Friday, June 13, 2014

Krugman on Movement Conservatism and its Discontents

Interesting that an economist has to do this bit of political analysis, that it seems to be beyond the ability of the average political pundit. Of course, when you're invested in the system, you can't really look at it too closely...

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

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