Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Megan McArdle writes about presidential platforms as complex signaling mechanisms:
But does that even matter? After all, one might argue, if he runs on protectionism, he'll have to deliver in office. Well, actually it does. George Bush promised to protect the steel industry when he ran in 2000, for the same reason Obama may be sounding so anti-trade; he needed the swing states. In office, he delivered--but in a particularly stupid way that was thoroughly unlikely to withstanding a WTO challenge. Looked at that way, the very stupidity of Obama's plan may be a feature, not a bug; it signals voters that he cares, but signals policymakers that he's not really going to do much. Of course, "I support my candidate because I'm sure he's lying" is hardly a stirring rallying cry. And there remains the disturbing possibility that he's serious about all this.
Well, watch what they do, not what they say, and all that. Yet I'm not sure how many layers of this kind of kremlinology is required to determine whether you support a candidate.
sorry about the Megan links - remember, I used to be on her site.
Also - see Iocaine Powder
If Obama, by analogy, is the Dread Pirate Roberts of Princess Bride fame, then who shall we cast as the Six Fingered Man? And who is Miracle Max (McCain)? And where can I get a holocaust cloak and a wheelbarrow?
I believe President Bush has more than a little in common with Inigo Montoya - no, not because of the alcoholism, but the relentless single minded message pursuit thing - and Prince Humperdink has the best hair, so he is either Romney or Edwards, according to your political inclinations. Then again, the name is too similar to Huckabee to discard that possibility either...
Not too many female roles, alas, but Hilary is not the Princess. My vote is on either of the old crones: the one who says "Boo!" at Buttercup, or the partner of Miracle Max who says: "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!"