Thu Jun 7, 2012, 10:19 AM
HereSince1628 (35,507 posts)
God I'm tired of the quick and dirty reporting of confirmational bias about the recalls.
Pundits must fill time and column inches with something and most of what's coming out right now is pretty thin.
Mostly it goes like this:
The r's won the gubernatorial election and the r's had historically huge money support. So that money (enabled by Citizens United) was THE key?
Such quick and facile superfical interpretations of the role of money in Wisconsin are just that, quick, facile and lacking the depth of insight that serious considerations produce. Worse almost all of it is colored more by the pre-recall anxiety about Citizens United than by an examination of what happened. What's being reported and blogged and commented has become a massive circular argument driven by the desire to have the anxiety about big money confirmed.
Our recall elections havn't been studied yet. There hasn't been time to do that. It's already obvious that a variety of curiosities and asymmetries are going to need to be understood as influential co-factors. In the analytical process of sorting out the importance of the co-variances one of the emerging messages to students of politics will be the detailing of just how badly that flood of money actually underperformed for the r's. No one is talking about that at this time. But much of the big money was spent to no good effect.
Understanding just how the big money underperformed is going to be critically important to how mostly underfunded populist movements in the US can succeed.
All that money, and the gubernatorial race came down to a swing of ~4% (and that curiously included a significant number of pro-Obama democrats--think about it now we not only have Reagan Dems, we now have Walker-democrats!) It's pretty apparent that somehow the area of effective influence of the money diminished as the amount of money increased. That suggests the efficiency of that money was being eroded by the volume of the sphere over which it was spread.
I suspect the patient and deliberate analysis of the Wisconsin recalls, together with upcoming elections, is going to reveal that the influence of big money bombs made possible by Citizens United is not at all linear (as in more money always means greater probability of success). Rather it's likely that the influence of big money is going to bend to upper limits imposed by efficiency. It's likely that there is an optimization curve underlying things, but it's also likely that efficiency is going to depend on multiple other factors--including how counter-democrats were produced.
The analyses of the Wisconsin recall that might hint at the limits of CU aren't done yet, they aren't going to be quick or facile.
But they will be much more important than the current superficial interpretations.
What's currently flying around the blogosphere is little more than knee-jerk responses, largely relying on confirmational bias of pre-existing anxieties regarding CU.
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God I'm tired of the quick and dirty reporting of confirmational bias about the recalls. (Original post)