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Your party, yourself

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012

* The New Yorker has an article up about how Republicans, who once supported an individual mandate to purchase health insurance, are now against it. It’s a really good piece and you should definitely read the whole thing.

The article includes a section about a study done at Stanford on “motivated reasoning,” which is defined as “when a person is conforming their assessments of information to some interest or goal that is independent of accuracy.” Standford psychology professor Geoffrey Cohen tested students who had described themselves as either very liberal or very conservative

The students were shown two articles: one was a generic news story; the other described a proposed welfare policy. The first article was a decoy; it was the students’ reactions to the second that interested Cohen. He was actually testing whether party identifications influence voters when they evaluate new policies. To find out, he produced multiple versions of the welfare article. Some students read about a program that was extremely generous—more generous, in fact, than any welfare policy that has ever existed in the United States—while others were presented with a very stingy proposal.

But there was a twist: some versions of the article about the generous proposal portrayed it as being endorsed by Republican Party leaders; and some versions of the article about the meagre program described it as having Democratic support. The results showed that, “for both liberal and conservative participants, the effect of reference group information overrode that of policy content. If their party endorsed it, liberals supported even a harsh welfare program, and conservatives supported even a lavish one.”

* Another interesting passage

In a 2006 paper, “It Feels Like We’re Thinking,” the political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels looked at a National Election Study, a poll supported by the National Science Foundation, from 1996. One of the questions asked whether “the size of the yearly budget deficit increased, decreased, or stayed about the same during Clinton’s time as President.” The correct answer is that it decreased, dramatically. Achen and Bartels categorize the respondents according to how politically informed they were. Among the least-informed respondents, Democrats and Republicans picked the wrong answer in roughly equal numbers. But among better-informed voters the story was different. Republicans who were in the fiftieth percentile gave the right answer more often than those in the ninety-fifth percentile. Bartels found a similar effect in a previous survey, in which well-informed Democrats were asked whether inflation had gone down during Ronald Reagan’s Presidency. It had, but many of those Democrats said that it hadn’t. The more information people had, it seemed, the better they were at arranging it to fit what they wanted to believe. As Bartels told me, “If I’m a Republican and an enthusiastic supporter of lower tax rates, it is uncomfortable to recognize that President Obama has reduced most Americans’ taxes—and I can find plenty of conservative information sources that deny or ignore the fact that he has.”

* And back to the president’s health care law and the individual mandate

Recently, Bartels noticed a similar polarization in attitudes toward the health-care law and the Supreme Court. Using YouGov polling data, he found that less-informed voters who supported the law and less-informed voters who opposed it were equally likely to say that “the Supreme Court should be able to throw out any law it finds unconstitutional.” But, among better-informed voters, those who opposed the law were thirty per cent more likely than those who supported it to cede that power to the Court. In other words, well-informed opponents realized that they needed an activist Supreme Court that was willing to aggressively overturn laws if they were to have any hope of invalidating the Affordable Care Act.

Orin Kerr says that, in the two years since he gave the individual mandate only a one-per-cent chance of being overturned, three key things have happened. First, congressional Republicans made the argument against the mandate a Republican position. Then it became a standard conservative-media position. “That legitimized the argument in a way we haven’t really seen before,” Kerr said. “We haven’t seen the media pick up a legal argument and make the argument mainstream by virtue of media coverage.” Finally, he says, “there were two conservative district judges who agreed with the argument, largely echoing the Republican position and the media coverage. And, once you had all that, it really became a ballgame.”

* I think we’ve seen a similar situation here. Compare the reactions to what Gov. Pat Quinn has done to unions to what Gov. Scott Walker has done up in Wisconsin.

Quinn unilaterally tossed out the collective bargaining process when he said he wouldn’t honor contractual pay raises. He’s also gone hard after retiree health care and pensions. Yet, there were no giant demonstrations at the Statehouse like there were in Wisconsin when a Republican governor attacked the unions.

