd be "correct", actually. Think about it, I think it's near indisputable. His job was to tell a certain group of people what they wanted to hear, he was a newsprint claque for the center-right beltway crowd.

    At some point early on I imagine he realized this and decided that he preferred the job over being "correct", but over the years as he got his OWN claque of assistants and underlings, he might have eventually conflated his job with that of an actual analyst.

    His job was to tell a certain group of people... (none / 0) (#7)
    by BTAL on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:54:52 AM EST
    Isn't that what a large majority of all the media have become?  Regardless of which group is being discussed.

    This (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    might be a first but I actually agree with you. I don't think either party's voting base is being particularly well served by the media.

    You mean he never dined at Outback! ;0) (none / 0) (#11)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:47:59 AM EST

    I bet he's visited the Applebee's salad bar... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Addison on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 01:36:49 PM EST
    ...with David Brooks once or twice.

    I hope it had a spit-guard (none / 0) (#17)
    by DFLer on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 05:06:40 PM EST
    that would be for Tweety (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 05:33:53 PM EST
    Hilarious (none / 0) (#14)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 02:45:23 PM EST
    Every year Broder went on vacation to Beaver Island (out in Lake Michigan) where he rubbed elbows with the 'common folk.'  He would return with 'insights' from the ordinary Joe.  Remarkably they tended to blend with Broder's view.

    Trouble is, one does not find 'ordinary Joes' on Beaver Island.


    In 1992, Broder said Bill was doing (none / 0) (#18)
    by MKS on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 05:28:28 PM EST
    well in the General Election because of "animal magnetism."

    Memorable because it was so odd.


    May have been odd, but (none / 0) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 01:17:00 AM EST
    it was also right.  BC absolutely has "animal magnetism."  So did JFK.  Those are the only two major pols I can think of in my lifetime.  It's a rare quality, has absolutely nothing to do with anything but itself, but it's powerful as heck.

    Broder (none / 0) (#15)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 02:51:37 PM EST
    was an integral part of the bubble.  His work helped insure the structural integrity of the bubble.

    orwell lives! (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 12:26:58 PM EST
    expansionary austerity

    compassionate conservatism

    sensitive war

    make up your own double-speak, it's a game the entire family can enjoy! the frightening aspect of this is that what starts out as knowing bs eventually evolves into right-wing "common wisdom", in very short order. they actually believe it.

    "We are ruled by idiots." (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by pluege2 on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 04:56:17 PM EST
    so true, but what does that make "us" collectively since "we" collectively put the idiots in charge. Sure there are plenty of not-idiot Americans, but not nearly enough to keep the idiot ruler-wannabes out of government.

    unfortunately, we are pawns of (none / 0) (#20)
    by cpinva on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:03:24 PM EST
    statistics. the old bell curve is alive and well (and always will be), leaving us with the mass in the center pretty much dictating everything. these are the people that elect a ronald reagan & george bush, twice each, in spite of their inherent (and very public) flaws. granted, everyone has flaws, but only a daring few have raised them to the level of an art form.

    As a people (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 12:57:37 AM EST
    we get what we deserve.