Suddenly I see so clearly why I like (love?) the Plain Blog about Politics. Here it is:
- It's based on data. In particular, the author (a PhD and professor) has a deep knowledge of US political history, and he takes a data-driven approach.
...there's one permutation that absolutely, no question about it, would destroy the rest of Barack Obama's presidency is: a disastrous war. Ask Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush. Or Harry Truman...
None of the other permutations [including losing a Syria vote] are anywhere close to that kind of threat to the Obama presidency. Presidents lose key votes which are then mostly forgotten all the time. They pursue policies which poll badly, but are then mostly forgotten, all the time. There are important things to say about all of that, because "mostly" isn't completely. But the first thing to get right when considering the effects of Syria policy on the rest of the Obama presidency is that the scale of a Vietnam or an Iraq (or a Korea, for that matter) overwhelms everything else we might talk about.
However, it wasn't reading the blog that brought on this epiphany. I was pursuing an argument on another blog where I'm trying to get a blogger to alter his view of Obama's fiscal program. How am I trying to do this? With data.
Do your views conform with the data, or do you have to ignore the data (ignore facts) to maintain your political position? Everyone should be asking themselves that ALL THE TIME. Sadly, that isn't what happens.