* Also, look at the budget. Some very liberal Democratic legislators backed some very deep budget cuts this year after their party had decided to become more fiscally conservative. We’ve talked about the DCFS cuts and how it could lead to massive layoffs. Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, one of the most liberal members of the entire General Assembly, oversaw those cuts and she defended them to WUIS reporter Amanda Vinicky

But legislators on the House committee in charge of funding for human services stand by the reductions. Democratic Representative Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago, who chairs the panel, says legislators protected services directly affecting children. But she says they cut personnel funding after learning the agency gave its employees what she called “significant” raises.

“It was a little disappointing to some of our committee members who vocalized that the department needs to restructure its priorities. There were a lot of very unhappy committee members,” Feigenholtz said.

No offense meant to Feigenholtz, who is a decent person, but I can’t help but wonder what her reaction would be if she was in the minority party and these very same cuts were being made.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

44 Comments
  1. - Shore - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    Good piece, but I’d add a few things. During the bush years a lot of this went on, but it was stuff that people had been doing for a long time. southern “conservatives” have always been big bacon eaters in dc.


  2. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    I miss the Nixon administration’s domestic policies.

    – MrJM


  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    Great analysis Rich.

    To take the research even further, we should all be alarmed at the feedback loop that accelerates the polarization of both the media and public opinion.

    Research on media “bias” indicates that while newspaper “bias” does exist, it is neither generally “conservative” or “liberal”. Rather, bias in media coverage reflects the partisan ideology of a newspaper’s readership.

    In other words, newspapers generally tell people what they already believe using the language they are comfortable with. This bias reinforces entrenched political ideologies, which entrenches media bias.

    The Chicago Tribune, for example, would have a very tough time writing an editorial now praising House Speaker Michael Madigan, which is why they were almost compelled to adopt and justify their opposition to ending the cost shift from wealthy school districts to the state, despite the fact that “budgeting with hard constraints” is embraced by every conservative economist you can name. Its the basis for “block grants” at the federal level, the reason conservatives opposed the auto industry bailout, and why Europe has favored imposing austerity measures over “bailing out” member states.


  4. - mark walker - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:07 am:

    One of the most frustrating things about commentary on the new healthcare act, has been that the two most currently attacked elements, insurance information exchanges and individual mandates, both were originally Conservative Republican proposals. Obama supported them both over objections by the more Liberal in his party.

    Such is the tragedy of compromise in our current politics. Regardless of the facts, the opposition always attacks the incumbent on every point — even when they were the original source.


  5. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:14 am:

    It’s funny to watch Republicans pile on President Obama for enacting national healthcare that had it’s roots in conservative ideology.

    Romney supported national healthcare based on the individual mandate, now he wants to repeal the healthcare law on “day one” of his presidency, because it infringes on states’ rights. I’m really surprised at Mr. Romney’s shift on this issue, since Mr. Romney’s positions are steadfast and reliable, and he’s stood by his convictions no matter which way the political wind was blowing.


  6. - vole - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:19 am:

    Not sure how this fits with Klein’s article. If the objective was to cut the deficit then the dems were consistent in raising revenue AND cutting spending. This is exactly what most of us were urging Quinn and the legislature to do before the last election.

    And they cast ideology aside when rebuking DCFS about adding more of their staff to the union and giving very big salary increases during a time of huge budget shortfalls.

    One of the funny things I have read on the blogs are comments disparaging the budget cutting actions against the unions by Quinn and Dem legislators and then blaming the Republicans for the cuts.


  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    Partisanship has always existed, but litmus tests and fanatical and rigid “ideology” has replaced the need for thinking or even the possibility of finding common ground among many.

    Right now, Republicans spend much of their identifying and casting out apostates. Democrats have done it in the past.


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    === It’s funny to watch Republicans pile on President Obama for enacting national healthcare that had it’s roots in conservative ideology ===

    You’ve got a strange sense of humor.


