Friday's political stuff

The Week has a useful summary of what fact-checkers have to say about the claims of Obama and Romney during Wednesday night's debate.

Jonathan Chait, writing for New York magazine, notes some similarities between the Obama-Romney debate and the Bush-Gore debate in 2000 in which Bush made assertions about his tax plans that were contradicted by Gore. At the time it was difficult for the average person to judge who was right. From today's standpoint, of course, we know that Gore was essentially right: Bush's tax cut proposals did not help the economy, and the record budget surplus turned into a huge deficit.

Last April The Washington Post published an interesting article (still relevant) by Republican strategist Frank Luntz on what conservative voters really believe. Of course, conservatives are no more monolithic than liberals, and plenty of them (many Tea Party supporters for example) would disagree with the views Luntz ascribes to conservative voters generally. But it's still worth noting that more mainstream conservatives and liberals tend to be far closer in their basic principles than many on both sides realize. As I've said many times, what divides liberals and conservatives in practice very often isn't so much a difference of opinion but different notions of the facts.

(Updated to add the link to Chait's article I managed to omit originally.)

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