Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
Follow Steven on Twitter
With all due respect to Ms. Rubin, I’m not sure politicians on either side of any aisle are more in favor of Democracy than they are winning anymore. I’m not sure I blame them for it (especially the ones whose agendas I approve of *) and, as always, hope that I am wrong.
*Yes, I realize this statement makes me as bad and hypocritical as all the others.
@just nutha: I was never a huge Rubin fan but she’s become the ex-smoker who’s an anti-smoking Nazi. She’s all vitriol and rage at this point.
@just nutha: Yes, they’re pretty much all careerist asshats. And if they aren’t starting out, the system pushes them to be so. But the beauty thing about being politically liberal is that they can do well by doing good.
Not always, but way more so than the other side. Case in point, encouraging more people to vote does, as GOPs charge, work to the partisan advantage of Democrats. It’s also the right thing to do.
@James Joyner: I pretty much agree about Rubin. But, at least in the subject column, she’s not all in on Murc’s Law. She’s chiding Republicans to do something about the sorry state of the Republican party when most pundits see saving the Republican Party as falling pretty much on Ds. As GOPs like to say in another context, the soft bigotry of low expectations.
@James Joyner: True about Rubin but she hasn’t changed her hard-core traditional conservative beliefs any more than Liz Cheney has. I may agree with them both as far as the ultra-right is concerned but can’t support their basic philosophy. Politics is weird.
@James Joyner: She came onto my radar as someone who was extremely pro-Romney, like in a passionate way that made no sense to me (like a zealot for vanilla icecream or something). And I agree that she has now become that convert you really don’t want to talk to at a social gathering.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Which makes it particularly telling that Rubin doesn’t suggest trying to “cajole” a stand for democracy from Romney (or any other Republican senator or representative that isn’t retiring or already out of office).
Tone of message issues aside, when Rubin writes “The notion of reforming the GOP from within has become farcical,” she’s put her finger on the most important aspect of our current dilemma – while reforming the GOP from within seems farcical, reforming it from without is impossible. Only Republicans can get their house in order and no one is regularly calling the supposedly reasonable of them out on their capitulation.
When Romney was reportedly booed as a traitor by Utah GOP delegates last Spring, he snapped back with “Aren’t you embarrassed?” Rubin should point her vitriol and rage at Romney (and Murkowski, Sasse, Collins, Portman, Toomey) asking them in every column, “Aren’t you embarrassed?”
@Steven L. Taylor:
It occurs to me that I cannot think of any people whose primary gig is being a political pundit/columnist that I’d be interested in interacting with at a social gathering.
There are a few people who are opinion/editorial writers whose beat goes beyond politics that I’d like to chat with. But only a few.
@Steven L. Taylor: Yeah. I supported Romney as the best viable option in the primary but was bemused at the folks at CPAC who were outraged that the party was going to nominate the moderate McCain rather than the True Conservative Romney in 2008. I think he’d have been pretty good if he felt comfortable being who he was but he was kind of pathetic in Severe Conservative cosplay.
@James Joyner: “I was never a huge Rubin fan but she’s become the ex-smoker who’s an anti-smoking Nazi. She’s all vitriol and rage at this point.”
If you could post *undeserved* vitriol which she has used, James, that would nice.
@Barry: I applaud Jen Rubin for being enraged by America’s slide into authoritarian mediocrity, for the ongoing normalization of Trump. Instead of parsing whether that terror attack was an insurrection or not. Or closing all tabs and logging off till Biden’s inauguration like I did, exhausted and selfish.
I’m past the paywall on WaPo, and, while I applaud her anger, I don’t see the vitriol. Certain people who unapologetically call out white supremacist fascism/terror will always be tone policed, called “shrill,” and told to smile more by the boiling frog crowd. Remember when Hillary supporters were “overreacting” in 2016? Good times.
Raging against the threat we face is no vice. We need more outrage about the GQP’s decompensation, less slouching toward fascism.
@Dude Kembro: FWIW, I wouldn’t use vitriol, either. I do find her to have the zeal of a recent convert–not a bad thing, per se, as her conversion is based in pro-democracy. Still, her approach is striking to me in ways that I would need to think about how exactly describe, apart from noting her zeal for Romney was similar, which is a weird disjuncture.