Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Election Night Misery Part 1

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I have very important work to attend to tonight (departmental dinner with visiting scholars, intramural soccer game) so I’ll miss the early coverage of DemBloodBath 2010—but here are a few links to get us started:

* FiveThirtyEight’s election-night viewing guide.

* Why center-left parties are collapsing in both Europe and the U.S.:

The truth is that voters have not turned against the old-fashioned social democracy of the mid-20th century. In Europe as in the U.S., universal social insurance programs for the middle class, as opposed to means-tested welfare programs for the poor, remain popular among voters on the right as well as the left. Voters in Europe are not voting against public pensions and universal healthcare. Instead, they are tossing out a more recent generation of social democrats who went too far in their embrace of markets.

The greatest assault on traditional social democracy in the last generation has come from “Third Way” leaders of center-left parties like Tony Blair, and their continental European counterparts. Like the Clinton Democrats, these “modernizing” social democrats embraced free markets with a convert’s zeal, celebrating globalization and deregulating finance, while seeking to privatize or dismantle parts of the older welfare state. The politicians of the Third Way were far more libertarian than the voters in their own parties and their actions helped to make possible the global economic crisis.

* Žižek: Let everyone in the world except U.S. citizens vote.

* Democrats: ‘If We’re Gonna Lose, Let’s Go Down Running Away From Every Legislative Accomplishment We’ve Made.’

* How to literally mortgage your children’s future.

* And a little perspective, courtesy Ezra Klein:

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