Thursday, August 11, 2011

History Retreating

That's it. It's finally happened. Mark your calendars. On August 11th, 2011, mankind officially reached that elusive point where reality and parody were completely interchangeable, rendering satire impossible. Somewhere in America -- in a lab, I'd imagine -- a group of political scientists are celebrating this historic achievement.

Offered without commentary, because, well, there's just nothing that can possibly be said:

Media Matters: Huckabee's "Reagan Revolution" Cartoon Features Disco Muggers and American Exceptionalism/8.11.11


Girl With Curious Hair said...

What is this strange Reagan fetish that these Republicans have? I'm pretty sure he wouldn't get elected if he ran for office today. As it is, they don't like any of the things he did and have to make up things to attribute to him.

Ken said...

As a computer science/computer engineering major, and as a major geek, I find the term "Political Science" implausible. My hypothesis (which has been tested to the point of becoming natural law) is that politics is all talk, and 100% of that talk is schistery.

However, as someone with an eye for aesthetics (as subjective as it may be), I think that "Disco" basketball jersey is the worst I've ever seen. I wouldn't wear it. I don't know about you.

Mart said...

This craps comes gift wrapped in a great package of backing reading materials, classroom discussion points, group projects, sample tests, electronic interfaces, etc. The lengths they go to sell their agenda to the folks they hurt the most is extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

Huckabee's cartoon is right! Today's government is pushing me around and telling me what to do! They are not allowing me to bargin collectively, restricting reproduction rights, who I can and can't marry, giving corporations more lobbying power than a citizen, and refusing stop sending my tax money to mega-profitable corporations!

That Obama is the the worst president...wait, those aren't his policies?!?! Then what douche is pushing for all this? But his video suggested otherwise and claimed it's valid history. But I wasn't old enough to remember the Jimmy Carter years so how would I know? oh, I'm not supposed to? You think the kids will travel to 1929 Hoover led America to see the free market paridise it was?

FabMax said...


As a political scientist, I can tell you that you are 100& wrong.

Politics is per definition all action, since it is about making policy real.
Policy is per definition mostly talk. It is the process in which political measures are found. But it involves some action, because you need to create and use the platforms where the deliberations about politics are made. These institutions are called Polity.

Baseline: Politics are made through formulating policy while using polity.

That's the simplest model of how the process works.

Anonymous said...

Girl w/ Curious Hair, Reagan's son called him the "rubber bustier of Republicans".

Anonymous said...

The difference between theory and practice is smaller in theory than in practice.

US politics is as often as not about doing nothing while giving the appearance that the government is actively solving problems as it is about improving life for the top .1% at the expense of the other 99.9%

Ken said...

If the Anonymous poster means that politicians look busy while staying wealthy and accomplishing nothing, I agree.

Look, Max, I appreciate your enthusiasm for your profession. The reality of it, as I see it, is the politicians are paid to lie, manipulate, steal and use. Lawyers are paid to hide the fact that they are lying, stealing, using and manipulating. In some cases, they are very good at it, and manage to swing from being successful attorneys to extremely influential politicians, all while accomplishing next to nothing.

Remember when the network went down recently over on Capitol Hill, or some such, due to a high amount of E-mail responses to the political outrage of the day? They need scientists - network engineers, programmers, troubleshooters, wiring media experts - real, honest-to-god science students to figure out what the problem is. Megan's Law won't explain why a burn-out resistor will cause a short or dead circuit. Ohm's Law will.

namron said...

Imagine what happens when the bat-shit crazy Christian faction finds its charismatic, fanatical leader around whom they can build a cult of personality. Apparently, they have already found their Goebbels to pair with that Hitler.

FabMax said...


First things first: I'm not a US resident.

You have a very cynical worldview, and a rather simple one at that. It fails to acknowledge that people are complex beings, with complex motives to do what they do. I know that it is very tempting to hold to a simplicistic view, but it is also intellectually lazy.

You may need engineers to explain and solve technical problems. But you need social scientists to explain and solve social problems. Political science is a social science that can help to explain political problems, why they occur and why the players in the system do what they do. And it offers solutions.

Sure, our results are not material and rarely as clear-cut as engineering solutions. But we know that and don't claim them to be. (Well, most of us do that. If you meet a social scientist that thinks he's got the ultimate and only answer to a problem, ignore him.)

That's actually one of the problems of my profession: Most people like definite answers and therefore do rarely even consider our advice.

Ken said...

Max, I realize that there is a difference between politics and the individuals involved in those politics. That's the only reason I still vote regularly. It seems to me that the political scene in my country is just an over-rated puppet show. The marionettes dance around, hopeful for attention, while the puppeteers can't decide what they want from these puppets. Politics is just another game to me, and I don't have much of a mind for that game. Strange game. The only way to win the game is not to play. Greetings, Professor. Care for a game of Thermonuclear Warfare? Instead, how about a game of chess?