Friday Fluff – November 5th, 2010

By Razib Khan | November 5, 2010 10:56 am


1. First, a post from the past: Why the gods will not be defeated.

2. Weird search query of the week: “coon and friends.”

3. Comment of the week, in response to We live in utopia – part n:

I thank Dave @8 for the name of Lewis Kay; I’m almost entirely innocent of television, even in its YouTube incarnation, and I wondered. Yes, he’s brilliant, especially the incidental pantomime. And just to show exactly how far my ignorance extends, who’s the guy he’s talking to?

4) If you’re a liberal, how do you feel after the elections? Are you angry at Barack Hussein Obama?  As a not too politically engaged person, at least in a conventional sense, I’m always a touch interested in the extreme reactions after losses/wins.

5) And finally, your weekly fluff fix:


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  • Carney Wilson

    My strange hope was for the Tea Party candidates (not GOP supported candidates, but died in the wool Tea Partiers) to make a sweeping win, have a horrid two years, and have liberals with.. Chutzpah.. be elected next time.

    You asked for it. 😉

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  • EcoPhysioMichelle

    I don’t see any reason to be angry at Obama, because I don’t see it as his fault. People’s main concern is the economy, a problem he didn’t start and which will be slow to change. People get frustrated quickly and have unrealistic expectations about how quickly the economy will recover, so they vote for the other party instead (and by this I mean independents and moderates on both sides, the heavy liberals and heavy conservatives already have their minds made up about which is the right way to go about things).

    Anyway, a little bit of adversity is good for a president. If you know your ideas won’t be readily accepted by your minions in congress, it makes you have to think your proposals through more carefully, which is always a good thing.

    I’m disappointed, sure, but not *angry*.

  • muffy

    In terms of question 4: while I’m not a liberal myself, I do go to an extremely liberal college in an extremely liberal town. People here are pretty mute about everything. People just don’t talk about Obama anymore.

    Just a comment on the “post from the past,” but have you seen this pew survey about religion and America’s youth? It doesn’t seem to support either the “Evangelicals are taking over the country!” or the “the future is secular humanism” view. On one hand, more American youth are refusing to identify with a religion than their parents. On the other hand, on some theological and supernatural issues (e.g. belief in miracles, is your religion the only true faith? stuff, etc.) young people don’t seem to be much different than older folks. Whatever increase in “liberal” views on such issues that would result in decreasing religious identification amongst youth seem to be offset by more “conservative” views amongst youth in black and mainline Protestant denominations. Most interesting, IMHO, was the enormous increase in belief in hell amongst mainline youth.

  • Matt

    4) I’m not mad at anyone but the Republicans. I’m *disappointed* in the Democrats, because they failed to tell their story, including the two most important points for the election: The bad economy was caused by deregulation, and jobs are the last thing to recover from a recession.

  • Anthony

    Here’s an interesting post about people’s identification with political parties and their reactions after wins or losses.

  • lotuspixie

    as a liberal wisconsinite, of course this whole mid-term election is a bummer. But I feel, more than anything else, deeply saddened that the senate has lost Russ Feingold. The ONLY SENATOR to vote against the patriot act. among many many other reasons why I have believed for a long time that he’s one of the only congressmen out there with both a brain and a conscience.

    It was a true loss for the senate.

  • TGGP

    I’m a non-voter who’s glad there’s some measure of divided government, but wishes the Republicans would have been smacked hard enough for long enough to decide to reform (a la Clinton here or Blair across the pond). Only Marco Rubio has explicitly recognized that they aren’t that popular and are merely the beneficiaries of anti-Dem/administration sentiment.

  • Nattering Nabob

    The result wasn’t good, but it could have been worse. I was worried that Republicans would take the Senate too.

    I do think that Obama was partly to blame, though. More specifically, I find the Krugman/Yglesias-style analysis pretty persuasive, which is that Obama’s mistake lay in only pushing for a moderately-sized stimulus (that wasn’t going to lead to acceptable unemployment figures) on the grounds that it was supposedly politically impossible to get more at the time, and then compounding the mistake by pretending that he thought it would be big enough. You’re never going to get what you want if you don’t ask for it.

    In the end the result was both bad policy (because unemployment is unnecessarily and unacceptably high) and bad politics (because your popularity depends on the economic fundamentals, not on whether you played nice). If he’d publicly pushed for a larger stimulus, Democrats would at least, even if he had failed, now be in a position to argue for a much-needed second round.

  • djw

    I have a hard time feeling anything at all about this election since I read 538 regularly and nothing that happened was much of a surprise.

    I do feel some anger every time I hear a pundit (from either side) bloviate about how this weakens Obama for 2012. I can’t remember where I saw this link recently, but I think that it was in the comments somewhere in gene expression:

    Comparing the first 600 days between Clinton, Reagan, and Obama is a real eye opener.

  • omar

    I consider myself liberal and I dont feel angry at Obama. I think the results are pretty much what you would expect if the economy is not doing well. Everything else is just fluff.
    I do think Obama and the democrats have not done a great job with the “narrative”, but a better narrative could only have changed the results a little, not reversed them completely. Corruption (in the sense of policy being determined by the short term profits of particular the prison guard lobby and the war on drugs or other bondoogles ranging from teacher unions to the Pentagon) is bipartisan in any case. What determines the overall health of society is not clear to me.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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