  9. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    Certainly the media influences voter decisions as does party affiliation.

    One should note that the ‘Public Option’ portion of the Health Care bill took a huge hit from both parties and their associated party affiliated press. I personally thought it was a great opportunity for all of us to share in a new era of healthcare for our nation.

    The influence of the medical profession and insurance companies was swift and effective from both sides. It may well be how one interprets the articles, but to me it’s simply all about the huge lobby and the money.


  10. - cassandra - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:33 am:

    Couldn’t they take those big DCFS raises back (not sure what big is, of course). I’d hate to see direct services to kids cut because somebody in the DCFS executive office made a mistake. On the other hand, could the DCFS executives have done this alone-or did the Quinn administration approve those raises.

    Probably not the best idea to hand out big raises to your non-union executives when you are threatening massive layoffs. Somebody will notice, especially in this new era of more transparent government.


  11. - Liberty_First - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    Yellow dog, journalism is a business nothing more…. yellow journalism died when owners wanted to sell advertising to everyone. The survey’s you quote reflect the editors attempt to not loose subscribers. Individual journalists still show their biases and the majority indicate in surveys they are liberal democrats who want to change the world.


  12. - Amuzing Myself - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    One giant flaw: the story clearly states that COLLEGE STUDENTS were interviewed as the “voters” in the study. Further, it sounds like they were Ivy League students in California. Hardly representative of the national Electorate. There’s no doubt partisans justify their party leaders whenever they can, but they also toss them out on their ear if they stray too far. See successful TEA Party candidates in primaries across the country the last two cycles. The opposite is true as well. Opponents will do their best to blow an issue or incident out of proportion in an effort to make their enemy look hypocritical. Your Quinn comment is spot on, Rich. Had Brady done the EXACT same thing as Quinn, the outrage and protests would have been deafening here in Illinois.


  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    I wonder how this trues up against the recent decline in party affiliation. If there is dramatic growth in Independents, then how can their views be dictated by the Parties?

    For party ideologues, my anecdotal observation certainly lines up with the study, though. Whether it is FoxNews or NPR, there is no question that hardline right/left seek out media outlets that reinforce their viewpoints. That may be a chicken/egg problem, though– are the views there before the media source, or vice-versa?


  14. - George - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/06/19/is-the-gops-flip-flop-on-the-individual


  15. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:44 am:

    There’s also the “hostile media” effect, for high-information subjects: take the exact same news article, framed in fairly neutral terms, and tell a group it’s from Fox News, and they’ll bend over backwards trying to spot the conservative bias. Tell another group it’s from Huffington Post, or MSNBC, and they’ll start demonstrating how liberal the same words are.

    Partisans (and I count myself among them) learn to filter and resist suspect news sources, and it’s hard to override that tendency.

    Then again, it’s important to note in all this that does NOT mean, “the truth” automatically will lie 50-50 between the Dems and the Repubs, or Sean Hannity has equally much “truth” to tell as Morning Edition. It just means we all have to get outside our comfort zones sometimes and wade into unfriendly media waters, for a reality check.


  16. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:46 am:

    But where do I go, in Illinois, for the conservative perspective? Thanks to Rich, I don’t trust the reporting at Illinois Review one whit… I don’t like publications where I know I have to fact-check every basic claim they make.


  17. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    A few things to add to the story which is quite good:

    1) People tend to seek out information from people they think have similar views. Even if the assessment is incorrect about similar views people tend towards thinking the other is similar

    2) The underlying problem to what Achen and Bartels found is fairly well understood–even amongst those who are relatively sophisticated voters, they don’t have consistent understanding of political ideology. If you ask them to place policies then, it’s a matter of reading elite signals that they follow.

    This drives many of us nuts (including me), but it’s important to remember people do this for a good reason–they have lives and politics isn’t their hobby or profession like most on here.

