MTP Needs a Lesson in Differing Academic Disciplines
Politico provides the following:
WHAT DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN told David Gregory on last week’s roundtable: “I think there’s a space now for President Obama. I think the post-partisanship has to go. That was what he came in hoping for. It proved not able to work. But if you look back at … FDR, he first tried to be a bipartisan leader, and then he got so hurt by the rancor of the Republican right, who called him a traitor to the class, that he went right after them. And he wins in a landslide. … I don’t think that’ll work for Obama ’cause he’s not a warrior, a happy warrior in that way.
“But there is a model for him in Teddy Roosevelt. Similar time to ours: Squeezed middle class, up and down gap between the rich and the poor. … Obama first talked about the failure of the supercommittee when he put out his grand proposal. It was the idea that people want fairness, they want balance. That’s what Teddy Roosevelt was all about. Every sentence was balanced.”
May I say, yet again,* that this is just another example of why DKG drives me nuts: she makes everything into a historical analogy. However, this is not good analysis: even if one can identify similarities with past candidates and presidents, the political realities are so radically different (one example: the nature of ubiquity of modern media) that direct analogies are worthless.
Of course, this critique is more about the Meet the Press producers than it is about DKG per se: they are the ones who elevate her to the level of expert on contemporary politics when, in fact, she is not.
As I often ask myself in these situations: are there no political scientists who study, oh I don’t know, the modern presidency, let alone campaigns and elections, for the MTP folks to call?
*This is a long term pet peeve of mine: the usage of historians as political scientists by the mass media. I have a special pet peeve about Doris Kearns Goodwin who only speaks in historical analogies. (And, I must confess, her plagiarism figures into my ire as well).