Archive for October 14th, 2009|Daily archive page

A Rare and Bipartisan Defense of Politicians

Carrots and Sticks spent the morning at Congressional hearings. I attended the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the costs of climate legislation.

One thing that struck me was the reasonable nature and tone of the questions. The majority of the questions on both sides of the aisle were intelligent and showed a solid understanding of the issue. I can’t read minds but I didn’t think any of the questions were motivated by dishonesty or intentional misrepresenting the truth. Which makes the questions terrible blog material.

Which gets to the perverse incentives that blogs and the media have regarding to the behavior of politicians. Senator asks reasonable question is a dog bites man story, so anybody looking for a story tries to find the most heated or otherwise entertaining event going on, which leads to a distorted view of reality. Instead of reading about the great majority of Congressional Republicans that don’t want to start McCarthy-style hearings on Democrats we read about Michelle Bachman. If tomorrow Chairman Rangel decides to act in conciliatory way to Republicans, and Chairman Frank decides to launch a emotional attack on Republicans, you can bet you won’t see Rangel on cable news shows.

-Chris

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