    3) the welfare policy is a good example of much of this–people tend to answer questions about it depending on the frame. People don’t understand policy very well and framing it as Republican gives them an easy shortcut.


  18. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:53 am:

    “Partisanship has always existed, but litmus tests and fanatical and rigid “ideology” has replaced the need for thinking or even the possibility of finding common ground among many.”

    I agree and believe that in these tough times, we need leaders who will work across the aisle and make intelligent compromises, not politicians who make enemies out of their opponents.


  19. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    ===One giant flaw: the story clearly states that COLLEGE STUDENTS were interviewed as the “voters” in the study. Further, it sounds like they were Ivy League students in California. Hardly representative of the national Electorate.

    Elite, but not Ivy League. Actually this is a good study because it’s exactly that kind of intelligent and theoretically well-informed population you’d think would be least likely to be affected by partisan elite pronouncements. That they are affected is especially persuasive.

    Beyond that, the concept is well understood and quite a bit of work has been done confirming this in multiple ways. .

    —I wonder how this trues up against the recent decline in party affiliation. If there is dramatic growth in Independents, then how can their views be dictated by the Parties?

    It doesn’t matter much because people insist they are independents and then behave just as if they self-identified as Republican or Democratic.


  20. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:54 am:

    It’s call cognitive dissonance.

    The GOP was for the individual mandate before they were aginst it.

    Republicans in the Senate blocked the DREAM Act before they accuse Obama of by-passing Congress with his recent decision.

    The DC GOP runs up massive deficits but fights to the brink to prevent Obama from raising the debt ceiling, resulting in a credit downgrade, which costs us all money.

    IL GOP demands lower spending then goes nuts when Quinn gives them what they wanted.

    I’m sure others can list examples of the Democrats doing the same things, but I doubt it. In fact, the “both sides do it” argument is a load of bs, despite this study’s results. The GOP has no sense of shame nor any bedrock principle other than holding on to power.


  21. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 10:55 am:

    The opposition to the health care law is rooted in the vituperative hatred of Barak Obama. I do not think that people necessarily hate the President’s policies as much as they hate and disrespect him as a man.

    The moniker of conservatism is a smoke screen to hide the true opposition to Mr. Obama. The telling feature is that they were for the health care plan until the President decided that it was a good idea.


  22. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Huh? Just beat me to it. The right’s opposition is to the man and not to anything else.


  23. - Bob - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    Scott Walker is taking money from the Unions. Pat Quinn is taking money from the Union members. The Unions are only worried about self preservation! Everything that Quinn has done so far, has not taken any money from the Union coffers. Why would the Union even care if the members lose anything, unions still get get monthly dues. The Democrats still get the large CASH flow in their campaigns war chest. The Democrats and Unions could care less if the Union members lose anything. As Illinois biggest public sector union AFSCME sits on the sidelines collecting forced union dues. The AFSCME union members suffer and AFSCME keeps the Cash flowing.


  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    “I’m sure others can list examples of the Democrats doing the same things, but I doubt it. ”
    And here we have 47th Ward proving the article is correct about hyperpartisan blinders. Yay!


  25. - Colossus - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 11:43 am:

    @Anonymous@10:40
    Did you seriously just say that NPR caters to the hard left? And on a scale that would compare to Fox or MSNBC? You apparently don’t ever actually listen to NPR.

    Sidenote: any other listeners notice the marked shift in tone since NPR changed around its Ethics Handbook? I have been very impressed with the last ~6 weeks of reporting, seeing much more hard, factual information and a commitment to calling out untrue information. There was one piece about the AL primary (I think?), where a man interviewed claimed something about the Constitution and the reporter, on air, made a point of saying that the Constitution contains no such clause. It’s the little things like that, where a citizen is given the chance to make an argument and conveys untrue information, where the reporter is able to nip it in the bud.

    Good stuff these days, but hardly “hard-left” by any stretch of the imagination.


