Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Silver on Progressivism
So I have to concede that after having been a serious Nate Silver junkie throughout the election season, I hardly looked at 538.com for a couple of months after the election was over. Increasingly, however, I've been drawn back as a regular reader. I think this post goes a long way to explaining why. I have from time to time expressed a certain amount of frustration with the liberal bloggers and netroots (as here or here). The online liberal community seems to have a heavy tilt towards economic populism and hyper-partisan demagoguery that I tend to find repellent. Some of the more prominent bloggers (e.g. Matt Yglesias) are lighter on the economic populism, but still tend to be heavy-handed partisan footsoldiers. Silver comes closer to mirroring my own views than any of the other bloggers I currently read. The discussion at 538.com linked above does a pretty good job of sorting out the differences. Like Silver, Obama clearly falls into the "rational progressive" category--in fact, he probably represents the prototypical ideal of rational progressivism. I expect we'll see plenty of argument over the next 4 or 8 years between the rational progressives and the radical progressives over the direction of the Obama administration. At least I hope so, because the conservatives are, frankly, too stupid to bother arguing with lately.