No Time For Mandates

The looming proximity of Election Day has gotten me anticipating with great trepidation the orgy of over-interpretation we are likely to experience on and immediately after November 4, particularly if Republicans meet or exceed the already high expectations set for them by a historically favorable landscape. So I went ahead and knocked out a column for TPMCafe systematically going through some of the reasons this election probably won’t have much predictive value or justify any sort of actionable “mandate,” regardless of what happens. This will have zero impact on the commentariat, of course, but it might be useful to have the reasons all the spinning and vaporizing are insipid in one place close at hand so you can shout them at your television or computer screen in a couple of weeks.

The editors at TPM added a nice humorous twist by illustrating my column with a photo of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann from the set of their new Bloomberg TV show. It could well be Overinterpretation Central on November 4 and 5. And then the whole circus will strike its tents and move on to the presidential cycle.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.