  26. - titan - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    I see a couple of issues here:
    “the Supreme Court should be able to throw out any law it finds unconstitutional.” is contrasted with “those who opposed the law were thirty per cent more likely … to cede that power to the Court… well-informed opponents realized that they needed an activist Supreme Court that was willing to aggressively overturn laws if they were to have any hope of invalidating the Affordable Care Act.”

    There is a difference between a court invalidating an unconstitutional law and an “activist court”. The first instance is part of what a court does…be it defending the 1st Amendment, the 4th Amendment or the 2nd Amendment.
    The second instance is a court that goes beyond judging the validitity of a law and into creating law ‘out of whole cloth’ as it were (the finding new rights in “penumbras and eminations” stuff).


  27. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:09 pm:

    Titan, sure, but for partisans the divide between the two is hopelessly entangled with partisans’ preexisting preferences. Generally, if you don’t like the law struck down, it’s unconstitutional; if you do, it’s activism.

    Not to say originalism isn’t possible, but in practice, it’s typically corrupted by partisan / ideological biases.


  28. - reformer - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Grandson
    Yeah, Romney is for states’ rights, except when it comes to marriage. There he wants a constitutional amendment to override those states that have legalized same-sex marriage.


  29. - Calhoun Native - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Good post. Wouldn’t it be nice if doing the right thing was the predominant motivation for our representatives? Sigh…


  30. - The Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rich, great post. Commenters, great discussion.

    I only have one request: could we get “big picture” posts like these a bit more often? Obviously not all the time, but a bit more often. Thanks.


  31. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    From The New Yorker a year ago on the Massachusetts healthcare law:

    –Romney had accomplished a longstanding Democratic goal—universal health insurance—by combining three conservative policies. Massachusetts would help the uninsured buy private insurance; it would create a deregulated online marketplace; and it would require that everyone carry insurance. Uninsured citizens no longer would use the emergency room as a primary-care facility and then fail to pay their bills. “It’s a Republican way of reforming the market,” Romney said later that day. “Because, let me tell you, having thirty million people in this country without health insurance and having those people show up when they get sick, and expect someone else to pay, that’s a Democratic approach. That’s the wrong way. The Republican approach is to say, ‘You know what? Everybody should have insurance. They should pay what they can afford to pay. If they need help, we will be there to help them, but no more free ride.’ ”

    Guys sounds like he’d make a heck of a president. What happened to him.

    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_lizza#ixzz1yM8ImEeO–


  32. - NIref - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    Students are regularly used for studies. The results are accurate and consistent. See Druckman and Kam 2011; Mintz, Redd, and Vedlitz 2006; Friedman and Sunder 1994.


  33. - wishbone - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    “What happened to him.”

    He was nominated for President by a party that has lost its moorings and interest in governing for all the people.


  34. - ZC - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    And the GOP is for states’ rights in health care, except when it comes to strong state med-mal penalties or strong state regulation of health policies (allowing Americans to purchase policies out of state effectively gutting states’ abilities to require coverage of some conditions). But to be fair, neither party is entirely consistent, and sometimes consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. ANY sophisticated ideology, put in practice, is going to have subtleties and nuances which will allow the cable show set to tar it as partisan and self-serving (even when it’s not!)


  35. - reformer - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Imagine if Bush had made war in Libya while pretending it wasn’t war and therefore didn’t trigger the War Powers Act? Democrats, including Obama, would’ve been raising holy hell.

    When Obama did it, however, there was nary a peep from Democrats. A partisan double standard if ever there was one.


  36. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===Sidenote: any other listeners notice the marked shift in tone since NPR changed around its Ethics Handbook? I have been very impressed with the last ~6 weeks of reporting, seeing much more hard, factual information and a commitment to calling out untrue information. There was one piece about the AL primary (I think?), where a man interviewed claimed something about the Constitution and the reporter, on air, made a point of saying that the Constitution contains no such clause. It’s the little things like that, where a citizen is given the chance to make an argument and conveys untrue information, where the reporter is able to nip it in the bud.

    I’ve noticed it as well and it is a marked improvement. I seem to remember they also had people going on about Obama’s birth certificate and they put it very simply that he was born in the United States which while obvious to most people, it still set a bar for not just relaying what people say, but also laying out facts.


  37. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 2:02 pm:

    Imagine if Bush had made war in Iran while pretending it wasn’t war and therefore didn’t have to put it in the budget?

    Oh wait, he did that.


  38. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    “When Obama did it, however, there was nary a peep from Democrats. A partisan double standard if ever there was one.”

    I disagree. The Iraq war was much longer and much more costly. A lot of Democrats probably don’t mind military intervention done cheaper, with solid coalitions or international bodies and with limited objectives.


  39. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    Libya was a NATO mission. Afghanistan is a NATO mission. Iraq was a cowboy mission.

    Big difference. Try again.


  40. - It's Just Me - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 2:57 pm:

    I was explaining to my father, the biggest Obama hater I know, the details of his “amnesty” announcement last week, but I phrased it in such a way he was allowed to think I was explaining the GOP’s alternative plan. He quickly agreed and almost fell out of his hair when I explained that the details I just described where in the Presisent’s announcement.


  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    –Imagine if Bush had made war in Libya while pretending it wasn’t war and therefore didn’t trigger the War Powers Act? Democrats, including Obama, would’ve been raising holy hell.

    When Obama did it, however, there was nary a peep from Democrats.==

    Peep.

    –Nine liberal Democrats have found something they agree with Republicans on: President Barack Obama’s authorization of military strikes on Libya without congressional consent is unconstitutional.

    –Those Democrats join GOP critics, including Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. And Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio even suggested that Obama’s action could be an “impeachable offense.”–

    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/obama-kucinich-randpaul-libya/2011/03/22/id/390339

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Fact is, most Republicans, including McCain and Romney, criticized Obama for not acting in Libya without Congressional approval earlier.

    As you can see, there were those on both the left and right who opposed the unilateral executive action on Constitutional grounds.

    The truth of the matter is, though, ever since James Knox Polk lied his way into an undeclared war with Mexico, Congress has never quite figured out what to do when a president commits forces without a declaration of war. Lincoln and JQ Adams protested, but couldn’t stop it with troops in the field.

    It’s happened a lot, usually under some pretext of “protecting American citizens.”

    In the Libyan case, Obama didn’t even bother with that. It’s more of an executive/Congress conflict than it is anything partisan. Executives of all persuasions like to stretch the commander-in-chief power.

    Sorry if that doesn’t fit the conservative-as-victim narrative.


  42. - johhnypizza - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 3:08 pm:

    “Cassandra” Teh non union executives you refere to have not had raises in 5 years, and have for the most part seen many of those they supervise surpass their salaries.

    Good article written here Rich.


  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    === But where do I go, in Illinois, for the conservative perspective? ===

    @ZC -

    Have you heard of the “Chicago Tribune”?


  44. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 20, 12 @ 7:46 pm:

    –Lincoln and JQ Adams protested, but couldn’t stop it with troops in the field.–

    I put this out once before, but has anyone ever run across in their reading any contact between Lincoln and JQ Adams while they served together in the House?

    It was 1848, when the skys were dark here, and even more so in Europe.

    Adams was a child revolutionary who saw action against the Royal Navy on the high seas making the wartime run from Boston to France. He was the right-hand to George Washington, his father and Monroe, president, the greatest promoter of internal improvements, the general welfare (not a bad word), and education that the country ever saw before Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, and the most passionate abolitionist of his time.

    Lincoln was a freshman Whig from Springfield who made his bones with his anti-war speech on the House floor about a month before Adams stroked out in the chamber.

    In the short months they served together, is there any correspondence or record between the two? I’d be obliged if anyone has run across it.


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